Thursday, November 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: National Picture Book Month Champion

Read the full article by visiting the link to the National Picture Book Month website.

National Picture Book Month continues to make waves because the picture book featured every day is not only beautiful but also lovingly made for the child reader. Librarians can get a lot of insightful articles and valuable information from authors of the featured picture books. Included in each article are common core standards (US) and activities compatible to the curriculum. Nonetheless, school librarians from all over the world will also benefit from this literacy initiative.

Reading is a right! Books are for all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Selfie: #griffinsread Photo Contest 2014

Launched the #griffinsread Photo Contest in school yesterday.

I. Objective: to communicate and express one’s love for books and reading using social media and mobile apps

  1. Take a book selfie, or a photo of a book you are currently reading. That book should be a book borrowed from the BA Library.
  2. Caption the photo and send it to
  3. If your photo is selected, you earn 1 batch point for your batch.
  4. Selected book selfies will be printed out and posted on the lib’s bulletin board. Book selfies will also be posted on the school’s web page. It is the student’s option to post his or her book selfie onto Twitter or IG using #griffinsread / #booklove
  5. Teacher Librarian will ask permission from students whose photos are selected for posting onto her blog. This is to document the contest and share with other IB schools and libraries the reading and book promotion project of the Academy.
  6. Selected book selfies will be judged by a pool of respectable judges: two from the Academy and one from outside the community, possibly, a professional photographer.

II. Criteria for judging

  1. Artistic merit: composition, light and shade, balance, perspective

  1. Visual message and content:
    • Does your photo promote a positive image of books and reading?
    • Does your photo show a relationship between the reader, the book and the author?
    • Does your photo present a unique or “new” perspective on books and reading?

  1. Caption or text of the photo:
      Does the caption or text provide context and background about the book and
enriches the overall impact of the photo’s message?

III. Timeline
Nov. 25 - Announcement and beginning of contest
Dec. 15 - Last day of sending in entries
Dec. 16-17 - Judging days
Dec. 18 or 19- Announcement of winners

The library bulletin board where print outs of photos will be posted. I posted my book selfie as an example.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TV Series: The Librarians

The 80th National Book Week at the National Library of the Philippines

 Last Monday, November 24, 2014, was the awarding and opening ceremonies of the 80th National Book Week at the National Library of the Philippines. Tradition dictates that winners of varied contests leading to the National Book Week be present for this purpose. I saw students from public and private schools when I came in that morning. Sadly, I missed the keynote speech of Ms. Ani Almario, RAP President and PBBY Gen. Sec.

On the one hand, I finally met Heneral Basa!

He read aloud stories from books he brought with him and encouraged kids to keep on reading books in their school and public libraries. Heneral Basa visits barangay reading centers in Quezon City and reads aloud to kids.

After the awarding ceremony, I had my talk about the books I have written and how the back stories of each book shaped my writing process. I did a five minute writing/storytelling activity where in two students and one teacher from Paco Catholic School volunteered to share their stories from the writing prompt I showed them.

Steph Bravo, Budjette Tan and Jonathan Ranola were speakers as well. Congratulations to the PLAI headed by Beth Peralejo, and to Jude Gorospe, Chair of this year's National Book Week festivities.

Ang Mensahe ni Heneral Basa

Nagkita kami ni Heneral Basa sa pagbubukas ng 80th National Book Week noong Lunes, Nobyembre 24, 2014 sa National Library of the Philippines. Ito ang mensahe niya sa mga bata at pati na rin sa mga nakatatanda na may kakayahang magbasa ng aklat para sa mga bata:

Para sa akin, napakahalaga ng pagbabasa sapagkat ito ang mas nagbubukas sa isip sa mga bagong karanasan at impormasyon. Mas personal din ang pagbabasa at may mas pangmatagalan na epekto. Mas malaki ang lamang ng pagbabasa kaysa sa internet at TV, mas malalim ba. 

Sa aking pananaw din, mas nagiging malikhain din at nagkakaroon ng mahabang pasensiya ang tao kapag nagbabasa. May naacquire ka na magagandang paguugali kapag ikaw ay nagbababasa. Nababawasan ang niya, mas nagiging expressive at nahihikayat na magbigay ng opinyon sa mga bagay bagay.
Maraming salamat sa mensahe mo,  Heneral Basa! More power!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Library & Reading Promo: Christmas Reading Passport 2014

So the Christmas Reading Passport was launched at Assembly in school this morining. It's easy to do.

1. Students get a reading passport from the library.
2. They borrow one book about the theme of the week.
3. They return the book a week after borrowing and they fill out a box on their reading passport.
4. They borrow another book until they complete four books by December 15, 2014.
5. Filled out reading passports will entitle them to a free frappucino on December 16, 2014.

PLUS: borrowers will get 5 book points off their book quota.

The book quota is the number of books each student is required to borrow in one academic year. There is a corresponding task or consequence for students who fall short of their book quota. Sounds harsh?

Well, at some point, reading must be required and monitored. With activities that encourage students to read, advisory and guidance on their choices of reading materials can be facilitated.

Will see how this will go by next week and the coming weeks to come.

Christmas Reading Passport

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Librarian Roles & Advocacy

Back in 2011, I conducted a workshop for school librarians as requested and sponsored by Scholastic Philippines.

I have always believed in the constant articulation of the school librarian's role and that, reading promotion is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. School librarians need to be advocates of reading and literacy.

Monday, November 10, 2014

National Picture Book Month 2014 (USA)

Dianne de Las Casas started the 2014 National Picture Book Month last November 1st. This year, each picture book featured has curriculum links included in every post. Picture books can definitely be used as teaching resources!

I am eight days late, but this is one of my blogging traditions. I am a Picture Book Ambasador!

Visit the website for featured books, authors and illustrators of children's books!

November is National Reading Month

Five Questions #1: How to Encourage Young Adult Readers to Read Books

Participants asked me five questions after my group's session at the Rizal Library International Conference last October 22-23, 2014. I will be posting these and my answers one at a time in the blog. The first one is about young adult readers and how to encourage them to read books. 
Note that I am going to include additional information on my answers. So, if you were there at the conference, reading this post is still worth your time. :-)

How to Encourage Young Adult Readers to Read Books

First, the school librarian must know who his or her readers are. Generally, there are three kinds: the avid reader, the reluctant reader, and the non-reader. The avid reader is the easiest to lure. The reluctant reader is the choosy one, undecided and at times, hesitant to make a choice because they do not know the available reading materials as well as his or her own reading choices. The non-reader as the term implies, is not at all reading either by choice (aliteracy) or by nature and nurture factor. Non-readers may have negative experiences in reading or their brain functions in a way that reading can't be easily accommodated. Non-readers are students who were not diagnosed or assessed early on of their reading disability or learning challenges.

Knowing the reading materials available for them and written for them is the next strategy to make them visit the library and read books. So, the school library's collection development program needs to be sensitive to these kinds of readers.

For avid readers, book displays and book activity announcements during assemblies, through the library bulletin board and electronic means are enough to make them read. These readers are perfect book ambassadors too! They can help spread the word that reading is fun and that it is good for you! These readers enjoy talking about the books they've read and even writing reviews about it. Since teenagers rarely listen to the adults around them, they are more comfortable with peers. Avid readers can inspire and convince the reluctant readers to read.

Presenting an array of reading materials of varied formats and genre to reluctant readers is another way to make them read. Combining books with media and technology can entice them to jump into books and reading. Book trailers, FB and Twitter post on new books, book to movie adaptations are some of the promotional techniques that can be employed. I like blending technology with printed books.

As for the non-readers, their needs are special. So I work with their teachers in creating a book list for them. With the help of teachers, I am still able to reach out to these students.

I think the key here is knowing the reader and what book he or she likes. Ranganthan is still correct: to every book a reader; to every reader a book.

And this principle has plenty to do with how you build your school library's collection.

Lastly, there is also the matter on non-fiction books and how teens conduct research. The young adult reader doing research is another topic worthy of discussion.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Filipino Friday #4: Let's talk about Diverse books

Do you think we have enough diversity in the books that we read? Are our choices enough to satisfy our different tastes? Are our writers able to present the variety of people, culture, lifestyle, interests and so on? How diverse are your reading interests, and are you able to find enough books to satisfy your reading needs? Do you think we need more diverse books?
 Among the topics in this year's Filipino Friday, this one on diverse books struck me the most. One, I had a difficult time answering the questions. Two, I really don't want to answer the questions. Not yet. And three, despite reasons one and two, my answer to the last question, do you think we need more diverse books, is a resounding YES.

We live in an archipelago. We have seventeen regions and a hundred more languages. The diversity in every province put together in one map is as tasty, sweet, colorful, and varied as halo halo. Yet, what I have been reading either comes from abroad or from Manila. Pitiful.

So I am leaving this topic here. Four unanswered questions that I will be bringing to my sleep. I don't know if I will get answers when I wake up. These four questions echo to me as a librarian. Because, really, if we have an effective, efficient and functional library system in the Philippines, I would be able to answer these tough questions.

Yet, I hope.




These four questions I'm putting on the parking lot would inspire me to search for answers soon enough.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

National Book Week 2014

As part of the activities for the Library and Information Services Month and the National Book Week, the Philippine Librarians Association, in partnership with the National Library of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts held a poster making contest that was opened to college students nation wide.

This year's winner was Michael Angelo Hernandez, BS Civil Engineering student from the University of Nueva Caceres- College of Engineering, Naga City, Camarines Sur. The image significantly depicts the NBW 2014 theme: Philippine Libraries: Future Possibilities.  As per tradition, the winning poster will grace the cover of the National Book Week Souvenir Program.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Librarian on TV: Ang Pinaka Malagim na Pinoy Nursery Rhymes

Here is an excerpt video of my guest appearance in Ang Pinaka as panelist last October 12, 2014.

The topic discussed that week was the top ten most disturbing Pinoy Nursery Rhymes. The show Ang Pinaka is aired every Sunday at 6.30pm via GMA News TV.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Filipino Fridays 2014 #3: Fanfiction

 Filipino Friday #3 is all about Fanfiction.

Fanfiction is pretty popular, no doubt about it, but it has been received with mixed feelings by many authors and writers. Some don’t mind it, and even welcome readers who give their own spin on their work. Some writers don’t like it at all, to the point that they contact fanfiction authors to take their work down. Others use it as a jump-off point for their own writing. 
How about you? What is your take on fanfiction? Do you read fanfiction, and if you do, what kind of fanfiction do you read? Do you write fanfiction, and why? Or are you against fanfiction? Enlighten us.
I used to read fanfiction. I stopped, because life has been too busy. I read fanfiction at the height of Twilight's popularity and during the Harry Potter phenomenon. I don't write fanfiction though, and I don't see myself writing one in the future. But I have an open view on fanfiction.

I don't see anything wrong about fanfiction. To me it is the reader's response to a book or a literature he/she loves and/or hate. I consider it a new genre, in fact, that readers and writers can further talk about and discuss. Fanfiction is proof of the powerful relationship between reader, writer and text encountered. Readers need a venue to extend the reading experience. Writing about it is one of the many ways which readers use to extend this experience.

Writers are readers too. Readers can be writers. So, even published writers can create their own fanfiction and their readers can read them on this platform. Fanfiction equalizes the reading experience. I don't see anything wrong with that. But, plagiarized work is something else.

Filipino Friday 2014 #2: Have You Ever Wanted to Write a Book?

Catching up on some blog posts. I'm beginning with Filipino Friday #2 that was scheduled last October 24, 2014.
  • As a reader, have you ever thought about writing a book? What kind of books/stories do you want to write? Or are you now a published author, and what compelled you to go fulfil this dream? How was your journey from reader to writer? How did you go about getting your book out there?
My desire to write my own books began in high school. I read S.E. Hinton and Judy Blume and dreamed of putting into words my own stories, getting published and seeing my name after the "by" line. It didn't happen until 2011 when a book I co-authored with Dianne de Las Casas was published, Tales of the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories, by ABC CLIO in the US. It is not a novel for young adult, but a collection of folk tales. The proposal for the book project came in 2009 after my traumatic experience with Ondoy The book and my experience of writing this along side Dianne de Las Casas is a given grace. I am forever grateful.

By 2013 and 2014, I have published two illustrated storybooks under Lampara Books: Tale of Two Dreams with Bernadette Solina Wolf, My Daddy, My One and Only with Jomike Tejido and Dear Nanay with Liza Flores. Last September, Lampara Books launched my first series for early readers, Start Right Reading Series, Kindergarten Level. Again, I collaborated with Bernadette Wolf on the illustrations and design of the series.

My journey from reader to writer is a long one. I think the journey will never end. Readers will forever read. Writers will always write. The reading and writing connection continues. I have to thank my friends in KUTING (Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting) for accompanying me in the journey.  Other than my writer friends, I remember with fondness the critiquing sessions I spent with the LitCritters, a group of working writers led by Dean Francis Alfar. Writing may be an isolated act, but it should be a social and cultural endeavor as well.

I suppose it is the same with reading. When we talk about the books we read, we develop a deeper understanding of the reading experience.
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