Monday, March 30, 2015

Filipino Librarian of the Month: Dolly Dolado-Carungui

Filipino Librarian Dolly Dolado Carungui shares her library story and the path she has taken towards becoming a librarian at the National Library of the Philippines.

What's your lib story? 

I am actually a graduate of a 2-year course, Computer Technology under the College of Engineering at University of the East, Manila way back April 1994. Since our building was also a library building, my classmates and I usually find time to visit the library during free time. This constant practice of making “tambay” in the library opened my interest to work in the library. Thus, after my graduation in my 2-year course I immediately enrolled for the program Bachelor of Science in Library Science (BSLS) in June 1994. While studying I was given the opportunity to be a Working Scholar (working student) in the Library. As a Working Scholar my tuition fee was free plus I got a monthly allowance of PhP400.00/month in exchange of 4 hours duty in the library in a day. I graduated in October 1997, got my license in December 1997 and landed my first job as librarian at the National Library of the Philippines on January 13, 1998.

What has been the greatest challenge you've faced so far as a licensed and working librarian? Why do you say it's a challenge?

I can't recall having any challenge/s being a licensed/working librarian. Probably because I love my profession, I love my work, and I love what I am doing in my Institution. For 16 years being a public librarian, I still find happiness and contentment servicing the public in the best that I can.

What is your area of expertise in LIS?

It's a tough question for me because I really don't know what particular library work I am an expert on. Let's just say that my experience include: being a reference librarian, multimedia librarian, children's librarian and recently since NLP is embarking into projects servicing PWDs I can probably say also as a “special librarian”.

What do you think are the requirements and preparations necessary for becoming a LIS professional?

First, you just have to develop that appreciation for libraries – its role in fostering education. Second, you should set your principles in delivering your services based on the Code of Ethics and while setting your principles be flexible. Librarians cater to different individuals and sometimes various environment.

What rewards have you reaped from being a LIS professional? 

I consider as a reward the opportunities to travel and meeting people which gives me the chance to collaborate with them and even learn from them. Also, simple compliments from my clients, colleagues and bosses is already a reward for me.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pinoy Kwentista: Dyali Justo

With Dyali Justo at DepEd Laoag
Last November 13, 2015, I had the sheer joy of being with Dyali Justo, teacher and storyteller, in the Booklatan sa Laoag workshop of the National Book Development Board. She answers a few questions about storytelling, an art she is so passionate about.

1.  Kailan at paano mo nalaman na isa kang storyteller?
Grade school- volunteer sa Home for the Aged, I wrote a poem for the grans, then I delivered it. From then on, I was invited to do storytelling. 

2. Ano ang paborito mong ikwento at bakit?
Ang mahiyaing manok- poem form kase ang dating ng rhythm, fun,very interactive. Yun tema makatotohanan. Maraming mahiyain at insecure dahil sa maling pakiramdam sa mga tao sa may true friend na magsasabi ng totoong sitwasyon. May nanay na supportive na ina-aasess ang kakayahan ng anak. Yung dulong part na ng kwento, may desire to help others so they can overcome their own weaknesses. So real. 

Dyali in action. Telling the story, The Monkey and the Turtle
3.  Magbigay ka ng isang karanasan sa pagkukwento na hindi mo makakalimutan.
Marami, lalo sa mga out of town trips: sa Masbate, umakyat kami ng bundok, ang mga bata dumating nakasakay sa kabayo o di kaya sa mga hinihilang sasakyan ng kalabaw, para lang makakinig ng kwento. May language barrier, pero naging fun kase pareho ang tilaok ng manok sa maynila at sa masbate. Sa Palawan, nagtanong ako: "ano ang iyong wish? (Ang kwento ay Wishing Well) may isang boy na sumagot lutu lutuan. Nagtawanan ang mga kakklase at tinatawag na bakla. Pagkakataon un para maituro ang konsepto ng wala sa gawain ang gender preference. My mga tatayna naglalaba, nagluluto, may mga nanay na nagpapalit ng bumbilya o sirang gripo. 

4.  Ano ang isang "tip" o payo na maibibigay mo sa kwentistang nag sisimula pa lamang
Know your purpose why are you a storytelling.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Review Inventory 2014

This post is supposedly a New Year post on my books I read and reviewed in 2014. But, life happened. So, here's another catching-up-post. Come back to memory lane with me!

Modern Day Heroes, Bookmark 2014 These wonderful books were donated to Jnaopol Elementary School in Batangas after I have read them.

Reviews in Goodreads2014 was the year I got back to using Goodreads. I'm on a slump again, but I'm giving myself this week to recover.

Another book review using a digital tool. Well, it is more like a web app. I have to credit colleagues from 23 Mobile Things for introducing me to Vine.

2014 was my year of reading kilig books. You know that Rainbow Rowell floored me over because not only did I write a review in the blog, I also did an interactive book talk of Fangirl

This one was for my high school students and co-teachers.</>

My review of Mythology Class by Arnold Arre is my way of bridging the literacy gap with my kids. They are big fans of graphic novels!

I also get a lot of good recommendations from friends who read a lot! If Tarie Sabido introduced me to Rainbow Rowell, Honey de Peralta encouraged me to read G. Willow Wilson.

Another Rainbow Rowell book, Attachment was a cute love story set in the 90's. I finished the year reading another romance book by Rowell, Landline.

Looking at the list, I can say that 2014 was my year of reading books beyond the print format and using apps to communicate my responses to a bigger world out there. It was also the year I read a lot of romance books. In fact, I even judge in the 2014 Readers Choice Award for the Romantic Filipino Novella! What does 2015 look like so far? Here's hoping to post another reading inventory for the first quarter of 2015.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Librarian Mentors

A few weeks back,  a comment on one of the blog's post on a featured Filipino Librarian made it public. The blog that got this comment was about Joy Fajardo Nera's mentoring to a younger staff at Assumption College in San Lorenzo.  The comment came from Ms. Aza Salva who thanked Mrs. Joy Fajardo Nera for encouraging her to do more on the job and to go beyond the expectations of the profession. Ms. Aza Salva is no longer a librarian in Assumption College but she keeps fond memories of her boss and her style of mentoring.

When I sent Mrs. Nera this bit of good news, this was her reply --

I read your  blog and the message written by Ms. Salva.  That message from my former staff made me realize that I am on the right track. Knowing Aza is doing well in Brent International School and that the other young librarians who started  their careers with me are also doing their best  wherever they are right now, makes me feel proud that  they learned something from me (kahit na pabalik balik mga reports nila sa akin noon). Imagine! I took the chance of getting newly graduates of LIS whenever we have available slots in schools, train them, teach them what I know and later on set them free to become heads or coordinators too.
I suppose this is one area where library research can have a look at: mentoring programs in libraries as indicators of success and professional growth.  If not in the area of research, perhaps mentoring is one aspect of library management where LIS professionals can engage in deep thought and conversation as far as professional practice is concerned.

ILN: Favorite Place at Work and The Library I Work In

Catching up on the activities in the ILN peer mentoring program, here are photos of my favorite places in The Beacon Academy.

I took this photo in early September. When the sun is up early, I would take a walk around campus before the 8.05AM bell. I bring my breakfast when I walk. Just coffee, bread and some fruit. Then I would find  spot under a tree, on a bench near the gym or in the school cafeteria where I could eat my food in silence. When the school buses arrive at 7.55AM and 8AM, high school life begins on campus.

I took this photo of a yellow bird circling around a tree while calling out to its mate. I am not sure what kind of bird it is, but we have plenty of colorful birds on campus: blue kingfishers, swallows with golden brown wings, this yellow bird, pheasants, crows, sparrows, some egrets that fly over the hills and little black birds that play on the green grass in the early morning. If you listen hard enough, you will hear them calling to each other. Each bird producing a distinct sound.
And, my favorite place: by the pool where I often sit and eat lunch.

I love the library where I have been working for four years now. It is the second school library I was able to set up and organize as a full time school librarian. I am proud of it and I make it a point to keep it alive to gain the continued support of the learning community. The surrounding environs of the school is yet another place I love about my work place. I go out of the library often because there are so many things to discover from the outside that inspire innovation.

Now here is the second discussion topic where I talk about the school library specifically.
What kind of library do you work in now? What is the physical environment like, and who are your patrons? 

I work in a school library catering to high school students, grades 9-10. The library is small, just two classrooms. It has the basic reading area that can be converted to small and big group discussion areas; general circulation; work station and computer terminals. It also has an audio-visual collection, an ebook collection, online subscriptions. I think we have the basic services put in place, including an OPAC. What I wish to see developed in the next three years is a virtual library to further enrich the physical and intellectual structures already in place. What I hope to continually do is to campaign for reading and the use of information sources for research in the various subject areas.

Have you ever worked in any other kind of library?

I have worked in a library for a non-government organization and have been a library consultant to a UK based charity involved in building school libraries in Batangas province, Philippines.
What’s the most unusual library you’ve heard of – and what was unusual about it?

I have heard about the Philippine Toy Library. I have yet to see it.
What kind of libraries do you think you’d like working in – do you prefer public or private, big or small, physical or digital?

I prefer to work in small private school libraries. The battles I need to win for the school library if it is in the private sector can be won with hard earned effort.
What professional issues do you believe are shared across libraries?

The common issues are: setting up effective research management systems, Information Literacy programs, enriched professional growth programs and mentoring, leadership and management.

These are all for now. Until next ILN discussion topic!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Book Spine Poetry Contest is Back!

The Book Spine Poetry Contest is back! It was launched yesterday during the school assembly in line with March 21 being World Poetry Day and March 16 being Teen Tech Week (USA).

The same rules apply from last year's contest. Instead of running the contest for four months though, a month is only given for students and faculty to join and send in entries. Here are the rules:

Book Spine Poetry Contest
How to do it: simply compose your own found poetry using the books' spine. If you're not done with your poem yet, you can leave the books you pulled out of the shelves with Mr. Flynn for only a day. He will return it back to the shelf the following day. Cut off time is 3.30pm.

If you have no intent at finishing the poem, YOU must return the book to its proper place in the shelf by following its call number.

Once you've composed your book spine poem, I'll take a photo of it; I'll tag your name and this becomes your batch's entry to the Book Spine Poetry Contest. We'll feature poems completed and submitted to us at the end of each week.

For the prizes: Finals = Ice Cream / Grand prize winner = Pizza Party

And yes, you can work in pairs, in triads or in teams of four.
 To campaign and promote the contest, I have made my own book spine poems.

 Book Spine Poem 1 

You Know Where to Find Me
When It Happens
By the River
The Boy With the Porcelain Blade

Book Spine Poem 2

Warm Bodies
In Between the Sheets
A Ring of Endless Light

Sunday, March 15, 2015

ILN Partner and Peer Mentor: Wanda Sliwowska

This is Wanda Sliwowska. She is my partner in the ILN peer mentoring program. She is a school librarian from Poland. She works in Gimnazjum nr 3 z Oddziałami Sportowymi im.gen.Mariusza Zaruskiego w Świdnicy. Świdnica is a city in west side of Poland, near the big city of Wrocław. Vsit the website of G3 Swidnica. It is a school for students age 13 to 16.

Wanda claims that reading is her "bad habit" that is why she took a bachelor's degree in Library and Information Science. She is interested to learn about the school system in the Philippines and its school libraries. Joining ILN's peer mentoring program is one way for her to improve her skills in English. I am very confident that I can convey to her basic information on our educational system and the current state of Philippine school librarianship. I hope I can do this using the correct and the proper English grammar.

In her last email, she mentioned about book elections, an activity I look forward to knowing more about.

Storytelling: My Daddy! My One and Only!

Teacher Dyali Justo reads aloud my book, My Daddy! My One and Only! during the NBDB Booklatan in Laog City. Here is a snippet of her storytelling.

This is the first time I witnessed my story read aloud by a storyteller. Teacher Dyali had all the right adlibs and embellishments that amplified the story's theme. By focusing on the little son's fascination and hero worship for his father, Teacher Dyali brought out the simple acts of kindness a parent can do for his or her child.

She is an amazing storyteller!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

An Award for Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories

The book I co-wrote with Dianne de Las Casas, Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories (Libraries Unlimited, USA 2011) won The Storytelling World Resource Award 2015 for Category 6: Storytelling Resources. The full list of winners can be viewed in the  Storytelling World website where you will find winners and honor books in different categories. I am amazed reading the titles of books included in the list because it shows diversity, global mindedness and multicultural perspective. For our work to be recognized by a host of credible judges and experts in the field is a great honor.

I am still reeling from this surprising news weeks after I learned about it. The book project came at a time when my family and I lost almost everything to typhoon Ondoy (2009). Working on the book with Dianne was a cathartic experience. Stories, indeed, have a way of healing the spirit.

The Storytelling World Resource Award is meant to help storytellers, librarians, teachers and parents choose stories to read aloud and perform in schools and libraries or simply be told in the comfort of one's home.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Teen Tech Week 2015

The 2015 IASL Conference: The School Library Rocks

The International Association of School Libraries 2015 Conference is on June 28, 2015 - July 2, 2015 in Maastritch, The Netherlands. There's a pre-conference that focus on instructional design of Information Literacy programs in the school library level. This is a session I wish I could attend, at least, if not the entire conference. I learned of a virtual participation to the conference from IASL people. So, there's an option for the likes of me who wish to attend but can't for some reason.

I will definitely post that info here in the blog and on my social media sites too.

Checking the conference program on the website, I found a lot of amazing and interesting research papers on school librarianship, program implementation, management and leadership issues. There are also plenty of professional papers on library instruction and information literacy.

And what delights me is the knowledge of a lone Filipino Librarian in the roster of presenters! Visit the IASL 2015 Conference website.

Welcome Video for Participants of ILN Mentoring Program

Monday, March 2, 2015

The 5th Asian Conference on Literature and Librarianship

I am registered.

My flight is booked.

I am excited to present my paper on school librarians and leadership in LibrAsia 2015 The 5th Asian Conference on Literature and Librarianship in Osaka, Japan.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

International Librarians Network: Introductions

Early in February, I joined the peer mentoring program of International Librarians Network's. The people in ILN gave me a Polish school librarian as peer mentor and partner. This week we are asked to introduce ourselves. Here is what I sent my mentor and partner.

Where do you work? What does your job involve? 
I work in The Beacon Academy. It is a high school in the province of Laguna in the Phillippines, southern part of the island of Luzon. It is a new school, only four years old. When I came in in 2010, the library had only 1,000 books in boxes that were ordered from Follet, Amazon and Children's Plus. Now, we have around 6,000 books, 10-15 subscriptions to online resources and an integrated library system that has a web OPAC.
This is our school's website - Visit the Library Portal here - Apart from regular work as manager of the library, I am also the research coordinator in our school.

What was your career path? How did you get where you are today?

I wanted to be a writer and a teacher. I wished to take English and Literature as my undergraduate course but, my mother advised that I take a bachelor's degree in Library and Information Science. I fell in love with school librarianship during my practicum years in college so I chose the path of working in a school library. This gave me the opportunity to be closer with children, the literature written for them and the English language. This exposure led me to write books, a collection of Filipino Folktales and storybooks for children,  and tell stories in my locality, in areas outside Luzon and in the South East Asian countries like Singapore and Thailand.

What inspired you to join the ILN?

I joined ILN because I know little of the world. I wish to expand my worldview in the context of my work as a school librarian. I am excited to know more about my peer mentor hoping that I can also contribute or give back a little of what I know.
What are your hopes and expectations for the new partnership?
I hope to learn about Poland in the comfort of my home. I think this online medium to interact with other librarians is ideal for me to learn more about Polish history and culture. I also wish to get a perspective of school librarianship in Poland, as well as read some Polish books for children :-)
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