Saturday, April 25, 2015

Filipino Librarian of the Month: Alex Lunar

Alex Lunar is this month's Filipino Librarian. He is currently the media librarian at the University of Batangas, Batangas City.

What's your lib story?

I am an accidental Librarian.

Never in my wildest dream that I saw myself doing library work. One thing I like doing that is somewhat related to library work is organizing things around me. I like to see things neatly arrange, from my room, to the things I use, to my garden. After graduation, the same school that gave me a scholarship in college called me because they needed an encoder in the library department. I applied for the position and got hired. My first degree was Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. I do some computer programming and trouble shooting. While working in the library, I felt I need additional job so I enrolled professional subjects in BSED because I feel I can teach. I choose TLE as my major because it was related to computer education and eventually I got my teacher’s license. I work as an encoder, computer trouble shooter and binder. As part of professional development the school obliged me to enroll in library science subjects for me to have background of the field. I went to Philippine Normal University to enroll in their specialization program. The very first day I set foot on PNU grounds especially the library, I knew changes will come to me. I met brilliant professors in the likes of Sir. Cobaria, Sir. Marasigan, Mam. Joven, Ma'am Orendain and Ma'am Tayona.

I think I didn’t choose LIS, it was a gift to me. I met different students taking up LS Specialization, some are young but mostly are older, most of us were graduates of other fields. When I finished my specialization program I thought PRC would allow taking LLE because I already have 18 units in LS and already a LET passer but they did not allow me. It took them sometime to decide but in the end, I was not able to get the exam. That was the first challenge I encountered.  I enrolled in the graduate program MAEd-LS in the same school, thinking it was my last option to be qualified for LLE, I have to do well. I met a lot of good people, I learned a lot, I’ve known PNU well and the thought of qualifying for exam just became a consolation price, the learning and experience became my motivation. I finished the program, it was year 2008, the last year non-LIS and non-MLIS graduates can take the exam, I have to nail it one time, thankfully I got it. 

The only guy in the group is none other than Alex Lunar, male Filipino Librarian.
What has been the greatest challenge you've faced so far as a licensed and working librarian?

The greatest challenge I encountered so far as a licensed and working librarian was teaching future librarians. It was the time that I am the one demonstrating and showing them how to become the best librarian they could be. It was challenging because they saw you as a mentor and model just like what my professors did to me. I have to make them see what I saw, the beauty of books and reading, research and service.

What is your area of expertise in LIS?

I could say that my areas of expertise are information technology and indexing, but I also do things other than that. If being funny and humorous is some sort of expertise in LIS, I would be the first in line. I could be a friend to anyone.

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

For me to become LIS professional, one should have a deeper understanding of things around them and be able to appreciate their importance. One should understand the importance of being informed and be able to share the information to others. You have to be positive and optimistic enough that the things you are doing will bring positive results. One should love to discover from basic sampling to complicated scientific research.

What rewards have you reaped from being a LIS professional?

Rewards, I was given a chance to teach young people about libraries, books and the beauty of reading. I was able to serve different type of clients belonging to different walks of life. I met a lot of bright people and I was able to learn from them. It was rewarding to belong to organizations doing good things to other people to make the world a better one. I was able to talk and share my knowledge to my colleagues. I was awarded several times for being good (daw) in practicing my profession which I cannot achieve without being one. I became known and popular somehow, elected in several positions in different library organization, maybe because I gathered more votes because I’m talkative and friendly. Lastly I can say, it was financially rewarding, not that much but it pays better being a librarian.  

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