Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Japan Trip 2015: Comparative Librarianship

The OICC - Osaka Internattional Convention Center
One of the new things I learned from the 5th LibrAsia Conference was about comparative librarianship. I have read and participated in international librarianship, but it was my first time to encounter the term, comparative librarianship. Turns out, it has been around since the 70s and that, my engagement with IASL since 2005 is part and parcel of ICL, International and Comparative Librarianship.

Here are links to ICL websites:

ICL Definitions
IFLA - Interest Group: ICL
Peter Johan Lor on ICL

Thinking through this experience, I realized that my current involvement in the International Librarians Network's peer mentoring and partnership program is an ICL activity. I have been exchanging emails and blog entries with my Polish friend, Wanda Sliwowska, a school librarian in Poland, for over a month now. You can read the ILN introduction I wrote in this link. Wanda has made a blog since our "convo" and email exchanges. I also learned from her that they have a school librarian association in Poland. Our last topic of discussion in the ILN program was about games in the school library. While Wanda has started organizing a game board collection, I still have to study and explore this possibility in our school library.

Receiving my certificate from Dr. Patrick Lo
In my introduction, this is what I said on my purpose for joining 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. It has been an enjoyable and enriching experience. There are times when I do feel alone in the work place. No offense meant to my learning community. But being with one's kin or kind inspires and uplifts me to do more; to push myself; and to look at my small self in a bigger world. Such experiences affirm that the little things I do matter.  To quote June Carter, "I just want to matter."

Going back to the 5th LibrAsia Conference where comparative librarianship was a topic of presentation, Dr. Patrick Lo shared his research on librarians in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan. It covered librarians working in schools, academia and universities. In a nutshell, there is work to be done in school librarianship across Asia. 

We can start rolling our sleeves and go to work by answering this survey: - Where we can mull over on our roles and feel good afterwards. - Where we can think about comics and how it can change our services to readers.

These are all for now on the IAFOR / 5th LibrAsia Conference.

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