Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Librarians as Community Developers

I started a read aloud demo.
Last week, I was a witness to the important role librarians and libraries play in building community. The story begins like this.

In March 2017, DepEd Cabuyao Superintendent Jonathan Forelo Bernabe wrote a letter to the Philippine Librarians Association Inc., (PLAI) requesting for a workshop on library development. The letter reached PLAI President Mike Pinto in mid-April. Mr. Pinto, through PLAI Secretariat, got in touch with DepEd Cabuyao with a recommendation to contact Mr. Rene Manlangit, current regional representative of PLAI Southern Tagalog Region Librarians Council. These two gentlemen, once they established linkage, immediately worked together to set up a three day training workshop for teachers on school library development.

DepEd Cabuyao took charge of all logistics, operational costs, DepEd requirements and the mandate of having 91 K-12 teachers and principals present in the workshop. PLAI STRLC made sure to create and design a training workshop on school library development 101. When Mr. Manlangit got in touch with me on this endeavor, it was too difficult to turn down.

I remember what I wrote in the blog about librarians and libraries building communities of learners and readers back in 2015 :

For librarians who are helping teachers, community developers and people in Non-government organizations set up libraries, remember to begin with the knowledge of the community and their experience of libraries. We are creating learning spaces and avenues of thinking. The books and formats of information we organize must be contextualized to a philosophy and a culture. That culture and philosophy is in part found in the community to which the library belongs to.
My participation in the 3-day workshop was to conduct a four hour storytelling workshop with the participants. But, I included activities in my workshop that would help teachers look at the bigger role of libraries as community centers where learning and thinking takes place.

Sharing time: I like listening to insights of teachers.
I reflect on this experience and if I get involved in another workshop like this, I will:

a. Consider, first and foremost, the context of the K-12 teachers as builders of knowledge through by facilitating critical and creative thinking skills activities;

b. Apply differentiated activities for participants, especially for K-12 teachers as they are teaching learners from different stages of development;

c. Conduct more reading into writing activities that focus on the creation and communication of knowledge and ideas;

d. Use local knowledge and history as resources for workshop activities.

And so, I pray for good health and a kind and forgiving heart. I feel I have so much more to do for others. I know I will get by with a little help from my friends.

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