Monday, November 27, 2017

Days 2-3 of the 7th Rizal Library International Conference: Connecting Libraries, Information & Community Knowledge

Congratulations to the Rizal Library, to Dr. Vernon R. Totanes and his competent and dependable staff for a successful celebration of its 50th year! The celebration was indeed, golden!

They launched a time train exhibit highlighting innovations and innovators that set the Rizal Library as a modern academic portal with an efficient and professional staff that continuously relate to its learning community with a love and loyalty akin to Rizal's relationship with the Philippines. I thought I have seen a good looking library mascot in its arch rival school, but Rizal Library's "Pepe" has to be the better looking one. Sorry, Jolibee, I know you have cool dance moves, but a young Jose Rizal mascot is my choice at the end of the day.

They conducted the 7th Rizal Library International Conference with paper presenters from the US, Singapore, Indonesia, Barbados, Australia and of course, the Philippines. The cadre of keynote speakers, the majority of them are non-librarians, are true lovers of books, libraries and the written word.

Dr. Reina Reyes, Ph.D. dazzled! She glowed as she spoke about the stories that lie beneath big data and how librarians can mine them to its potential. She bubbled with joy and I wondered about the books she read as a child. Dr. Nikki Carsi Cruz, Ph.D. is a historian and she knew the power of stories and when to appropriately use them. A friend from the book industry, Christine Bellen, took participants, visitors and guests to Calamba and back to Manila in her musical, Batang Rizal. Respect to Jerry Respeto for the accessible music that delighted everyone in the room. My favorite, so far, is the Kuwento Rap with Monkey and Tortoise dancing about, enacting the famous Tagalog folktale that launched a thousand Filipino tales and storybooks for children.

Paper presenters were a mix of young and seasoned researchers, academicians, dreamers and visionaries. Where else can you find an interdisciplinary conference with an international appeal, but in the Rizal Library International Conference. Pioneered by Hon. Lourdes T. David, her former team of librarians stayed true to her mission and legacy of fostering academic research in Library and Information Science by staging a gathering of curious, critical and creative thinkers in one big hall. Only this time, the younger set of librarians in the Rizal Library showed more - magis, by crossing content and accepting research subjects that will enrich the practice of LIS and the production of research in the discipline.

In the process, the Rizal Library library and staff succeeded in creating a research community beyond Katipunan and Loyola Heights.

I came. I saw. I CLICKED. See you in the next Rizal Library International Conference!

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