Friday, November 10, 2017

The Lighthouse Diary Entry 6: Works of Students As Part of the Library Collection

The International School Manila I know as a child has a Children's Media Center where I would visit during summer break. Of the many collections of books in the library, there was a special shelf for books made and written by students. Most of the books were short stories and collection of folktales, poetry and essays written in English class. The librarians and teachers in ISM value their students literacy journey that they included them in the library's collection.

As an eight year old reader, seeing books made by kids and reading them made a lasting impression. I discovered that shelf filled with books, bound by hand and some by a binding machine written by kids my age and older. There were stories similar to The Little Prince with towering trees and starry skies. There were books on folk tales jazzed up into crazy and contemporary versions from old motifs (this was in the 80s). I was in awe. I wanted to write too! So, I did by starting a journal. It was only years and years later that I gathered up the courage to write my own stories.

In Xavier School, while working as a school librarian in the Early Education unit, I teamed up with Nursery and Prep teachers for book projects. Our boys made picture books, wordless books, counting books and flash cards they can use for telling stories. I kept them in a special cabinet. Now I wonder if those books and storytelling flash cards are still in the EED Library.

Fast forward to where I am today.

Imagine my joy when I discovered a packet of zines on my table one morning!

The zines were made by our grade 10s and our English teacher donated them to the library. What precious additions to the library's collection! Apart from the Personal Projects and copies of Extended Essays, I am a proud curator and guardian of these "books" and student made projects. 

A few years ago, I was part of the team who organized the Early Readers Online Project. Our high school students made stories for readers in the early grades and these are all accessible on our school's website. The stories can be downloaded for free. Visit the Community and Service of the Beacon Academy.

Ah, a few of the many things I love about my job. - being a part of the creative process as well as designing structures for data and information access so knowledge can be derived from them thrills me to no end (I know I am geeking you out!) The best thing is, I get to curate, chronicle, and document these symbols and representations of thought and creativity. What a privilege!

I know so little. Yet, I am happy knowing only this much.

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