Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Too Many Public Libraries But Licensed Librarians Are So Few

Read this link.  QC eyes more libraries Congratulations to the Quezon City Public Library on the new building, online services and book launching! 

Here is news to be happy about but it ends with a sad note. Quezon City LGU is aiming to have more public libraries and barangay reading centers but Mayor Herbert Bautista has a problem. 

“The mayor acknowledged that the lack of vacant spaces and number of licensed librarians in the barangays pose problems.”

This is my issue on RA 9246. 

We can always assert its worth and value, of course. For us lucky ones who passed the board exam for librarians, we only need to comply with CPD points and renew our license regularly. We go back to work and be the best licensed librarian our learning community can be proud of. But, reality tells us that there are only 1000 plus licensed librarians and the numbers are not enough to fill in positions. How many LIS schools are there? How many LIS graduates do these schools generate? Do LIS graduates take the board exam and pass? After getting their license, are they practicing licensed librarians? How many licensed librarians are not practicing the profession? 

We are not even talking about the plight of public school libraries yet. Oh boy... don’t get me started.

Complain and take action if need be. But, setting things to rights does not end there. 

If you have reached this far reading this long post (which I rarely do) and you are a licensed librarian or a nonlibrarian assigned, appointed and employed in a public library most especially, I suggest it’s about time to sit and think through these things with peers and colleagues in the profession: 

Have you visited communities, especially in the provinces with very little human and financial resources to run and man libraries? Have you listened to colleagues in the private and public sectors about their real life  stories in their libraries? You might find more significant info there compared to reports and statistics posted on websites.

What about revisiting the LIS Curriculum through our colleagues in PATLS? What current research will inform us that RA 9246 needs review and revision? How can we advocate LIS as a profession? How can we support those who cannot afford to attend seminars for CPD points?

Not all nonlibrarians we find in our midst are political appointees or assigned in the library by a president we dislike. Some of them are manning libraries because there is a shortage of licensed librarians. While waiting for one who is qualified, these nonlibrarians do us good and they make their learning communities proud. A few I know are way better in work efficiency and output compared to licensed librarians. There are even nonlibrarians who were so inspired by licensed librarians, they pursued further studies, passed the board exam, became
licensed librarians and are now leaders in professional library  organizations, if not, directors of esteemed academic and university libraries. 

In light of the current controversy that has befallen Philipine librarians, let us take a step back and broaden our perspective.

Life, in general, is not a spray of blacks and whites. There are many different colors in between. Gray areas we don’t wish to look nor dwell in because what we might find there will make us uncomfortable. There are rainbows too, which fascinates and lent mirth. Let us be open and be kind especially to people who are so unlike us. 

This is not easy, I know, but the feeling of isolation shall slowly dissipate when you do. This can be the beginning of knowing how to truly love. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...