Monday, July 30, 2018

The National Library of the Philippines is On the Move (1 of 3)

Since the #NationalNonLibrarian controversy erupted early this year, the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) remained mum. There were no press releases (PR) after a short television interview given by its acting/assistant Director. It seems that, as of writing, the issue has died down.

Life goes on. For everyone.

While a few bemoan the lack of PR, both on the issue in question and about the programs and activities that the NLP implements (there are select photos and posts on Facebook by NLP librarians on library events but, nothing official), they continue on. I think the silent treatment is a classy response to all the hulabaloo. Being quiet can be a good shield against the media hounds.

But let me tell you this, the NLP is on the move!

By conducting training workshops in the development of mother tongue books and teaching materials, the NLP is reaching out to different communities in the regions. Since 2016, a core group of librarians have visited provinces and partnered with the local government units to activate the children's library services of the public libraries. One way they do this revitalization is by telling stories, conducting workshops, training teachers and librarians to craft and create stories in the language of their home, family, community and locality.

I have seen them in action last summer for I was an invited trainer and facilitator in the NLP's workshop in developing materials in the mother tongue for teaching and reading in Cagayan De Oro, Misamis Oriental. The NLP librarians I met and spent two days of training were quiet workers who, like you and me, are learning constantly as they practice the profession. What's more, I met leaders in the NLP who show a genuine concern for grass roots development.

Sometimes, we need to go out of our comfort zones to see a bigger perspective of the world. Once in a while, we have to burst our own bubble and bravely enter another's to listen and to see their world. Only then can we truly understand, not just others, but our selves too,

My one-day workshop along side the NLP leaders and librarians was, on different levels, an enlightening one.

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