Saturday, August 31, 2013

IASL Day 5: Closing Ceremonies & Ubud Artists' Village

Five things I will always remember from ALA President, Barbara Stripling, when she delivered her keynote speech on the last day of the IASL Conference in Bali:

a. Balance digital and print resources.

b. Provide collaborative experiences.

c. Foster creativity.

d. Empower youth to TELL stories (my personal favorite, for obvious reasons).

e. Create virtual learning communities.
Visit Barbara Stripling's website to read and share the white paper she wrote about libraries and the power we have to change people's lives.

 Dr. Diljit Singh, IASL President closed the 42nd IASL Conference and led the delegates to usher in representatives from Moscow as the next host of the annual conference in 2014. Congratulations to ATPUSI for a job well done in this 42nd conference of IASL. We dream of one day hosting the IASL Conference in Manila. Or in Cebu; Davao; Tagaytay, perhaps? 

Some photos from the after-conference tour in Ubud.

IASL Day 4: Assembly of Associations, Presentation and Workshop

Highlights of day four of the IASL Conference include the inspirational message of Indonesian authors to tell and write stories in their culture; the plenary session of Rachael Hodgson who shared her reading journey and the remarkable role school libraries played in the development of her reading skills and interests; the assembly of associations where I shared about the National Children's Book Award, the Salanga and Alcala prizes as well as future seminars of the Philippine Association of School Librarians.

After lunch, I attended two sessions. One on Bibliotherapy from Australian librarians and the other on Linguistic equity. Barbara Reid and Siobhan Roulston shared web 2.0 strategies to disseminate books for bibliotherapy. Andrea Paganelli and Cynthia Houston presented research findings on ebooks and linguistic equity. This prompts me to look at ebook purchases and how I can develop our ebook collection that is balanced and equal to all readers.

At my bibliotherapy workshop, Day 4 of the IASL Conference in Bali.

My workshop on Bibliotherapy, being the last session in the conference was attended by twelve participants. All appear to possess a genuine interest on the different models of conducting Bibliotherapy programs in their context and school culture. Kerry Pope from Australia found my topic and workshop as "bursting with potential". This comment inspires me to reflect on my current practice of bibliotherapy in my school, The Beacon Academy, and of the viable and realistic ways to improve it. Claire Napoleon, a librarian and music teacher, requested for the recommended reads I compiled for my students in school. It was a great way to establish links and contacts.

That evening, the Philippine delegate attended the gala dinner and grand auction. The food was good. The company was great. The grand auction was a success! Proceeds of the auction will go to IASL's fund for Books for Children Award, where a school library in dire need of book budget can apply for the grant.

Below are select photos:

At the gala diner with our mentor, Ibu Lourdes David. Ibu in Indonesian means teacher or mother.

Wayang Kulit for auction. I was able to buy a smaller one at the airport.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

IASL 2013: Day 3 South East Asian School Librarians, GID and School Tour

Wednesday, August 28 2013 was day 3 of the IASL Conference and Bali.

Three things happened to me: 1) I volunteered to create an online forum for South East Asian School Librarians; 2) I attended Carol Kuhlthau and Yumiko Kasai's session on Guided Inquiry Design (GID); and 3) I joined the free conference tour at Sekolah Dyatmika, Museum Bali and Krisna Souvenir Shop.

I didn't know what got into me volunteering to do number one, but, I suppose my hunger to continue the conversations with librarians in the region is a big one. I did not meet Carol Kuhlthau but listening to Dr. Kasai is like meeting the fantastic Carol K.

My take away from the session: GID can be used as a pedagogical guide to facilitate reference and research services. While teachers guide students in the first three steps of the GID process, librarians are in it for the ride because by the time students reach the GATHER and CREATE processes, librarians should have a working knowledge on students' progress to continue the scaffolding initiated by teacher and student. Often times, a librarian is surprised to have students in the library researching for this and that without his/her knowledge before hand. The librarian has no context of students' research nor knowledge of students' progress. Again, this calls for team effort between teacher and librarian. I am counting my fingers the teachers whom to seek partnership with in terms of research assistance by the library. There are many ways to assist students in the preparation of PPs and EEs. This is now my "assignment to self", something to echo to school leadership.

After that bewilderment and mental stoking, I joined the rest of the IASL participants in a tour right after lunch. I met online friends and mentors, the great Blanche Woolls, and made new friends with librarians in other countries. Let the photos speak for themselves:

Blanche Woolls was surprised to meet the coauthor of Dianne de Las Casas. She said of my dear friend Dianne: that woman is something else!

Dr. Zulfikar Zen, friend of Dir. Atty Santos of the National Library of the Philippines

With Judy O'Connell. We had a fantastic conversation in the bus on love, life and LIBRARIANSHIP!

Stacey Taylor (L) my workshop leader in an IB Online workshop (2011) and Dr. Kasai, holding up a poster of the GID process. Librarians are rock stars!

Some photos from Sekolah Dyatmika and Museum Bali.

Buddha under a tree.

I don't know who is the statue, but it looked beautiful alongside the dried bougainvillea.

What handsome shelves!

Sekolah Dyatmika uses the Internal Exams of the University of Cambridge.

IASL 2013: Day 2 Concurrent Sessions: Learning Commons & Virtual Spaces

Last Tuesday, August 27, 2013 I attended Ross Todd's session and Lesley Farner's.

Ross Todd presented his research on Collaborative Inquiry in Digital Environments: Cognitive, personal and interpersonal dynamics. The title is a mouthful, I know. And in classic Ross Todd fashion, the whole paper was impressive. He is also very emphatic and passionate when presenting. This man truly loves what he is doing. I often use his studies and research (Rutgers University) for my workshops and training sessions. His work on the school library's role in student achievement is one document I've used over and over again to push for library advocacy initiatives and in developing programs and services in the school library. Needless to say, research has a function in amplifying sound library practice. Practice, in return, fortifies research if not, lead researches to test data once again. It is a cycle of creating and communicating information and it is a fascinating one!

So what brought me to his session last Tuesday? Ross Todd himsel. Yep. I am a fan.

Ross Todd has been to Manila for a lecture. He loves the dried mangoes of Cebu.
 Fan girl mode aside, I was intrigued at the results of the research. While knowledge construction is important in collaborative group work, and one that is valued by students involved in the assigned work, social justice is another aspect of collaboration and cooperation relevant to students. Diversity of view points is valued as well by students, but the struggle to accept and to come to terms with differences is another issue. The discussions and responses that came from the floor were infused with energy. There was engagement.

I sat there and thought about what the research finding has to do with my work as a librarian. For one thing, I am keen on looking at how students build knowledge to construct meaning out of this. The library then should function as a learning commons where students can collaborate not just with their peers but with their teacher librarian. And learning commons is not just about physical or virtual space. More on this in another blog post.

Another session of interest to me was Dr. Farmer's Issues in Teen Technology Use to Find Health Information. My take away from this session is that, libraries can set up reliable virtual spaces where teens can seek information pertaining to health issues and conditions. Librarians can work with counselors, health care professionals to establish a baseline or a context to latch the content on health and well being issues.

I think this online health guide may prove to be a good companion to the Life Skills Collection (aka Bibliotherapy) I'm working on.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PBBY Salanga Prize 2014: Call for Entries

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is now accepting entries for the 2014 PBBY-Salanga Prize. The contest is co-sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and The National Library of the Philippines (NLP). The winner shall receive Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos and a medal. Prizes will be awarded in an appropriate ceremony to be held during the celebration of National Children’s Book Day in July 2014.
  1. The contest is open to all Filipino citizens except those who are related to any PBBY member up to the third degree of consanguinity.
  2. Stories should be intended for children aged 6 to 12 years old. The plot and the sequence must be capable of sustaining an illustrated book of 28 to 32 pages.
  3. Entries may be in Filipino or English.
  4. Entries must be in hard copy, double-spaced, on short bond paper. Maximum length is five (5) pages.
  5. A contestant may send in more than one (1) entry.
  6. Each entry must be signed by a pen name only. Five (5) copies of each entry should be placed in an envelope, on the face of which only the pen name of the contestant should appear.
  7. Together with each entry, contestants must submit a second envelope, on the face of which the pen name shall appear. This must contain the contestant’s full name, address, contact numbers, a short literary background, and a notarized certification from the author, vouching for the originality of the entry and for the freedom of the organizers from any liability arising from the infringement of copyright in case of publication, and affirming that the entry or any variant thereof has (a) never been published nor (b) won any other contest i.e. that it has never won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, honorable mention in any other contest or otherwise been awarded a medal, a citation, or included in a publicized list of meritorious entries to a literary contest.
  8. All entries must be sent through snail mail to the PBBY Secretariat, c/o Adarna House, Inc., Scout Torillo cor. Scout Fernandez Sts., Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City.
  9. All entries must be received by the PBBY Secretariat no later than 5:00 p.m., November 8, 2013.
  10. Winners will be announced no later than December 13, 2013. Non-winning entries will be disposed of by the PBBY Secretariat.
The winning story will be the basis for the 2014 PBBY-Alcala Prize. For more details, interested parties may contact the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, at 3526765 local 203 or email pbby[at]

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

IASL 2013: Librarians & Friends of the Library From All Over

Ayse Yuksel-Durukan from Turkey who shall tell me a story about trees.

Pilar Francisco form Qatar Academy, an IB World School. Beside her is Waldet Cueto of Rizal Library.

Dr. Rachmawaty reads School Librarian in Action

With Inez, who looks so young!

With Mrs. Raina Singh, First Lady of IASL

Mutsumi from Kyoto, Japan who teaches cultural studies.

IASL 2013 Day 1: Opening Ceremony

I have attended one workshop and two paper/research presentations already in the IASL 2013 Annual Conference but the opening ceremony was only done after lunch today. The program consisted of speeches from the Indonesian Minister of Education, Mohammad Nuh; the director of the National Library of Indonesia Dir. Sri Sularshi; and beloved IASL President, Dr. Diljit Singh.

Holding a miniature Philippine flag. Ma'am Lou David was our flag bearer.
 Keynote speech for the plenary session was given by newly elected president of IFLA, Sinikka Sipila. There were two things I got from her keynote address: the IFLA Trend Report and the three areas of focus that her leadership will address as far as school libraries are concerned. These are access, inclusion, and capacity building.

Like in any opening program, there were dances and music. Guests and participants were treated to an exotic and unique welcome of Balinese dancing. The dancers were high school seniors in Denpasar School number 3. The young men who played the music were high school seniors too. Even the hosts of the program were both seniors. I enjoyed listening to the Indonesian national anthem because of its pleasant melody but also because, it was sung by young people. How apt! Their presence amplified one of the many raison de'etre of school librarians!

With the two young Balinese host. They did a fantastic job!

You're doing something right, Indonesia! Bravo!

Monday, August 26, 2013

IASL 2013 Pre-Conference Workshop: School Libraries on the Agenda: An IFLA/IASL Project

The IASL 2013 Conference here in Bali hasn't kicked off yet. But I had a full morning sitting in the Pre-Conference Workshop on School Library Advocacy.

Finally, I met Dianne Oberg, Lourense Das and Luisa Marquardt whose names and professional articles I only read in the IASL mailing list and online journals. The trio handled a session on School Library Advocacy with a special input by Dr. Lesley Farmer via audio-presentation. They were all fantastic.

Lisa Marquardt is an epitome of dedication and commitment. Italian school librarians should better take care of their champion because advocates like her are rare. Dianne Oberg was quick to add and amplify points discussed during the workshop. I found Lourense Das' facilitating skills as learner centered, drawing out insights and from the participants and binding significant concepts or "take aways" at the end of the session. This reminds me of the Harkness Discussion we do in school. Inquiry is encouraged and the expression of thought processes come into play to construct and deconstruct ideas, create knowledge and further question the construct.

Rosa-Jane French, school librarian from New Zealand arranges our group's stickies.
The clamor for stronger advocacy for school libraries is not, for me, a new idea. This has been discussed in the conferences I attended in Bangkok (IFLA-UNESCO, 2002), Hong Kong (IASL, 2006). With current professional upgrades in the professionalization of librarianship in the Philippines, Filipino librarians are challenged to rise above the standards even more. There is a need to WALK the TALK; for more collaborative efforts, not just with colleagues, but with lawmakers and stakeholders.

Lastly, the workshop was the highlight of the session for me because it gave me a chance to listen to librarians from "all over". This is why I am so eager to attend the IASL again. I am hungry to join in the conversation.

Jude Gorospe's moment. Go! Filipino Librarians! Go!

I look forward to reading the revised IFLA School Library Manifesto and meeting Ross Todd, Carol Kuhlthau, Judy O'Connell and Mahdu Bhargava in person.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The 34th Manila International Book Fair

Here we go again. It is that time of year when we spend our hard earned cash on books. 

As usual, the events, book launches, talks and seminars are scheduled during the fair. For a comprehensive list here's the">link to the five day book fest

Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Launch: My Daddy! My One and Only!

I was at the The Green Spine book fair at DLSU Taft, Henry Sy Learning Commons last week. It was the re-launching of A Tale of Two Dreams and My Daddy! My One and Only! Jomike Tejido was there so after my short lecture, we had book signing.

I was so busy meeting friends I have not met in a long while that Jomike and I did not have a photo together. Nonetheless, I'm hoping this is not the last tandem guesting we will have. Despite our busy schedules, I am optimistic to plan and do a book party on our boo, My Daddy! My One and Only!

Hmm...which makes me think of visiting Mindoro this year so Bernadette Solina-Wolf and I can celebrate our book, A Tale of Two Dreams, with folks there in Mindoro.

With friends after the lecture and book launch/signing.
Thank you to DLSU Taft librarians for organizing the event, especially to Ms. Jo

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Aklatan 2013

Aklatan in English translates to library.

But the Aklatan event on September 11, 2013 pertains to a book fair that highlights Filipino books on sale. What makes this book fair interesting is its promotional pitch: date your favorite Pinoy writer. What a way to meet and greet your favorite author!

Aklatan 2013 is spearheaded by Visprint, Inc. and the National Book Development Board. Read more via">

Friday, August 16, 2013

Author Visit: Marivi Soliven Blanco

Preparing for an author's visit is one library event I enjoy doing. I get excited promoting, not just the author and his/her book, but reading their books too.

Last Wednesday, August 14, 2013 I took charge of hosting Ms. Marivi Soliven Blanco's visit to the school. She discussed the publication journey of her novel, The Mango Bride (Penguin Group, 2012) as well as the process she went through to see it published in the US. She gave an emphatic reading of an excerpt from the book complete with props, facial expression and body language. She delightfully answered the smart questions of our young Griffins which is proof that her session with them was an engaging one.

Ms. Soliven has taught creative writing at the University of San Diego and the University of the Philippines. Her essays and short stories are published nationally and internationally. The Mango Bride is her first novel published abroad. 

Excerpts of Ms. Soliven's works can be read online via her website

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The 3rd Filipino ReaderCon

It's back!

And it looks like the organizers are reformatting this year's program. But they're keeping the Reader's Choice Awards! Happiness!

Nomination guidelines can be read here. If you're a Filipino book blogger and you have not registered, go here.

Happy reading! Happy book blogging!

Mabuhay ang mambabasang Pinoy!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

IASL Annual Conference 2013: Program & List of Speakers

The conference program of the 42nd IASL Annual Conference in Bali, Indonesia is already online. It can be viewed in this link, Main Program. My workshop on Bibliotherapy is scheduled on August 29, 2013 under Concurrent Session 5.

I'm going over the list of sessions and ticking which ones to attend. The pre-conference workshops look good too. I am excited to meet school librarians I know online. I'll definitely sit in Ross Todd's session and Carol Kuhlthau's too. I will have to muster enough courage for a photo op with them. I'm on fan girl mode!

Here are links to blog posts on my first IASL Conference, circa 2005.

Blogging in HKU (Hong Kong University). In this post, I wrote about my initial impression on the Hong Kong University. I still remember the lotus pond in campus.

IASL Conference Day 3. Here is where I wrote my reflections on the concurrent sessions I attended. It was 2005, and at the time, I was already wondering, ruminating on the use of technology in instruction; that it is grounded on sound pedagogy. My question was this: As a school librarian, how can I promote elearning that is grounded on effective teaching practices and productive pedagogy?

I think I need to go back to that question and further reflect on my experiences from 2005 to the present time.

IASL Conference Continuation. Wow. This post surprised me. I did not realize how brave I was then. Here's what I wrote, way back in 2005 --

Pinoy School Librarians may be busy with ICT's and library automation, but to use ICT's to create, manage and share knowledge is still left to be desired. We're still hampered by traditional roles that somehow do not answer realistic needs of our clients in the school.
Lastly, here's the last post of an echo session of the IASL 2005 Conference I did in a previous lifetime. 

What insights will this IASL Conference bring me? I sure have a lot of reflection to do in connecting the past with the present time.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Looking for Andoy: Cool Logos

Source: Pangulong Boni

Source: Bonifacio 2013. The Official Gazette

Saturday, August 10, 2013

SLIA's Dear Librarian: Children's Books that Reflect Filipino Values

August is Buwan ng Wika.

A few months back, librarian Augie Ebreo sent a private message over at Facebook on children's books that show and reflect Filipino culture and values. This is his message in Filipino:

Ma'am tulong lang po. Pwede po ba makahingi ng inyong mungkahi kung ano ang mga pamagat ng iba't-iba't kwentong pambata na may kinalaman o kaugnayan sa paghubog at pagpapahalaga ng kultura ng mga Filipino?
 I will post my reply to Mr. Ebreo in the coming week.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Launch: A Tale of Two Dreams & My Daddy! My One and Only!

On August 15, I will be at the De La Salle Taft University Library to speak on children's literature and book publishing. The activity is in line with their book fair, The Green Spine, and their book drive project, Turn 1 into a Million. 

My two new books, My Daddy! My One and Only, illustrated by Jomike Tejido and A Tale of Two Dreams, illustrated by Bernadette Solina-Wolf will be launched. Lampara Books will sell copies. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Filipino Librarian: Venus Ibarra Guyos

Filipino librarian for this month of August is Mrs. Venus Ibarra Guyos. It seems that Mrs. Ibarra Guyos has been studying all her life. She has an AB in English and a BSED in Library Science degrees. She holds a masters degree in Library and Information Science and is currently pursuing PhD studies. A true scholar indeed! She is connected with the University of St. Louis, Tuguegarao.

 a. What's your lib story?

Spanking new from college, I picked English teaching as my first job. I lasted for a semester. The following term, I was offered a scholarship by University of Saint Louis (USL) Tuguegarao. The scholarship covered studying in Saint Louis University (SLU) Baguio, gratis, 50% grant on lodge and uninterrupted salaries (!). Plus who would not like Baguio’s freezing breeze? There was nothing to lose, only another diploma to gain. So there, Bachelor of Secondary Education major in Library Science went underway. Fast forward to 2006, I graduated and became the 5008th librarian in the Philippines. 5008th! What a dearth!

College life in USL, I thought, was difficult. I didn’t know, it would pale in comparison to what awaited me in SLU. I had two daily struggles: getting up and taking a bath. Much of the difficulties in library science academics came from my long unspoken distance from libraries. Not that I hate libraries. It’s just that I have never developed any affiliation with any of it for the past 20 years or so of my life. It took a semester to know and eventually fall in love with it. Then just like the ocean, the love grew deeper as I moved farther.
b. What has been the greatest challenge you've faced so far as a licensed and working librarian? Why do you say it's a challenge?

Five years throwback, I used to manage a Grade School Library and I was alone. My only aid came from two working students who would render 4 hours a day. Plus, I implemented a no-noon break expanded library hours: 7:00 am to 6:00. Plus, plus, I launched a Library Reading Program with Grade 1. Plus, plus, plus I had part-time teaching units as English Instructor at the College Department of USL. That was quite a job. Physically exhausting! Yet, I didn’t know I could do much until then.

c. What is your area of expertise in LIS?

I would have to say reader services. I like being in touch with clients. I enjoy conversing with them and assisting them. I love teaching and coaching them. I also take pleasure in coming up with and/or adopting cool ideas on how to make the Library more attractive to clients.
d. What do you think are the requirements and preparations necessary for becoming a LIS professional?

A library professional must be a reader. Library profession is a Survival of the “Readingest”. I would always tell my students, reading is the core of our profession. Let’s get hooked with it.

e. What rewards have you reaped from being a LIS professional?

I have had the rare opportunity of attending 1, 2, 3 or more seminars every year, which fortuitously have been held in many tourist destinations in the country. I was part of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (2009) visiting countries like Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei. To this date, I am thinking, the uniqueness of my work is one major reason why I was chosen as a participating youth. Admittedly, I couldn’t have explored the different cities of the Philippines if the expenses were on me. I have seen great libraries, met great librarian and the doors to reading and books opened wide. Working in a Library, I have the luxury of free reads. I am literally crowded with books, how about that?! 

When I’m with other professionals, I feel like, I’m the only one who knows what I know about my field and I’m guessing I’m pretty good at it (shameless plug). I know a little of what they know or have read and heard a bit of it somehow. But they? They don’t know have the slightest clue of what I do. (Pun unintended!) Librarianship is awesome! Exclusively ours!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

IL Lesson Plans of MUNPARLAS Participants (2 of 4)

Here is the lesson plan of Ms. Marifi Navarro, school librarian of Elizabeth Seton School.

IL Lesson Plans by MUNPARLAS Participants (1 of 4)

I gave a "homework" to participants of the seminar-workshop on Information Literacy (IL) sponsored and hosted by MUNPARLAS last July 19, 2013. I asked them to submit an IL lesson plan that has the following contents: objectives, learning experience, evaluation and feedback. Three librarians rose up to the challenge. They are Rosalinda Timbol, Marifi Navarro and Regine Abool.

Ms. Timbol and Ms. Navarro are school librarians from Elizabeth Seton School. Ms. Abool is a library assistant in the school library of the Divine Light Academy, Las Pinas.

My first illustrated story book. Illustrator is Bernadette Solina-Wolf who is based in Puerto Galera, Mindoro.

Congratulations to all three! Their lesson plans will be posted in the blog this month. I will also send them an autographed copy of my new illustrated story book, A Tale of Two Dreams (Lampara House, 2013).
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