The most important fact that those taking the Librarians' Licensure Examination (LLE) need to remember is that it is an exam. No amount of experience, impressive credentials, or years of service will change the fact that if you cannot answer enough questions correctly, then you will not pass the exam.
There are many ways of studying for the exam. Listed below are what I found helpful when I was preparing for the exam last year. Read them and use what you think is appropriate for you.
Join a review class. It may seem expensive but the discipline of going to classes, not to mention the guilt you'll feel if you're absent, will help prepare you to take the exam not just intellectually, but also psychologically. In case you didn't enroll in one of the once-a-week review classes, you can still sign up for daily review classes from October 3-15, including weekends, at UP's Institute of Library and Information Science.
Take mock exams seriously. Make sure you have a complete set of questionnaires and answer keys. If you aren't attending a review class, photocopy the mock exams of someone who's enrolled in one. Or you can try and look in bookstores for The Complete Reviewer for Librarian's Licensure Examination, vol. 3, ed. Juan Buenrostro (Quezon City: 2002). The questions, from 1998 and 1999 review classes, are a bit dated, but still helpful. Just be aware that not all the answers provided in the answer key are correct.
Use an answer sheet for mock exams. Don't write on the questionnaires. Why? So you can use them again. While you're answering the mock exam, mark answers that you're not sure of. When you check your answers, highlight the answers that you got right by guessing and try to understand how you got them right. Highlight your wrong answers using a different color and analyze why you got them wrong.
After a few days or weeks, take the mock exams all over again. Compare the results. Look at the the number of guesses you're making. Are they increasing or decreasing? Are you making mistakes on questions you answered correctly before? Or are you still making the same mistakes? If you did better the second time around, then you're on the right track. If you did worse, then you're doing something wrong. If you have time, take them again.
Time yourself. The amount of time given for a test will vary depending on the subject, but 100 questions will be asked for each subject. If on the third try, you're answering all the questions in less than 30 minutes, then you're ready for the exams. But looking for other mock exams to answer would still be a good idea.
One of the most useful tips I got from last year's review classes was from Sharon Esposo: If the test is constructed fairly, you should be able to eliminate two of the four choices easily. Try doing this with the mock exams.
Relax. What's important is that you get used to answering multiple choice questions. Don't try to memorize everything you get your hands on. But be sure you know how call numbers are assigned for LC and DDC. Being familiar with the subjects from A-Z and 0-990 will be helpful. Again, no need to memorize. What's important is that given four choices, you can eliminate two right away because you know that they belong to the wrong letter or number.
Don't fight the exam. It exists. There is a law that says we cannot practice our profession legally unless we pass the exam. If you would like to change the law, you may opt not to take the exam and wait until the law is replaced with one you like (but be prepared to wait a loooong time). Or you can take the exam, pass it and then work to have the law changed for the benefit of future librarians.
Category: Licensed Librarians
The most important fact that those taking the Librarians' Licensure Examination (LLE) need to remember is that it is an exam. No amount of experience, impressive credentials, or years of service will change the fact that if you cannot answer enough questions correctly, then you will not pass the exam.
In "Public school teacher needs help to get books for school library" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 28 September 2005), Tita Datu Puangco reprints a letter that ends with the following:
Are my efforts really futile? I don't think so... I will press on till I see our library full of books and students having a great time reading.If you would like to help this public school teacher with a dream or just encourage her to continue, her email address is agnesb712000-at-yahoo-dot-com. I hope there will be more like her who will not give up on public school libraries. Let's help her.
Category: Libraries—Public Schools
Pupu Platter was the name of a column that Ari Ngaseo used to write for a campus magazine. The column was named after an item that is usually found in the menus of Americanized Chinese restaurants. The blog, however, has nothing to do with food.
Instead, Ngaseo's blog is a repository of Filipiniana: book covers, excerpts (entire chapters!), tables of contents, and abstracts of articles published in English-language academic journals. Most of the materials are on Philippine history and culture. There are also occasional tips, such as how the New Left Review may be accessed for free.
The site is perfect for those who would like to scan books that can't be found in local bookstores, read chapters of out-of-print books, or look for books and articles for a bibliography. And, of course, librarians looking for books to acquire or articles that users need should bookmark this site.
Check out the sidebar, too, because it has:
- Ngaseo's email address, which will be very useful if you want to ask for soft copies of the articles;
- the search box at the bottom, which makes it possible to search the entire blog; and
- the list of online booksellers, which will be helpful for those who would like to buy any of the featured books.
Category: Filipiniana Online
Precious Lara Quigaman is the fourth Filipina ever to win the Miss International title and the first in more than two decades to win a major title. Check out her photos at the Binibining Pilipinas website.
But if you, like many Filipinos, are a beauty queen fan, visit Veestar's galleries devoted to the Philippine representatives to the Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International pageants. Each page has all the names, photos and distinctions garnered by Filipinas. Clicking on a photo will lead to a page with the list of that year's winners, semifinalists, special awards and more photos.
Categories: Filipiniana Online, Filipina
I finally finished categorizing my posts manually last week. Maybe someday I'll have time to go back to each post and add the correct category link. In the meantime, I hope this helps =)
Category: About Filipino Librarian
How do you "sell" librarians? Simple. Let people know that librarians are not nameless, faceless people. That we exist. I am particularly frustrated when libraries are featured in the newspapers and the writer quotes so many people except the librarian, whose name is not even mentioned. How do you change the image of librarians? Not as simple, but we can start by telling people about the outstanding librarians.
Today I will begin a long-delayed series about outstanding librarians, as awarded by the Professional Regulation Commission since 1992. If you know a previous awardee or you are a previous awardee, please send a photo and the citation to von-dot-totanes-at-gmail-dot-com. I hope to eventually feature all the awardees.
I thought of doing this because when I was still working on my MLIS, I wondered whether there were any "famous" Filipino librarians. I searched online and off but found very few. I think I've written about all of them already (see Librarians).
And then I learned that there was such a thing as an award for the Outstanding Professional Librarian. But I could not find a list of previous winners anywhere. Well, I hope this can serve as the beginning of one.
Senior Chief Staff Officer
Supreme Court of the Philippines
For her vital role in the development of the Supreme Court e-Library, the first online library of complete Philippine legal information and the advancement of the role of librarians in information management and technology; for exhibiting professional competence in the search for the private collection of retired justices and research of unpublished Supreme court decisions from 1901-1945; for successfully initiating the organization of the Court Librarians Association of the Philippines, a national organization of licensed court librarians; for her commendable efforts to maintain retrieval and reference system in the Supreme Court Library, thereby developing a number of legal research tools such that have been widely adopted here and abroad; and for her able and dynamic leadership of the Philippine Librarian Association, Inc., the Philippine Group of Law Library Associations, and the Association of Special Librarians of the Philippines as National President.
Thank you to Grace Tabiendo for forwarding the photo and citation.
Disclosure: I am an alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University. I volunteered to work for eight hours a week at the Rizal Library for one semester while I was working on my MLIS. But no, I was neither paid nor asked to do this.How do you "sell" a library? This was the question I was trying to answer in "Sex in the Library." But since I can't claim to be an expert on marketing libraries (because I have practically no experience working in a library), it might be better if I just pointed to a real-life example: the Ateneo de Manila University's Rizal Library.
You can also appreciate what else the Rizal Library does by looking at its website, which offers not just its online catalog but samples of the Information Products it sells to local and foreign libraries, links to available Resources, Special Collections, and upcoming Events.
Speaking of events, the Rizal Library made it to the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer not just once, but twice since I started this blog (see "ALIWW" and "Early Maps of the Philippines"). And then, of course, there is the fact that the Rizal Library recognizes that its customers are not just the faculty and students, but the university itself and the larger community outside the campus.
This, I believe, is the reason it is hosting an "International Conference on Challenges in Preserving and Managing Cultural Heritage Resources" on October 19-21. Speakers and participants will be coming from literally all over the world: Asia, North America and Africa. Aside from providing Filipinos the chance to benefit from the conference (students are welcome to observe for free!), it also raises the university's profile in the international community. And the most amazing thing? There is no school of library and information science at the Ateneo de Manila University.
Don't take my word for it. Read the articles, visit the website, attend the conference, tour the Rizal Library. And if you think there's a Filipino library out there doing a better job of selling itself, let me know. It will be my pleasure to write about it.
See also "Librarian Sex."Nope, it's not what you think. But if you're reading this because of the title, then I guess the old saying "Sex sells" is still very true. Some librarians have taken this literally:
- Librarians pose for sexy calendar to raise money (full text reproduced below due to broken link)
- Librarians break character, pose for calendar (broken link)
- Librarians strip off their dust jackets for charity calendar
Just in case you're wondering, Clair and I were discussing Linux and libraries. I said that both have image problems. That's why Microsoft was getting a lot of attention at a Linux conference. And that's why I think readers seem to patronize bookstores more than libraries.
Clair asked in a comment to my comment if i could write about "marketing for libraries." Here's a short answer:
- It is necessary that librarians acknowledge that an image problem exists, that it's not just a budget problem. Is it really just because libraries have no budget that nobody uses libraries? I don't think so.
- And then there are the four Ps:
Product - What exactly is it that libraries are "selling"? Is it books, information, research assistance? Librarians need to decide what exactly their product is.
Price - It's all supposed to be free (except for a few things like photocopying), but why don't users flock to the library the way customers spend money at the bookstore? This will need a separate post, but please leave a comment if you have an answer.
Place - Are libraries situated strategically? Or are they up in the fifth floor where there's no elevator? The environment counts, too. Is it dark, cramped, dusty?
Promotions - No one will buy something if they don't know it exists. But how can people not know that the library exists? Well, they know about it, but why is it that some students are proud of the fact that they graduated from school without ever setting foot in the library?
- Finally, the so-called fifth P: Positioning. This is really about image and encompasses all of the four Ps. Think about what would have happened to the image of librarians if one of the four leads in Sex and the City had been a librarian. Or what if the women in Desperate Housewives were having affairs not with plumbers and gardeners, but librarians?
From Google's cache of http://www.stg.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/12566611.htm as retrieved on 30 Sep 2005 12:15:40 GMT.
Posted on Mon, Sep. 19, 2005
Librarians pose for sexy calendar to raise money
WAUPACA, Wis. - Projecting an image very different from that in which librarians are usually portrayed, six area library administrators have produced a sexy calendar they are selling to raise money for their libraries.
The idea for the "Desperate Librarians" 2006 wall calendar came about because Craig Lahm is retiring after 32 years of running Kaukauna's library, and his colleagues in the Outagamie Waupaca Library System wanted to come up with a different kind of gift.
Twelve of them decided they would use photographs of themselves to make a simple calendar that they would print at a Walgreens. But after the librarians took their idea to Countryside Photographers in Seymour, they decided to professionally produce a calendar and sell it as a fund-raiser.
That's when six of the 12 librarians bailed out. But five middle-aged library directors and a 32-year-old assistant each put up $200 and posed provocatively, using oversize books to cover what their clothes usually do.
Proceeds benefit the public libraries in Weyauwega, Clintonville, Marion, Seymour and Manawa as well as Waupaca.
The women appear to be naked in many of the photos, but all were at least partly clothed during the shoot, said Ellen Connor, Manawa's library director.
The six who took part in the project posed for two months each.
Connor said the women knew their idea was offbeat, so they decided to put up their own money, rather than ask their library boards to foot the bill. But they all got permission from their boards to participate and agreed to donate any profits to their libraries, she said.
Lisa Hein, 32, the assistant director at Marion's library, said the Marion city budget is so tight that the library may not be able to raise spending in 2006 even to cover the increased costs of utilities. If sales of "Desperate Librarians" take off, it would help, she said.
Aklatang Pambata [Children's Library], the community library being built "through the efforts of Laging Pahinungod, a volunteer organization of the University of the Philippines Diliman" has been featured in "Old house with a new role" by Julie M. Aurelio (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 20 September 2005). I hope they're able to raise the money they need because of the publicity the article will bring.
My only grouse is that Alistair Troy Lacsamana, the project’s overall coordinator, is not identified as a librarian. But don't mind me, I just dream of the day when a person is automatically identified as a librarian in news articles... like doctors, lawyers, etc.
Incidentally, check out Aklatang Pambata Online, which details the library's different activities and how volunteers can help. I've been wanting to write about it and how the private sector really seems to be taking on the role of establishing public libraries, but never quite found the time. Well, it looks like now's a good time =)
The Sound of Music celebrates the 40th anniversary of its release this year. According to "The Hills Still Resonate" by Todd S. Purdum (New York Times, 30 May 2005),
...40 years ago this Memorial Day weekend, "The Sound of Music" was not just the summer movie of 1965. It was the spring, fall and winter one, too, and in inflation-adjusted dollars, it remains the third-biggest-grossing film of all time at the domestic box office...The movie was nominated for ten Oscars and won five, including Best Picture and Best Director for Robert Wise, who died recently (see "Robert Wise, Film Director, Dies at 91" [New York Times, 15 September 2005]). Nope, sorry, Julie Andrews didn't win an Oscar that year.
But did you know that it all started with a book? If you'd like to know how different the movie was from the musical and the book, check out the "research paper" that I wrote at the the age of 17. I've made a few corrections in punctuation and documentation, but I have not made significant changes.
The Sound of Music: Book to Musical to Movie
In 1949, a critic said that The Story of the Trapp Family Singers was “a book that [would] appeal to the general public.”  Little did she know that nine years later, inspired by the success of a German film based on the book, a director would bring Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lindsay and Crouse, and Mary Martin together in a Broadway musical  that would appeal so much to the general public it became “the fourth longest-running musical in the history of the New York theater.”  And this critic could also hardly have known that sixteen years after the book was published, the film based on the Broadway musical would be so appealing to the general public that not only would it run for more than a year in one city,  The Sound of Music would become the second top-grossing film of all time (next only to Gone With the Wind), making so much money the trade press referred to it “...(very respectfully) as The Sound of Money.” 
Nevertheless, it would be hard to pinpoint exactly what brought about all these success stories, for the movie was hardly the musical recorded on film, and the musical was also hardly the book set to music. Each had its own weaknesses and strengths, and appealed to its respective audience in a different way. And although much was lost when The Story of the Trapp Family Singers was adapted by Rodgers and Hammerstein into a musical—which in turn was adapted for the screen—The Sound of Music more than compensated for these deficiencies.
Book to Musical
Much was lost when The Story of the Trapp Family Singers became The Sound of Music, the musical. For one thing, there were already nine Trapp children, not seven, by the time the Trapps left Austria. This can be attributed to the fact that the Captain and Maria were married even before the Nazis invaded Austria. The Baroness Elsa Schrader, who was in fact Princess Yvonne in the book, was not a Nazi supporter—which, in the musical, was the reason given for the Captain’s breaking his engagement with her. The engagement, in reality, was broken because the Captain discovered that he was in love, not with the Princess, but with Maria. But if a case for authenticity and faithfulness to the book were to be made, these differences, and many more like it, would all be minor in light of the fact that the musical accounted for only one half of the book. 
As was the case with All the President’s Men which “ended halfway through the Woodward and Bernstein effort,”  the musical ended halfway through Maria Augusta Trapp’s book. But while the film on Watergate captured the essence of the characters, this was not so with the musical. The Trapp Family Singers were not just a singing family, theirs was a family which was “half orchestra and half religious community.”  And this was not more evident than in the latter half of the book where the author related their experiences in America, revealing just how much they were praying all the time.
Musical to Movie
A lot was also lost when The Sound of Music, the musical, became The Sound of Music, the movie, but not as much as when the book was turned into a musical. Basically, it was still the same as the musical except for a few songs that were deleted altogether, and the movement of a few other songs earlier or later than they were sung in the musical. But the most important deletion to which lovers of Hammerstein’s lyrics would most certainly have objected was the loss of Mary Martin’s favorite, where she sings, “A bell is no bell till you ring it/ A song is no song till you sing it/ And love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay/ Love isn’t love till you give it away.” 
Such loss is not uncommon when adaptations are made from other media. They are to be expected, for what will work in a book will not always work on stage or on screen. Objections voiced by those who loved the book or the stage version or the movie (in case a book or stage version is made based on the movie) should not be taken too seriously. “...Such objections are always raised when literature is used as a basis for a musical play... no doubt Charles Gounod was more than once informed that Faust was a vulgarization of Goethe.” 
But in spite of what was lost, the two versions of The Sound of Music were huge successes. And since this could not have been due to what was lost, it must have had something to do with what was added. Not the least of which was the sound of music.
The Sound of Music
The importance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s contribution cannot be overemphasized for “the very sound of music [was] the heart and substance and often even the plot itself.”  The Trapp family was a family of singers and although the reader travels with them as they tour America, and shares in their initial unsuccessful ventures and eventual triumphs, the reader never gets to listen to them and discover for himself why “no group travels farther and gives more performances than the Trapp Family Singers.”  True, the songs written were “entirely new music and not... songs from the Trapp family’s repertoire,”  but then they did contribute greatly to an appreciation of the Trapps as a singing family. And, as most everyone who’s ever hummed “Do-Re-Mi” knows, they didn’t exactly turn off the audience either.
What the sound of music was for the adaptation from book to musical, the Austrian Alps were for the adaptation from musical to movie. Whereas the musical merely suggested mountains, The Sound of Music, the movie, actually brought the viewer to Austria. “From the opening shot the... film, whose exteriors were photographed in and around Salzburg, is a thing of great visual beauty.”  There is nothing more awe-inspiring than Julie Andrews singing of the hills with “exteriors of breathtaking loveliness and utmost authenticity... [and] the full grandeur of grass-covered Alps and sudden valleys”  looming above and below. And when the family leaves to climb every mountain on their way to freedom, “the sun-drenched emerald of wind-swept mountain tops... conveys not only the look of the landscape, but the very smell and feel of the warm and bracing air.”  Thus, as in All the President’s Men, letting “the audience supply their eventual triumph.” 
From book to musical to movie, changes were made. Changes that could hardly have been avoided, for no audience would have sat through a stage version of the whole of Maria Augusta Trapp’s book. Rolf and Liesl’s relationship, though fictional, was also necessary, bringing Maria and Liesl closer to each other and setting up the climax as well. Changes will always be made for as long as there are books to turn into movies, movies to turn into plays, plays to turn into musicals, and movies to turn into books. “What matters is not what [was] lost, but what [was] retained and what [was] created out of that.” 
 Helen E. Bush, “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers,” Library Journal, 15 December 1949, 1908.
 “Mary, Not Contrary,” Newsweek, 30 November 1959, 33.
 Abe Laufe, Broadway’s Greatest Musicals (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1973) 252.
 Laufe, 252.
 Pauline Kael, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1968) 176.
 Maria Augusta Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (New York: Image Books, 1957) 10-126.
 William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade (New York: Warner Books, 1983) 324.
 Katherine Bregy, “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers,” Catholic World, January 1950, 319.
 “Mary, Not Contrary,” 32-33.
 Clive Barnes, “Introduction to Fiddler on the Roof,” 50 Best Plays of the American Theatre (New York: Crown Publishers, 1969) 465.
 “Mary, Not Contrary,” 32.
 “Family Life in Vermont,” Time, 18 July 1949, 46.
 Laufe, 247.
 Moira Walsh, “The Sound of Music,” America, 13 March 1965, 374-75.
 Arthur Knight, “Mary Poppins in Salzburg,” Saturday Review, 20 March 1965, 36.
 Goldman, 235.
 Barnes, 465.
Category: Books and Movies, About Vonjobi
A Filipina librarian has made it to the front page of the newspaper with the widest circulation in the Philippines. It's quite sad, however, because in "History of 'Manilamen' of New Orleans lost to 'Katrina'" by Frank Cimatu (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 18 September 2005), Marina Espina is said to have lost not just her house, but also 40 years of materials that she collected on Filipino-American history.
The article then proceeds to summarize Espina's research, which was published in Filipinos in Louisiana (New Orleans, LO: A.F. Laborde & Sons, 1988). Two Filipino villages in Louisiana are said to have been destroyed by hurricanes in 1915 and 1965. And then Cimatu writes, "Now it seems their memories have been drowned by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina."
It must be noted, however, that Espina's claim (which the article echoes) that the first Filipino settlement in Louisiana was founded in the 1760s has been disputed by Malcolm Churchill in "Louisiana History and Early Filipino Settlement: Searching for the Story" (Bulletin of the American Historical Collection Foundation 27.2 : 25-48). This, however, does not diminish what Espina has achieved as a historian and librarian.
The 13th General Conference of the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL), which will be held in Manila from 25-30 March 2006, has already finalized its program and it may now be viewed online. There are at least two members of the Filipino Librarians Googlegroup who will be speakers: Annabelle Acedera on "Library Cooperation in Visayas and Mindanao," and me on—what else?—"Blogging 101 for Librarians."
If you have not yet registered for the CONSAL conference—which may not be held again in Manila for another twenty years—you may reserve a slot using the online registration form. If you pay the registration fee (sorry, this is not possible online) on or before 31 December 2005, you only have to pay 6,000 pesos, instead of 6,500 pesos (locals only).
You may also wish to indicate the name of the library association you are affiliated with on the registration form because associations will receive an incentive for every 20 members who register for the conference.
For more information, please see their contact details.
Category: Consal XIII
If you use Google AdSense for your website or blog and have joined the Yan ang Pinay Googlebombing campaign, then you may have noticed that ads "selling" Filipinas appear on your site, especially if you have a new post about the Filipina. This, of course, is unacceptable for those of us who wish to promote a more balanced image of the Filipina online.
What can we do? It's been suggested that we should click on these ads so that advertisers will lose money because we're not interested in availing of their services, anyway. And maybe they'll stop advertising because they see that it's not working... but I sincerely doubt that this will happen.
Some have also removed ads altogether or accepted that it's a fact of life. Well, don't despair, AdSense has competitive ad filters, which you can use to "ban" the ads that you don't want to appear on your site. If you can set up an AdSense account, then I'm sure you can figure out how to use the filters. See "Competitive Ad Filters" and "Filtering Ads" for more information.
Once you've figured out how it's done, you can start blocking ads. You can do this by identifying the ads as they appear, or you can start by copying the list of ads I've already blocked on my blog:
filipinaheart.comPlease let me know if you find other ads that I should block.
"'E-brides' seek to escape poverty" by Ambika Bhushan (Reuters) explains why some Filipinas wish to marry foreigners.
If you'd like to know more about the situation, check out "Human Trafficking: Mail Order Bride Abuses," which provides links to the testimonies (pdf) of expert witnesses who testified before the U.S. Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations, and the recently-filed bill (note: not yet a law) entitled "International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005."
In "Mail-order Bride," Feel-good Librarian agrees that "Love can survive against the odds," but asks specifically about the customer she assisted from first email to talk of meeting at the airport, "Is what they have, after four days, love?"
And then there's the side that we hardly ever read about: the man's side. In Jason's Beach Resort, Jason, an American, refers to the Philippines as his future home country, arrives in Manila and gets married, feels betrayed (part 1 and part 2), and finally decides to divorce his Filipina wife after less than a year of marriage.
Finally, I'd just like to say that I am not making any judgments about either the Filipina who marries a foreigner, or the foreigner who seeks a Filipina wife. This post is for those who would like to understand the situation better. Remember, not all Filipinas who marry foreigners are desperate, and not all foreigners who marry Filipinas are abusive.
I participated in a biblioblogosphere survey a few weeks ago. Check out the results at Information Wants To Be Free. Apparently, eight respondents were from Asia. Assuming that all six of the blograrians I told about the survey actually took the survey, I wonder who the eighth blograrian was...
Note: This post is not a commentary on the current situation in the Philippines (but I suppose I could draw a connection between Nitecki and those who claim that the sky is falling). It is, in fact, a paper I submitted for a class in 14 April 2003. I have not changed anything except to update the links. The paper's subtitle is "A Critique of Chapter 7 of Volume II of the Nitecki Trilogy." To casual readers: consider yourself warned =)
Volume II of the Nitecki Trilogy—Philosophical Aspects of Library Information Science in Retrospect—has three parts, the largest of which is Part II, “Intellectual Insights into LIS: A Compendium.” Part I is basically an introduction to Part II—or, as Nitecki himself states, it provides “…an overview of the emerging philosophy of LIS by summarizing the citations listed in Part II of the book.” Part III is composed of three appendices naming the philosophers cited in the compendium, references to selected names mentioned in the compendium and a bibliography (Nitecki 1995).
This paper will focus on Part I because, while Part II is arguably and seemingly more important due to its length, Part I explains how and why Nitecki chose the contents of Part II. In addition, Nitecki proposes in Part I a framework by which Part II may be understood.
This paper will deal most substantially with Chapter 7 because, after summarizing the compendium’s contents in the previous five chapters according to his model of metalibrarianship, it is only in Chapter 7 that Nitecki begins to comment significantly on the views he has summarized. It is also here that he utilizes chaos theory and implies that the philosophy of LIS is in a state of chaos to which there is an underlying order. And this is the reason an alternative to chaos theory will be proposed in this paper—because this author does not agree with Nitecki’s assertion that a chaotic intellectual situation exists in the philosophy of LIS.
II. Ideological Chaos?
In Chapter 7, Nitecki states that, “An important lesson learned from the theory of chaos is that even in the largest disorder there is some underlying order.” He implies that chaos theory applies to the intellectual discussion regarding the philosophy of LIS. In fact, the chapter is entitled “Understanding Intellectual Chaos,” and toward the end of the chapter, he refers to “the present ideological chaos.” But the truth is, according to a review of 1,160 articles published in six LIS journals from 1993 to 1998 (the period during which the Nitecki Trilogy was copyrighted), only 397, or 34 percent, discussed or employed theory (Pettigrew and McKechnie 2001). Does a publication rate of 34 percent indicate that theory was not important during the period mentioned? Not necessarily, but it does not look as if the field was as chaotic as Nitecki makes it appear; most of the articles reviewed were not even substantially about theory but just incorporated theory in “either title, abstract or text” (ibid., 66). In fact, the editor of a recently published issue of Library Trends says that, “there is little formal theory to agree or disagree on” (McGrath 2002a, 309). This was stated in an issue devoted to theory.
In the same issue of Library Trends, Nitecki’s work (1993; Volume I of the Nitecki Trilogy) is called a “tour de force” in an article devoted to reviewing LIS research that could contribute to the development of a grand unified library theory (McGrath 2002b, 357). However, in the next paragraph, Nitecki’s work is said to have limited value to the review because “the philosophy of librarianship [does not tell] us how to develop an explanatory theory of librarianship” (ibid.). Apparently, while McGrath finds Nitecki’s metalibrarianship model interesting, he does not find in it the explanatory and predictive qualities found in other scientific theories like those of Copernicus, Newton and Einstein. And Volume II is really not much more than a compendium of abstracts forced to fit into the boxes labeled by Nitecki as metaphysical, epistemological and valuational; and concept, context and process (see Table 1). Hence, Volume II is even less likely to be of value to McGrath’s review except, perhaps, as a bibliography to be consulted.
Nitecki exaggerates by claiming that a state of intellectual chaos exists in LIS but, after going through the compendium of abstracts he compiled, he may perhaps be forgiven for overstating his case. He may just have gotten disoriented by the volume of literature written on the philosophy of librarianship—and forgot that a few hundred articles and books do not necessarily add up to a chaotic situation.
III. Paradigm Shifts
Kuhn (1970, 92) defines a scientific revolution as a “noncumulative developmental episode in which an older paradigm is replaced in whole or in part by an incompatible new one.” Covey (1990, 23) defines a paradigm as a “model, theory, perception, assumption, or frame of reference.” That a scientific revolution is now occurring cannot be denied, but it is not happening exclusively to LIS. It is an information technology revolution that is changing the world—and LIS—as we know it. Paradigms based on manual processes are being replaced by paradigms that maximize the potential of technological advances in the past ten years.
Could it be said that chaos exists in the world right now when it comes to technology? To a certain extent, because of the ongoing revolution, yes. Does the same apply to LIS? The answer is no. LIS is affected by the current changes in technology and these changes are causing problems, but not necessarily chaos. Just because a technological revolution is taking place does not mean that chaos reigns in the philosophy of LIS. Nitecki uses chaos theory as a reference point and proceeds to show that, using his own metalibrarianship model, order actually reigns amid the chaos. But what he fails to consider is that chaos theory was devised with large populations and/or enormous quantities of information in mind—and not a few hundred articles and books. And so, of course, it will not be difficult to discern order in a not very chaotic situation using an all-inclusive model devised to account for everything under the sun.
Nitecki would probably be better served by replacing references to intellectual chaos in LIS with the need for a paradigm shift. Replacing an existing paradigm with another that better accounts for “anomalies” in existing paradigms (according the language of Kuhn) is much more realistic than instituting order where chaos does not quite reign. But introducing the need for a paradigm shift will not be without its own difficulties. After all, while there is “extensive reference to theory in LIS literature, whether from a well-informed intent to place LIS on a more rigorous foundation, or from a naïve effort to sound more scientific” (McGrath 2002a, 309), there are not many LIS paradigms in existence. In fact, it would be difficult enough to identify which paradigm needs to be replaced.
McGrath (2002b, 359) refers to the studies he reviews as what might be called “normal” science by Kuhn. But McGrath follows this with a very chilling comment—that existing theory is “much more elemental or primitive, and LIS has far to go to build good explanatory theory.” In short, while the studies he reviews may be considered normal science, LIS theory is still not mature. Kuhn (1970, 10) defines normal science as “research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice.” What is particularly distressing is that the LIS community does not seem to agree on many specific achievements—aside from Ranganathan’s Five Laws and the different systems of classification—as supplying its foundation.
Van House and Sutton (1996) claim that there is a need for evolution in LIS education; otherwise, LIS may just become like the panda—threatened with extinction. But this author will have to beg to disagree. What is needed, in the midst of the information technology revolution that is currently taking place, is not an evolution that may take decades, but a radical paradigm shift now. However, due to a dearth of competing paradigms seeking to explain the nature of LIS, this author can only hope that someone will formulate—and soon—a paradigm that will attract the attention of LIS practitioners and lead LIS into the next century.
Nitecki cites four dilemmas around which the abstracts in his compendium revolve. These dilemmas presumably comprise the bulk of the intellectual chaos that Nitecki refers to in Chapter 7. Further examination of these dilemmas will serve to illustrate the not quite chaotic nature of LIS philosophy.
Theory vs Practice. Nitecki refers to a “theory vs. practice controversy” but there does not seem to be any evidence of a conflict between two parties on a scale that would justify the use of the word “controversy.” A dispute, after all, or even a scholarly discussion—on the nature of LIS, for instance, as published in the book edited by Machlup and Mansfield (1983, 343-405)—is not necessarily a “controversy.” Eberhart’s The Whole Library Handbook 3 (2000)—a collection of LIS articles deemed useful to librarians—does not even have the words “theory” or “philosophy” in its index. What it does have are references to Ranganathan’s Five Laws and Gorman’s Five New Laws. And on the Internet, the Librarian’s Index to the Internet (http://lii.org)—which presumably would have a bias for library-related websites—has subject headings for “library science,” but none of the very few websites it lists under this heading can be said to focus on “theory” or “philosophy.” There does not seem to be any evidence of the “controversy” that Nitecki asserts will be “resolved” by making a distinction between the new generation of theoreticians and scholars, and the practicing librarians.
Librarianship vs Information Science. There is much more evidence of the “related contemporary tension between librarianship and information science” that Nitecki writes about. He speaks of terminology changes carried out by computer and information specialists and the corresponding changes made by librarians in their terminology. But he also speaks of “searching for order in the chaos of the information ‘explosion.’ ” Here, the reference made to chaos is much more apt because he is not just referring to a limited quantity of documents but to a universally acknowledged and undeniable exponential growth in the quantity of available information that can only be described as “chaotic.” However, it must be pointed out that tension between librarianship and information science does not necessarily translate into intellectual chaos in the philosophy of LIS.
Service vs Teaching. This is the least developed of the four dilemmas that Nitecki enumerates. The two sentences devoted to it seem to imply that service is limited to the appropriateness of answers provided to users, and that teaching involves understanding the meaning behind questions asked and identifying resources needed. It is not clear, however, what dilemma Nitecki is referring to because questions and answers are clearly two sides of the same coin. Suggesting that one should be more important than the other is not necessarily a dilemma but more like nitpicking.
Involvement. Nitecki again employs the term “controversy” here and he may well be right. As recently as last year, librarians were characterized as “supposed to quietly fade away with the advent of the Internet” (Sanders 2002). But, in fact, librarians in the United States—through the American Library Association (ALA)—have led opposition to legislation on copyrights, the Patriot Act and the installation of Internet filters on library computers. The dilemma appears to have been resolved in the manner that Nitecki suggests—that of the need for a distinction to be made between “aggressive professional politics” led by library professional organizations, and “the ideological neutrality of the specialists” as reflected in the professional behavior of individual librarians. It is, however, difficult for this author to accept that there was ever any real “controversy”—in the sense that two opposing camps were pushing different agendas—because individual librarians have always been free to act independently of their professional organizations.
Nitecki uses the terms “dilemma,” “quandary,” “controversy” and “tension” in this section almost as if they are interchangeable. And so, the reader should probably not be surprised that Nitecki employs the term “chaos” to describe a field that is clearly not chaotic but still in the process of maturing.
Nitecki’s work is very important. Among other things, it emphasizes that LIS has much literature on philosophy to draw from. But to claim that this literature indicates “ideological chaos” in the philosophy of LIS is not just an exaggeration, but a dangerous statement that could lead to complacency. After all, most people will think that if a state of chaos exists, then all that needs to be done is to restore order. And if Nitecki, through his metalibrarianship model, has already detected the underlying order in the existing disorder, then nothing else needs to be done. Right? Wrong.
If no state of chaos exists, then there is no need for order. And in fact, there is really not much theory to agree or disagree on (McGrath 2002a, 309), so how can there be chaos? Even before Nitecki came up with the first volume of his trilogy, Schlachter (1989, 283) already declared that research in LIS was “fragmented, noncumulative, generally weak, and relentlessly oriented to immediate practice.” What is needed is not an all-inclusive classification system for anything and everything under the sun in the field of LIS as Nitecki has proposed, but for more basic and applied research to be done (Sison 2002). Or, using the language of Kuhn, we need more competing paradigms that will challenge existing beliefs and take LIS philosophy into the new millennium.
Nitecki ends Part I of Volume II by saying that he is “sadly amazed… amazed at the dramatic impact of the new technology on the scholarship of all disciplines, and saddened by the minimal acknowledgment this modern revolution is giving to it library antecedence.” He is, of course, correct but I think librarians have brought this indifference upon themselves.
LIS practitioners will be greatly needed as the global information society develops but the contribution that LIS has made and can continue to make will only be recognized if the LIS practitioners themselves make it happen. Sure, libraries are undermanned and librarians are too busy doing everything themselves in their own libraries to worry about advocating their cause, but no one else will fight for libraries if librarians don’t. And if LIS practitioners leave others to come up with paradigms that subsume LIS, then we deserve to be as sadly amazed as Nitecki.
As Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar (Act I, Scene II), “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves…”
- Covey, S. 1990. The seven habits of highly effective people. New York: Fireside.
- Eberhart, GM. 2000. The whole library handbook 3. Chicago: American Library Association.
- Gorman, M. 1995. Five new laws of librarianship. American Libraries 26:784-85.
- Kuhn, T. 1970. The structure of scientific revolutions, 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Machlup, F and U Mansfield. 1983. The study of information: Interdisciplinary messages. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
- McGrath, WE. 2002a. Introduction. Library Trends 50:309-16.
- _____. 2002b. Explanation and prediction: Building a unified theory of librarianship, concept and review. Library Trends 50:350-70.
- Nitecki, JZ. 1993. Metalibrarianship: A model for intellectual foundations of library information science. Volume 1 of the Nitecki Trilogy.
- _____. 1995. Philosophical Aspects of Library Information Science in Retrospect. Volume 2 of The Nitecki Trilogy.
- Pettigrew, KE and L McKechnie. 2001. The use of theory in information science research. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 52:62-73.
- Ranganathan, SR. 1931. Five laws of librarianship. Madras: Madras Library Association.
- Sanders E. 2002. Librarians emerging from book stacks, increasing activism. Los Angeles Times, Nov 25.
- Schlachter, G. 1989. Research: One step at a time. Reference Quarterly 28:293-94.
- Sison, JC. 2002. Current trends in library and information science research. Lecture delivered at forum sponsored by UP Library Science Alumni Association, Dec 7.
- Van House, N and S Sutton. 1996. The panda syndrome: An ecology of LIS education. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 37:131-47.
Category: About Vonjobi
Did you know that you can find out whether I posted anything new without having to visit everyday? There are several ways of doing this. If you look at the image above, you'll see two buttons and an option to subscribe. Please do not try to click on the image above; the click-able version is found in the sidebar =)
You'll need an RSS reader to use this button. If you already know what RSS is, then you know what to do. If not, then please read "Let RSS Go Fetch" by Chris Taylor (Time, 29 August 2005).Bloglines
It's actually a web-based RSS reader. I've written about it before (see "B/Logging In"), but you may wish to check out "Using Bloglines," which goes into more detail and has more screenshots.Bloglet
If you input your email address and click on "subscribe," an email will be sent to you within 24 hours if I posted anything new on my blog. If you open the email, you'll see the first few sentences of the post and you can then decide if you would like to read the rest of it. One thing I don't like about it is that recipients don't get to see the title of the post, which is also very important. Note: Please do not reply to email you receive from Bloglet. If you would like to comment on a post, please visit the blog.
Category: About Filipino Librarian
More blogs are becoming group efforts. The following are a few of the latest ones that I know about:
- Pinoy Teachers Network - Filipino and Filipina teachers, both here and abroad, have come together to promote their profession. What's interesting is that it's taking on the character of a real school: the core group has a [school] director, a legal adviser, a parent representative, and two librarians! (Disclosure: I'm one of the two; Zarah is the other one.)
- Pinoy Tech Blog - It's billed as "the Philippines' premier technology blog," where you can find the latest tech news, tips and recommendations. Clair Ching, Filipina librarian, is one of the techies who writes for the blog. Who says librarians can't use computers?
- Pinoy Atbp. - Filipinos and Filipinas working overseas also have their own blog, which they use to reminisce about a specific topic or theme that is uniquely Filipino—and practice their native language, too. I like it a lot because there's a photo of a librarian in the sidebar... guess who? =)
WHAT YOU NEED. Bring a black ballpen, pencil, paste, money (600 pesos for the examination fee, plus lunch, snacks, etc.) and coins. These are the minimum; if you want to bring extra ballpens, pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, they will probably make your life easier. And make sure you have all the documents listed below:
- Transcript of records with special order, date of graduation and scanned photo (Note: The last requirement is not indicated on the PRC website, but your school registrar should be aware of this requirement)
- Original and photocopy of NSO-issued birth certificate (see "Librarians' Licensure Examination 2005" to see why this is very important)
- Four (4) passport-size, colored pictures with white background and complete name (Note: You can actually have your picture taken outside the PRC office at a price similar to or even lower than studios elsewhere.)
- Current community tax certificate (cedula)
- Certificate of good moral character issued by current employer, local barangay official, parish priest or religious minister/pastor
- If you are female and married: Original and photocopy of NSO-issued marriage contract in NSO security paper
GETTING THERE. Consult the location map or the list of regional offices to determine where you will file your application. If you will be filing at the central office and are coming from EDSA, the easiest way is to get off at Quezon Avenue and take an FX headed for Manila. You will pass by Welcome (or Mabuhay) Rotonda and University of Santo Tomas (UST) on España. After UST, there is an overpass; McDonald's and KFC are on the right. Get off here and cross over to the other side, where you will see Chowking and Greenwich. Turn left at Greenwich and—voila!—you're there.
GOING IN. If you are at the gate before 8 am, and your documents are all in order, it is very likely that you will be finished before 12 noon. Line up at the gate where the guard will make sure that you are an applicant before passing you on to the checker who will look at your documents and give you the required forms.
FILLING UP THE FORMS. Check out the lines; sometimes you can actually fill up the forms while waiting in line. Before filling up any form, make sure that you read all the instructions. Follow the instructions. There are forms where you need to use a ballpen; others, a pencil. You need to paste your photo on the forms; staples are not allowed. School, course and zip codes will be required for certain forms; these are available near the post office (if you can't find them, ask the checker). Make sure you've filled up all the blanks. Write "not applicable" where applicable =)
PAYMENTS. You will need to pay for the examination fee (600 pesos) and for documentary stamps for your application and documentary stamps for the mailing envelope (Note: The stamps are for two different things). It's better if you have coins for the metered stamps. Finally, receipts will be issued for all the official requirements you need to pay for, so make sure that you are dealing with the right people by always asking for a receipt.
You may also wish to check out Republic Act No. 9246 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Category: Licensed Librarians
On Sunday, September 11, librarians who wish to promote understanding between East and West will commemorate 9/11 by facilitating a discussion—or "chat"—via Instant Messenger (IM). If you wish to participate, please go online this Sunday at 2 pm, Manila time, and look for any of the following:Sugar Grove Youth... conversing around the world.
The Philippines is no stranger to catastrophes—whether natural or man-made. And so, it would also be good to pray for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Asian Earthquake-Tsunami. If you would like to participate in relief efforts, the Red Cross presents several options.
The Carnival of the Infosciences will be a weekly weblog post that endeavors to showcase the best posts in the blogosphere about topics related to the wide world of Library and Information Science.In the latest edition, Christina Pikas takes what I wrote in "Wanted: Leaders," adapts it to her situation in the United States, and asks, "Do we need to spend more time in library schools and in associations building leaders instead of just teaching management?" Her question, of course, applies also to the Philippines.
If you would like to join the carnival, check out "Joining the Carnival." The next host is Mark Lindner.
Other editions of Carnival of the Infosciences: 1 2 3 4
Software Freedom Day will be celebrated at PUP Sta Mesa on Saturday, September 10. But what exactly is "software freedom"? No, it does not refer to freedom to buy pirated software (you can do that already); the term refers to software that is freely available and which users can customize to suit their needs. Free and open source software (F/OSS) include Firefox, Linux and OpenOffice.org.
Who should attend Software Freedom Day? Clair Ching, a Filipina librarian, is quoted in "RP Software Freedom Day celebration to target youth" by Erwin Lemuel Oliva:
...we target the youths to compose the bulk of the participants. Future leaders [that] they are, the youth deserve to learn new stuff as early as possible. Of course, everybody else is welcome, like teachers, government, and non-government workers, and kids.For more information, see "F/OSS Events this September!" and "More on Software Freedom Day."
Cheating is a moral issue where there are no gray areas. There’s only black and white.Solita Monsod ("Black, white and gray," Philippine Daily Inquirer, 3 September 2005) and Carmen Pedrosa ("Black and white," Philippine Star, 4 September 2005) dispute this statement, attributed to Bill Luz of the Black and White Movement, especially the suggestion that accusations of wrongdoing are enough to "prove" guilt.
"The Philippines is going to be hot shit informationally speaking," Avi says. "The government has its flaws, but basically it’s a democracy modeled after Western institutions. Unlike most Asians, they do ASCII. Most of them speak English. Longstanding ties to the United States. These guys are going to be big players, sooner or later, in the information economy."Scott Garceau quotes from Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon in "Wired in Manila" (Philippine Star, 4 September 2005).
Americans conducted more than 4.8 billion searches in July—a 22% increase over July of last year... But who needs 14,120,000 results in response to a simple question? People don't want a list—they want an answer.Check out what's coming on the search engine front in "On the Frontier of Search" by Terry McCarthy (Time, 5 September 2005).
Hundreds of libraries across the nation turn over lists of recalcitrant borrowers to companies like Unique Management Services, an Indiana-based collection agency that specializes in libraries. Forget to return that book for more than 120 days, and even your credit rating can take a hit."Your Friendly Local Library?" by Maggie Sieger (Time, 5 September 2005) indicates that there seems to be money to be made in unreturned books... at least in the United States.
Category: In the News
This year's Magsaysay Awardee for Emergent Leadership is Hye-Ran Yoon of South Korea. She was recognized for her "catalytic role in enabling Cheonan’s civil society to exercise its social responsibilities dynamically and democratically." What I found most striking was that she is not the current leader of the many organizations she started. She began with one organization, of course, but in the subsequent ones, "she articulated a need, formed an organization, identified and trained potential leaders, and then mentored the organization to maturity and financial stability before spinning it off" (emphasis added).
It was not until I got home that it occurred to me that I had just gone through my own version of "Leadership Day." After all, I started the day with "The Leadership Challenge," where Dennis Ycasiano, the speaker, differentiated between leadership and management, but emphasized that librarians need to be leaders and managers. Ycasiano also highlighted the importance of collaboration, instead of confrontation. He used the story of "The 100th Monkey" to illustrate the need for a critical mass or "tipping point" to effect change. And then he asked three questions, which I didn't get the chance to answer at the forum, but which I will answer now:
1. What KEY CHANGE should we make if we are to become more effective leaders of Libraries in the Philippines?
We need to start looking at ourselves as leaders, instead of just managers, catalogers, or reference librarians. And then we have to start thinking and acting like leaders. Not in the sense that actors and actresses play roles on stage or screen, but in the proactive sense. Do we really need to wait to be told that the future has arrived? Is it society's fault that negative librarian stereotypes abound or is it ours? Should we just accept that there's no money for the changes that need to be made? Is there really nothing else that can be done?
2. What is the importance of the 100th Monkey Phenomenon to getting Librarians of the Philippines to exercise exemplary leadership?
We have leaders now, but there don't seem to be enough of them. The first time I attended a library association's meeting, I was told by one of those who attended that the officers of the major associations really just take turns at the leadership positions. Is it possible that there are very few Filipino librarians who have leadership potential or are willing to take on leadership roles? Could it be that, as Hye-Ran Yoon has demonstrated, potential leaders just have to be identified and trained?
3. What can we do to inspire others to adopt this change?
All I can really do at this point is write about the need for leadership... and hope that those reading what this monkey writes will start thinking of themselves as leaders. And maybe, someday, we'll reach that tipping point.
Income minus expenses = Savings*In "Manage Your Money" (Part One | Part Two | Part Three), bugsybee shares an article she wrote for an issue of Star Teacher Magazine, which is not yet available online.*(not extra money for shopping)
While the article appeared in a magazine for teachers, others can also benefit from the very practical advice she gives (see "equation" above). Another possible title for it would have been "Accounting for Dummies."
Times are getting tougher. The peso is depreciating against the dollar. The price of gas is still going up. And our politicians don't seem to care. So go check out bugsybee's advice. After all, Christmas is just around the corner... at least, in the Philippines =)
"Biyahe Tayo!" is a song about the interesting things that visitors (both local and foreign) can see, eat or do in different places in the Philippines. "Let's go travel with the family" is my translation of the lyrics in the photo above.
The song was performed by 21 Filipino artists and was, according to Magic Sing, "composed by Rene Nieva [Note: Nieva is identified as the lyricist on other sites]. Rico Blanco, Mike Villegas and Angelo Villegas did the musical arrangement. Noel Nieva directed the making and editing of the music video."
Check out the sidebar of Anda Beach Bohol to watch the video without opening a player, and Lakbay Pilipinas to read the lyrics and to play and/or download the file (mpg or wmv).
If you would like to visit the places shown in the video, I suggest you visit Wow Philippines and TravelBlog before calling your travel agent.
Categories: Filipiniana Online, The Philippines