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Librarian Beats Other Professionals

by Rizchelle F. Sampang
Note from vonjobi: Zchel will be leaving for the United States in 2007 as part of the Rotary Foundation's Group Study Exchange program, which is not solely for librarians. The text, with minor changes, is hers. The title is mine =)
Rizchelle F. SampangThis is where it all started. I received this email and immediately inquired about the said group study exchange program. Then, I was told to send my resume to Mr. Mario Magat of the Rotary Club of Alabang and I did.

I learned more about the Rotary Group Study Exchange (GSE) from graduates of the program, by reading articles about it, and from the rotary club’s web site (www.rotary.org). The more I got information about the program, the more I wanted to become part of it.
The first interview was last November 15, 2006, held at the Makati Sports Club. After the panel interview, we were asked to pass the official Rotary GSE application form with the essay of intent. The week after the first panel interview, Rotary called, on the day itself, for the final interview. It was conducted again at the Makati Sports Club. I was the last person to arrive, as I was also on the first interview, because I came from work at De La Salle Santiago Zobel in Alabang. There were twelve applicants, including myself and three panelists. I was shocked with the fact that I was competing with a doctor, an engineer, three lawyers, etc.

I was quietly thinking what could be the question. After the second to the last applicant answered, the question was thrown at me. I answered and we were dismissed. I was not expecting to receive any email nor a text message from Rotary, as I thought I failed to present my profession in front of the other eleven young professionals vying for a slot on any of the two group study exchange programs and three panelists.

Sunday, November 26, 2006, I was on my way home from Baclaran when I fortunately received a text message from one of the panelists saying that I am one of the US Team Finalists. I was with two of my closest friends and my boyfriend that day. I couldn’t believe what I read. I read it three times and asked my friend to read it for me. And yes, my first name—correctly spelled—was in it.

This will be my first time to travel and I am so proud to be an ambassador of Filipino librarians. I believe that this program will help me in building more libraries, like the Bulacan Library Project that I am currently working on as a volunteer librarian, and in creating efficient library services and programs by giving me a chance to visit libraries and observe library services and programs in California. After four weeks (April 29, 2007-May 27, 2007) of staying outside the country, I will be certainly back with added experience and knowledge that I will be more than willing to share with my fellow librarians.

As I am writing this article, I remembered a Canadian library science student who once asked the question: "What do you think is the biggest challenge in library development (i.e., in getting more libraries to be built in the Philippines and adequate collections development, etc.) besides the lack of public funding, what other reasons are there?" I answered, "We need more librarians who will get out of their comfort zones and act in making the realization of information equity happen."

Category: Librarians

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