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Book Development Month 2007

What does it mean when Book Development Month (BDM) is not paid much attention by the print media? True, press releases made it into the newspapers, and there was an editorial that referred to "the invention of block printing during the Industrial Revolution," but these only highlight the seeming indifference of newspaper editors who, I suppose, should be encouraging more Filipinos to read books... and newspapers. I hope I'm wrong. Maybe I just missed the many column inches devoted to BDM activities. Maybe there were even segments devoted to BDM on the TV newscasts.

Anyway, I think the National Book Development Board (NBDB) should be lauded for turning to alternative media, specifically the blogosphere, to spread the word about BDM. It probably wasn't as effective as a mass media campaign would have been, but at least the word spread among those who care about books. Or at least those who have access to the Internet and read the blog posts featured below.

One of the most passionate bloggers who wrote about BDM last June was Tin of Read or Die (RoD). Her many posts included her thoughts on May Jurilla's talk on books and nation-building and the Portrait Of The City exhibit. She even took on the responsibility of asking Jurilla for permission to post the timeline of the history of the book in the Philippines. In an earlier post, she also alluded to Andrea Pasion-Flores, the current NBDB executive director, as "young, intelligent, and used to work for a magazine publishing house... and perhaps most important of all–she herself is a writer," which provides a clue as to how Pasion-Flores must have found this blog a few months ago.

Other more significant posts about BDM events included those by Butch Dalisay and Zarah Gagatiga, who both happened to be speakers at separate activities. Tin thought the latter's talk on community libraries was "particularly illuminating and made [her] re-think and reconsider several of [her] ideas of how RoD could go about supporting library work and librarians."

Then there was the PCIJ series on Literature and Literacy, which did not seem to be officially connected to BDM:

A Nation Of Nonreaders (1 2 3 4 - includes "Libraries of Hope")
Muslim Classes Come Alive (1 2)
Speaking In Tongues (1 2)
Chicks Rule! (1 2 3 - includes "No Chicken-feed Profits")
Bad Ba Mag-Txt? (1 2)
A Stunted Market For Kids' Books (1 2 3 - includes "Pages from the Past")
Poetry Podcasts
Rofel Brion: Tagalog
Roy Aragon: Ilokano
Haidee Palapar: Cebuano
Kristian Cordero: Bikolano
Image Galleries
Marikina's Public Libraries
Children Of Malaybalay City Central Elementary School
What Is Your Favorite Book?
My comment on book donations in connection with the article on nonreaders drew further comments from Tin and Charles. Zarah hoped that the author of the article on children's literature would write about the more positive changes that have occurred over the years.

And it is my hope that next year's BDM will be much more visible in mainstream media.

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