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OLA 2007: My Super Conference Sked

I will be at the Ontario Library Association's Super Conference 2007 starting tonight. If you've ever visited this blog while I was live-blogging, consider yourself warned =)

Here's the tentative list of sessions I'm planning to attend:
Session #P099
Wed @ 6:30 pm
The Art of Networking: A Special Session on an Essential Skill

Session #100
Wed @ 8:00 pm
All Conference Event
Opening Plenary: Cory Doctorow

Session #101
Wed @ 9:30 pm
All Conference Event
Super Conference 2007 Welcome Party
Session #200
Thu @ 8:00 am
All Conference Event
How Well Do You Know Your Online Users? Welcome to Our Game Show. Bring Your Cell Phone.

Session #324
Thu @ 9:05 am
I've Looked at Clouds from Both Sides Now
Patricia Horak, Zachary Abram, Alison Drain

Session #420
Thu @ 10:40 am
Librarianship as a Profession
Recruiting for Diversity: Affirmative Action and Academic Librarians
Mary Kandiuk

Session #500
Thu @ 2:15 pm
All Conference Event
The Future of Search: Bradley Horowitz

Session #600
Thu @ 3:45 pm
OPLA's Spotlight Event
Your Library on Steroids: Transform Your Library
Leslie Burger

Session #804
Thu @ 6:00 pm
Faculty of Information Studies Alumni Association Reception for FIS Alumni

Session #900
Fri @ 8:00 am
An All-Conference Plenary
New Institutions, New Landscapes
Nouvelles Institutions, Nouveaux Paysages

Lise Bissonnette, Ian E. Wilson

Session #1117
Fri @ 9:05 am
Pop Goes the Library
Sophie Brookover

Session #1200
Fri @ 10:40 am
An All-Conference Plenary
The Sense of Community in Our Changing Landscape: Glen Murray

Session #1311
Fri @ 2:10 pm
Successful Initiatives on a Shoestring Budget (Roundtable)
Donna Bright, Jane Diamanti

Session #1411
Fri @ 3:45 pm
Best Practices for Social Software in Libraries
Michael Stephens

Session #1502
Fri @ 5:15 pm
Ontario Library and Information Technology Association

Session #1603
Fri @ 5:45 pm
Ontario Library and Information Technology Association

Session #1604
Fri @ 6:15 pm
All-Conference Networking Event
Annual Reception

Session #1700
Sat @ 8:00 am
All Conference Event
Solutions for a New Generation

Session #1800
Sat @ 9:05 am
OLITA's Spotlight Event
Top Tech Trends
Michael Stephens, Amanda Etches-Johnson, John Blyberg

Session #1915
Sat @ 10:40 am
What's the Big Idea? Perceptions and Expectations of the Library Brand
Ken Roberts

Session #2000
Sat @ 12:15 pm
Gala Closing Luncheon: Seán Cullen

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Guidelines for the Crash Program
for Unlicensed Librarians

Update as of 5 February 2007: The Crash Program originally scheduled to start on Feb. 12, 2007 has been postponed to April 16, 2007 for lack of participants.

Update as of 31 January 2007: I have been requested to delete No. 4 under Categories 1 and 2, but since this may cause confusion between those who saw the original version and those who will see the corrected version, I will just indicate that the said items are not requirements anymore.

The text below is from a document sent by Dean Rosalie Faderon of the Institute of Library and Information Science, University of the Philippines. Not one word or punctuation has been changed, but I have adjusted the format to fit the medium.

If you are not a Filipino librarian, you don't have to read the rest. But if you are, please spread the word, especially to those who may be eligible. If you wish to understand what this is all about, I should be able to provide some perspective once I get the necessary documents.

GUIDELINES FOR THE CRASH PROGRAM

1. Start of Crash Program for Librarians Who wish to Avail of Exemption and Who Lack 18 Units of LIS Subjects before 1990 is Feb. 12, 2007. The crash program will be conducted at 3rd Fl., Main Library Bldg. (Gonzalez Hall). Below is the schedule for the 6 core subjects:

Feb. 12-17, 2007
Lib. Administration, Management Including Laws and Related Practices and Trends

Feb. 19-24, 2007
Reference, Bibliography and User Services

Feb. 26-March 3, 2007
Selection and Acquisition of Multimedia Sources of Information

March 5-10, 2007
Cataloging and Classification of Information Sources

March 12-17, 2007
Indexing and Abstracting

March 19-24, 2007
Information Technology

All other LIS subjects in the curriculum may be given on a weekly schedule depending on the number of applicants.
2. Applicants must come to the Institute of Library and Information Science, 3rd Fl., Main Library Bldg. (Gonzalez Hall), UP Diliman, Quezon City immediately and bring the following documents:
1. Transcript of records
2. Certification of employment
3. Evidence of eligibility (for those with 5 years experience)

These will be assessed before the applicant is allowed to enroll in the needed LIS subjects.
3. The applicants who meet the requirements must immediately enroll in the LIS subject/s that they are advised to take even if these subjects will be taken after Feb. 19, 2007. They have to pay PhP 1,500.00 per core subject (1 week for 6 days (Monday to Saturday) at 8 hrs. a day).

4. The Institute of Library and Information Science will immediately furnish the Board for Librarians a list of accepted applicants to beat the Feb. 19, 2007 deadline. This list will be checked at PRC when the applicants apply for exemption as early as Feb. 15, 2007. Non-inclusion in the list would mean non-acceptance of application for exemption.


IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER: (REQUIREMENTS FOR EXEMPTION)

You should qualify under one (1) category only:

Category 1:
  1. Possess a bachelor’s degree (finished before 1990) - Transcript of records with special order and date of graduation
  2. Must have been working in the library since 1985 (5 years before 1990) – Service records indicating the position title with the duties for the position duly certified by the personnel officer or equivalent and notarized
  3. Possess professional career service/first grade eligibility (Cert. of eligibility authenticated by the Civil Service Commission)
  4. [Not required as of 31 January 2007: Must have passed 18 units of LIS courses before 1990]
Category 2:
  1. Possess a bachelor’s degree (finished before 1990) – Transcript of records with special order and date of graduation
  2. Must have been working in the library since 1983 (7 years before 1990) - Service records indicating the position title with the duties for the position duly certified by the personnel officer or equivalent and notarized
  3. Eligibility not required
  4. [Not required as of 31 January 2007: Must have passed 18 units of LIS courses before 1990]

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Pinoy Top Blogs: January 2007

Just as no figures were available for Pinoy Top Blogs (PTB) last September 2006, there are again no figures for January 2007. And so, aside from noting that the eRadioportal Blog, which has been in the Top 10 since I started this series in June 2006, dropped 45 places to the 48th spot, and that ABS-CBN Kapamilya Aficionado is the only true newcomer to the Top 50 this month, there isn't really much to say.

But next month's list should be more interesting. Rickey, who has occupied the top spot for seven of the last eight months—and, perhaps, ever since PTB started in July 2005—has abdicated his throne. Will Bryanboy finally get the chance to feel what it's like to be on top? =)

The following are the raw data as of 27 January 2007:
DE

1
2
5
6
7
9
8
4
11
12
23
22
14
13
10
18
19
17
25
21
20
16
24
27
26
28
31
45
15
41
35
-
29
46
36
34
32
48
38
33
39
37
-
30
-
49
47
3
42
44
JA

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
NAME OF BLOG

Rickey
Bryanboy: Le Superstar Fabuleux
Motorcycle Philippines
Pinoy Cook
Mukamo
Starmometer
Retzwerx - Ang Inyong Pinoy Big Blogger
Kiven
Pinoy Rickey
Our Awesome Planet
Pinoy BSN
laurganism.com
SELaplana
Philippines For Men
Putanginamo.com
Blogged
Pinoy Tech Blog
Cellphone9
Leon Kilat: The Cybercafe Experiments
Inside PCIJ: Stories behind our stories
Chikadora
Basang Panaginip
Photojunkie
textmates
Ellen Tordesillas
Touched by an Angel
EntrePinoy Atbp
Reyna Elena
Skirmisher
GPCarreon
High Denzity
[m]channel!
Quezon.ph
Pinoy Travel Blog
The J Spot
Macalua.com
Filipina Soul
WeddingsAtWork.com News Blog
Splasher
Finance Manila
Kwentong Tambay
Parenting-Weblog.com
ABS-CBN Kapamilya Aficionado
Composed Gentleman
Pinoy R.N.
The Sunday Punch
Manila's Daily Grind
eRadioportal Blog
Filipino Librarian
Coconuter

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Get Caught Reading... in Tagalog

Get Caught Reading... in TagalogThat's my cousin Wayne.
Photo used with his parents' permission.


The "poster" above is the one I promised to make in "Get Caught Reading." Spread the word. Make your own poster. Or use mine. Here's the code:
<a href="http://filipinolibrarian.blogspot.com/2007/01/
reading.html"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_diXvE1LNZiQ/
RbvGavFAtgI/AAAAAAAAAAg/Evd2q8unKO4/s400/Slide1.jpg"></a>
For the benefit of those who can't read Tagalog, the poster title should be read this way: NaKaKaBaSa Ka PaLa (I didn't know you could read). I came up with a Tagalog title because a purely English one, in my opinion, would not be as effective, especially with Filipino kids who are just learning to read.

You may also want to support the Read or Die Convention, which will take place on 3-4 February 2007, and the fundraising project of Ex Libris Philippines, which will be held on 7 March 2007.

And then there's "I don't read," where a blogger remembers the time when he thought it was cool to be anti-reading. Well, maybe it's time we spread the word that reading is cool =)

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Library Related Conferences Around the World

If you're looking for conferences anywhere around the world that you can attend this year until 2015, check out Library Related Conferences, compiled by Marian Dworaczek and updated as of 24 January 2007.

Only two events are listed as taking place in the Philippines this year:

February 15 - 17
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
3rd Asia-Pacific Computer and Philosophy Conference [more (pdf)]

April 23 - 24
Makati City, Phillipines (sic)
International Conference on "Living the Information Society: The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on People, Work and Communities in Asia." [more]
Perhaps the compiler was just not aware of sources she could consult for library events in the Philippines. But I don't think there is one site I could go to for a list like this. One more missed opportunity...

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Please Don't Steal Library Books

Some library books in the Philippines are literally under lock and key because librarians employed by the government, including those in public universities, are held personally responsible for lost or damaged books. While the law probably needs to be changed, and some librarians need to relax a little, users also need to realize that library books aren't supposed to be stolen or mutilated. One blogger thinks it's "Criminal!!!":

...some students from my alma mater University of the Philippines Diliman would toss books out of the window only to retrieve them from the bushes and flee with them... Some of them would bring blades in the library concealed in their wallets. These animals would then slash the pages, if not the entire books away from their spines... [Another guy] would bring a coleman with him inside the library. He would then proceed to slash the desired books, roll them in and stuff it in a coleman (a thermos jug).

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Remember the USIS Libraries?

From "Questions for Karen Hughes" (Manila Times, 23 January 2007):

It would improve matters if the US Embassy opens its library wider to the public or build public libraries in the cities, similar to the old USIS (US Information Service) libraries in Metro Manila that thousands of Filipinos visited regularly for good books and magazines.

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Susan Go — Filipino Librarian

Susan Go

When I was looking for Filipino librarians at a conference in Toronto in 2005, I met an American who told me that I should get in touch with a librarian at the University of Michigan. Almost a year later, I got the same advice from Ambeth Ocampo. It was only after I finally got to meet the librarian that I realized just why she had been recommended so highly to me.

Susan Go is the head of the Graduate Library’s Southeast Asia Division. She is also the force behind The United States and its Territories, which has the best and largest online collection of Filipiniana materials available for free. And even though she could have applied for and received American citizenship because she has been in the US since the 1980s, she is still very much a Filipino citizen.

Read more about her in "Susan Go goes to great lengths to get books for library" by Joanne Nesbit (University Record, 23 November 1998).

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"Be Proactive, Apply for Scholarships"

by Mila Ramos

The author of this post wrote about her experience with "Thinking Outside the Borders" upon my invitation. I hope her story will inspire others to think outside Philippine borders.
As early as the first week of October, I got a message from the IFLA listserv regarding this Leadership Program (Thinking Outside the Borders). The deadline for application was Nov. 15 yet, so I didn’t prepare an application right away. I was not so keen on applying, as normally these grant providers think that IRRI, being an international organization, is not a qualified beneficiary. But after a week and receiving another reminder, I said why not? I won’t lose anything in applying.

So on October 16, I requested my immediate boss, Dr. William Padolina (Deputy Director General) and Dr. John Bennett (Deputy Head and Senior Molecular Biologist of the Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology Division and a frequent Library user) to write letters of support containing comments on my leadership abilities and achievements. So, these two wrote beautiful letters for me. In addition to these, the other requirements that I submitted were:
  1. a cover letter and brief resume summarizing professional experience, activities, publications, education, participation in leadership programs, international experience and contact info.
  2. an essay of 500 words or less describing why I considered myself a suitable candidate for the program and how it will help in the achievement of professional goals, benefit the home institution, and contribute to the development of libraries.
  3. a second essay of 500 words or less describing achievements, experience in working with teams, experience training other librarians, future aspirations, and interest in international library issues.
After finishing with the writing and receiving the two letters of support, I sent the application package by mail and by email on October 27. It is important that the checklist be followed completely and that the application reaches the organizers in time.

So, with Lady Luck on my side, I received the good news last Nov. 28, much earlier than the scheduled announcement of the awards. It is good that I hold a 10-year, multiple-entry visa to the US.

The IFLA listserv is a good source of information regarding conferences for library and information professionals.

My advice to other librarians: be proactive, apply for scholarships, travel grants, join international discussion groups, whenever the opportunity opens. International conference presenters are normally given free registration, sometimes free airfare. Last December, Emerald Laxamana and I attended a meeting and presented a paper at the Hong Kong Innovative Users Group and we did not pay any registration fee. We enjoyed privileges like the conference kit, T-shirt, snacks and lunches, free transportation from the hotel, giveaways from sponsors, and a free dinner. This is another venue that is open to us.

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Total Quality Management,
Libraries and Blogging

In a previous life, I was a Total Quality Officer at Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). The way I saw it, I was in charge of promoting a culture of "being there" for the customer, to let employees know that "a complaint is a gift," not something to be downplayed or hidden from the higher-ups.

When I became a librarian, I found that my previous career was very compatible with my new vocation. And now that I'm a blogger, who's also part of a larger blogging community, I suppose you could say that I still haven't completely left my past behind.

When I found out that the owner of Blogging Bugs was furious with BPI, I encouraged her to complain to higher management. It took a while, but she finally did, and now she says that, "It pays to complain." I'd have to add, however, that not all companies treat complaints the same way at all levels. Libraries are not much different.

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Finding Mr. Right @ your library

JM Kearns, the author of Why Mr. Right Can't Find You, recommends that women be more proactive:

Beyond chance encounters, women should venture into the real world to broaden the net, he says. Kearns suggests hanging out in bookstores and libraries, and if you see a prospect, smile. "Even Mr. Right needs encouragement. Your smile can be any smile. I don't care if it is nervous, pale or twitchy. If it is a smile, he will know he is allowed to interrupt your reading and speak to you" (Macleans, 29 January 2007).
What do you think? If libraries were promoted as meet-your-mate places, would more people go? =)

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Trans-Pacific Cables

For the last thirty years Congress has from time to time had under consideration the establishment of a trans-Pacific submarine cable. Until recently this plan has never been more than in embryo. But... owing to the expansion of commerce... the establishment of such a cable in the near future is now rendered imperative.

Nope, this was not written in connection with the Taiwan earthquake that caused havoc among Southeast Asia's telecommunications companies and their users last December 2007. It's from "The Projected Cable-line to the Philippines" by Chandler Hale (North American Review, July 1900). More than a century later, it looks like a lot remains to be done.

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Thinking Outside the Borders: Mila Ramos

Congratulations to Mila Ramos! She was selected as one of 15 non-Americans to participate in Thinking Outside the Borders: Library Leadership in a World Community, which will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, from 18-20 February 2007. Ramos will be the first Filipino to participate in the program, which is now on its third year.

The "borders" referred to in the title may be geographical, but I'd like to think that Ramos, a blogger (and so much more!), was selected because she is also thinking outside the borders of the physical library.

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New Blog: PLAI Cagayan

Its official name is PLAI-Cagayan Valley Region Librarians Council. One thing they've done that other association blogs haven't is post a "List of Registered Librarians in Region 02." Here's hoping the blogging trend continues...

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From Old Blogger to New Blogger

Just for the record, this blog was migrated from the old Blogger (B.1) to the new Blogger (B.2) on 14 January 2007. See "Blogger Beta" to understand the difference between the two.

It was relatively painless, except for a stray ad box that appeared at the top of the index page. I had to use a few brain cells, but eventually figured out that the code for Google Analytics was causing the problem. Don't ask me what one had to do with the other because I don't know. All I know is that the problem disappeared after I moved the code.

In the next few weeks, I will most likely upgrade the template so that it's easier to customize the layout. So if you have any comments on what you'd like to see improved on this blog—in terms of layout or usability—leave a comment below.

What's the most obvious difference to readers? This post is the first that will be categorized using "labels," but since I'm not sure exactly whether I'll like labeling, it will also probably be the last one to be categorized manually by me under "Categories."


Category: About Filipino Librarian

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"Bawal panget beyond this point"


Bawal panget beyond this point
Ugly people not allowed beyond this point

According to the Nashman, an "assistant part-time librarian," he will be making some changes at his library to ensure that the "quality" of users is high:
Our library will have the first ever 'face police' at the entrances to ensure that only pretty people can get in... I will make spot inspections to see that facial standards are high. I have also put some signs to remind the undesirables to go elsewhere.
But please note the caveat on the blog's sidebar:"Sarcasm. Metaphor. Satire. Catharsis. If you don't know what these mean, please don't read my blog."

By the way, if you don't understand Tagalog, below are translations of the other signs.
No borrowing for mga chaka
No borrowing for ugly people

Aanhin mo ang libro kung ika'y mukhang kabayo
What will you do with a book if you look like a horse

Category: Humor

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Sexy Swedish Librarians

Sexy Swedish Librarians
Stacks in the foreground,
stacks in the background

The photo is from "Swedish Librarians" (Vice 13:2), where other similar photos may also be admired. The "caption" was suggested by a comment left by one of the article's "readers" =)

If you have a better caption for the photo, please leave a comment below.

By the way, note that the article is from "The Fiction Issue." The models may or may not be Swedish or librarians. But the stacks are real =)

Category: Stereotypes

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New Kids on the Block: UPiLIS.org

UPiLIS.org is not quite a blog, but it's not a traditional website either. It seems the site is still in beta, but they do have RSS feeds, so keeping updated on developments will be easy. I hope they keep it up!

Here's their welcome message, (back?)dated 12 June 2004:

The Institute of Library and Information Science [ILIS] Student Council is pleased to announce the availability of the ILIS Student and Alumni's website. The website will be the primary vessel for all of the communications between all of the members of the ILIS family worldwide.
Disclosure: ILIS is part of the University of the Philippines, where I got my MLIS.


Category: Librarians

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Top Five Stories of 2006

One of the top search engine results for "filipino librarian" early in 2004 was from a society column (cached version):
We continued our cruise, down the Adriatic, enjoying the endless facilities on board, all the fat-free ice cream we could dig into after 10 laps around the promenade deck, passing by the well-packed library where fun Ronnie Espina, the Filipino librarian, always had a big smile.
Maybe I was not looking hard enough then, but I think there's much more that can be said now about Filipino librarians than the little that Maurice Arcache wrote in passing almost two years ago. And so, inspired by "Ten Stories that Shaped 2006" on LISNews, here's my list of the top five stories about Filipino librarians or Philippine libraries in 2006:

5. More Licensed Librarians
The passing rate and number of new licensed librarians went up significantly over 2005 figures. In addition, Steven Cohen (Library Stuff) took note of this and wrote in his influential blog: "I wish they would do this in the US. Reasons forthcoming in my column for Information Today (February 2007 issue)."
4. Start Spreading the News
Librarians stepped out of the shadows and got their names and professions mentioned in newspapers. Aside from fleeting references by columnists like Manuel Quezon III and Connie Veneracion, who thankfully don't write for the society pages (LOL!), there were more substantial articles, too. National Library director Prudenciana Cruz was chosen as one of the outstanding Boholanos around the world, while municipal librarian Che Che Tablico was quoted as a news source in an article that was not about libraries. And then there was the feature story about Maria Lea Vilvar, a blind librarian, that moved Jessamyn West (librarian.net) to write, "There are not nearly enough stories about disabled librarians, considering how large and ubiquitous the profession is and how much we strive to serve disabled patrons."
3. Budget Woes and Politics
The news for government-funded libraries, however, wasn't all good. The Philippine eLib was reported as being in danger of getting shut down. And Miguel Luz, the man behind Library Hub, was forced to resign from the Department of Education. It seems that the initiative is moving forward, but the fact that all we're getting are press releases, instead of updates from the beneficiaries, is not encouraging.
2. Raising the Philippine Flag
Filipino librarians made their presence felt on the international level this year by hosting the biggest event for librarians in Southeast Asia—the 13th General Conference of the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (Consal XIII). Representatives were also present at international conferences, including Singapore and Michigan, where two of the four Filipino participants were not LIS graduates. Signs of the times, perhaps?

Among the individual Filipino librarians who merited international attention were Jose Escarilla, who was the featured librarian in the November issue of Information Outlook, and Alicia Esguerra, the first librarian from the Philippines to be named an IFLA/OCLC Fellow.
1. Learning to Blog
But the biggest story of 2006 in my humble, if very biased, opinion was the growth in the number of library-related blogs. Not just individual librarians, but libraries and associations, too. Oh, and Consal XIII had one also. (In case you'd like to search all these blogs—plus static library websites—check out Arnold Zafra's Pinoy Library Search Engine.)

Only time will tell whether these blogs will be religiously maintained. But now that librarians have realized how so much easier it is to update blogs than traditional websites, maybe more Filipinos will be updated regarding what's happening in Philippine libraries this year—because they will have more search engine hits to choose from =)

Category: In the News

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Rizal and the National Library

Read "Saving the national treasures" by Susan de Guzman (Manila Bulletin, 8 January 2007) and pray that something can still be done about the sad state of materials in the National Library and the National Library itself. Prudenciana Cruz, Director of the National Library, is quoted as saying that "the weather is the worst enemy of the olden documents." Perhaps.

But I'd say apathy is worse. After all these years, we already know that the weather is the enemy of old documents. However, the powers-that-be don't really care. Maybe we should just sell naming rights to a corporate sponsor and call it, say, the Jollibee National Library. Or, even better, the National Bookstore Library =)


Categories: Libraries, In the News

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Five Things About Vonjobi

I was tagged for this meme by three different bloggers in the first four days of 2007: Teacher Sol, the Lipstick Librarian and Clair. Two are Filipino, two are in the US and two are librarians—but not the same two. I also "met" two of them online before I saw them in person. And the third? I had been talking to her at a conference for quite a while before I found out she was a well-known blogger. I suppose I should also note that all three are female. There must be some profound meaning there =)

Job Market
The first thing I ever wanted to be was a Metro Aide. That was before I learned that streetsweepers don't earn much money. And so, when I was 11 years old, I told my Mom that I wanted to become a priest! But it would not be until after I graduated with a degree in management engineering, worked four years in a bank, taught high school religion in Cebu, and got accepted for an MBA at AIM, that it occurred to me that I wanted to be a librarian.
Fully Booked
I was 8 years old when I borrowed my first "adult" book—The Melted Coins by Franklin W. Dixon. From then on, I was always at the library. (One librarian couldn't believe that I could finish three Hardy Boys books in one day. What she didn't know was that I read them during breaks, in the car and even during meals.) One result of all the time I spent in the library was that I learned to find things without having to ask a librarian. And that's what I remembered when I was thinking of getting an MBA. I don't just like reading books, I enjoy looking for them, too. Besides, the MLIS was cheaper =)
Editor-itis
Now that I think about it, I was also 8 years old when a classmate of mine turned to me and asked me to correct a letter he wrote. I don't think I even knew what the word "edit" meant then, but that, I suppose, was when my editor-itis began. I would always notice when words were misspelled or punctuation marks were missing. When the opportunity arose, I started volunteering to edit publications, and even learned to lay them out and deal with printers. My sideline as a freelance book producer paid for my MLIS tuition, continues to pay for lingering expenses in Manila, and is the subject of the chapter I was invited to contribute to A Day in the Life.
Fitness First
I started working out with weights because I used to be so thin that my mother said a strong wind would be enough to knock me down. And so, when I started working, one of the first things I invested in was a gym membership. I have been at the gym or pool almost every week since then. This does not mean, however, that I am a stereotypical gym rat. While I do not drink (alcohol, coffee, softdrinks), smoke or do drugs, and cut out the fat in almost everything I eat, I don't really like vegetables or go on diets. Something others find even more puzzling is that I will spend hours at the gym, but will not walk more than two blocks unless absolutely necessary. There is a reason, of course, but no one believes me when I tell them, so I'll skip that part =)
Scarnose
I have a scar that starts at the tip of my nose and, thankfully, ends right before my right eye. Next to the drowning incident, the car accident that caused the scar was the most dangerous of the series of unfortunate events I endured as a kid. But it was more traumatic than blacking out and finding out later that I had drowned. The accident occurred because a dog suddenly ran into our car's path, and my father stepped on the brakes to avoid it. I was seated at the back, but since I was leaning forward between the two front seats (seatbelts were unheard of then), I flew to the dashboard and hit my nose on a naked, steel knob. They rushed me to the nearest hospital, but no one could operate, so I was brought to another one. Since I was too young for anesthesia, the neurosurgeon who just happened to be on duty operated with several people holding on to my arms and legs as I cried and screamed in pain.
Too much information? Blame the bloggers who tagged me =)

Next in line: Gibbs Cadiz, Ivan Chew, Paolo Manalo, Manolo Quezon, and Juned Sonido.


Category: About Vonjobi

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Pinoy Top Blogs: December 2006

Total readership for the Top 50 Pinoy Top Blogs (PTB) declined by 22 percent from the November 2006 figures. This drop from the previous month is not so remarkable considering the online havoc caused by the offline Taiwan earthquake, and the blogging slowdown that the Christmas season understandably brings. Besides, total unique hits (UH) are still up by 15 percent from June 2006, when I started this series. And the UH of the lowest-ranked blog in the Top 50 is almost 8,000, still higher than the usual 4,000-5,000 from June to October 2006.

The biggest gainers were Putanginamo.com, which came from nowhere to 27 in November, and went to 10 last December; Skirmisher, which rocketed from 38 to 15; and Filipina Soul, up from 47 to 32, and which should probably be at the center of a revived "Yan ang Pinay" Googlebombing campaign.

New additions to the Top 50 worth noting are Finance Manila, which illustrates why companies should be blogging (i.e., it has an Alexa rank but its sponsor, CitisecOnline, doesn't); and High Denzity, not because of its content, but because it's the latest SEO-powered blog to join the Top 50. I just hope that PTB will not turn into a list dominated by blogs full of FHM pics. We need more Filipina Soul!

The following are the raw data as of 28 December 2006:



NO

1
3
2
7
4
5
6
8
9
27
10
13
11
15
38
19
17
16
14
20
18
21
24
26
23
28
29
33
25
35
30
47
-
34
-
40
39
48
37
22
32
36
12
31
-
45
43
46
44
-


DE

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50


NAME OF BLOG

Rickey
Bryanboy: Le Superstar Fabuleux
eRadioportal Blog
Kiven
Motorcycle Philippines
Pinoy Cook
Mukamo
Retzwerx - Ang Inyong Pinoy Big Blogger
Starmometer
Putanginamo.com
pinoy.rickey.org
Our Awesome Planet
Philippines For Men
SELaplana
Skirmisher
Basang Panaginip
Cellphone9
Blogged
Pinoy Tech Blog
Chikadora
Inside PCIJ: Stories behind our stories
laurganism.com
Pinoy BSN
Photojunkie
Leon Kilat: The Cybercafe Experiments
Ellen Tordesillas
textmates
Touched by an Angel
Quezon.ph
Composed Gentleman
EntrePinoy Atbp
Filipina Soul
Finance Manila
Macalua.com
High Denzity
The J Spot
Parenting-Weblog.com
Splasher
Kwentong Tambay
Now What, Ca t?
GPCarreon
Filipino Librarian
Alleba Blog
Coconuter - Philippine Travelogue by a Nomad
Reyna Elena
Pinoy Travel Blog
Manila's Daily Grind
WeddingsAtWork.com News Blog
The Sunday Punch
Pinoy Food Photo Blog

TOTAL
UH

128,816
88,493
76,001
68,544
67,978
56,957
54,545
49,982
47,940
42,483
39,824
33,255
32,999
28,739
26,449
24,465
24,373
23,819
23,221
21,532
20,962
20,454
19,927
19,150
18,655
18,226
17,936
17,506
16,557
15,414
13,695
12,380
12,192
11,908
11,404
11,244
11,163
11,106
10,644
10,486
9,660
9,544
9,428
9,113
8,778
8,735
8,341
8,295
8,217
7,858

1,349,393
TMH

251,784
191,030
110,161
207,738
103,688
231,098
141,788
93,636
120,111
100,150
96,496
74,426
129,584
51,580
48,817
61,762
35,000
33,602
42,870
44,892
34,106
48,723
32,833
29,688
26,648
69,565
44,872
28,084
37,040
23,674
44,720
19,042
18,027
17,595
18,996
17,317
15,146
22,580
24,183
27,763
20,344
16,721
13,175
52,516
20,454
19,910
12,948
16,003
30,094
19,656

2,992,636

Category: Blogging

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Librarian: One of Best Careers for 2007

That's right. Not knowledge worker. Not information specialist. Librarian.

According to "Get-Ahead Careers for 2007" by Marty Nemko (U.S.News & World Report, 18 December 2006), "Even though anybody can do a Google search, for instance, librarians will be needed more and more to help us navigate all that digital information."

And that, in essence, is why "librarian" is among 25 professions that "will be in growing demand as baby boomers age, the Internet becomes ubiquitous, and Americans seek richer, simpler lives." It's worth noting, however, that the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't librarian "shortage" is not mentioned at all.

The article is part of a special report entitled Best Careers 2007, which also includes the following:

The "Best Careers Table" shows salary data, minimum educational requirements, etc., for all 25 professions that can be sorted any way you like. Needless to say, librarian salaries are near the bottom of the list.

The "Executive Summary" states that "Librarians these days must be high-tech information sleuths, helping researchers plumb the oceans of information available in books and digital records."

In "James Billington Sees a Bright Future Beyond Books," the Librarian of Congress answers the question, "Will the Internet make librarians obsolete?"

"A Day in the Life" gives a brief overview of the responsibilities of a one-person librarian.

And don't forget the "Tips for New Grads" and "Most Overrated Jobs."
A less comprehensive, but more realistic assessment is available in "The Changing Role of Librarians" by Aja Carmichael (Wall Street Journal, 2 January 2006), which asserts that "The Internet and other advances have opened new fields, with higher salaries, to librarians." Carmichael's article is much more positive than "Today's Most Unpopular Jobs" by Laura Morsch (CareerBuilder.com, 6 February 2006), but both do agree that librarians are not very well paid.

Please note, however, that these articles were written for American librarians. What are the implications for Filipino librarians? Well, since Filipinos are quite familiar with the English language and American culture, the Philippines may soon be facing a shortage of librarians, too.

Agencies are now recruiting librarians for openings in the United States and elsewhere. And I know for a fact that Filipino librarians have already left or are about to leave for new jobs in North America.

Meanwhile, I also know that American companies have begun setting up offices in the Philippines so that they can hire librarians to answer reference and research questions, digitize documents, etc., which may be the start of a trend similar to the call center boom.

I don't really know what to think. On the one hand, an exodus of Filipino librarians or increase in demand for librarians in higher-paying call-center-type jobs may result in greater appreciation for our profession. On the other hand, this will leave even fewer librarians for our public and school libraries, which even now are hard-pressed to offer minimum wage salaries.

What do you think?


Category: Librarians

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2006: Year in Review

From The Anglophile's Rest via RSS feed to p. manalo:
Go to your Calendar and find the first entry for each month of 2006 (not including memes of course). Post the first paragraph/sentence of it in your journal, and that's your "Year in Review".
What follows is not exactly the "first paragraph/sentence" of each post—or even the first post of every month in the case of October and November—but it's probably better this way. Interestingly, the posts seem to be fairly representative of what this blog is all about.

Happy new year!


January: All Will Be Well
I took the photo above at a friend's wedding yesterday. I believe it's a sculpture of Christ after Easter. And then I read Tan's column today. One doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the other. But I'd like to think they do. All will be well.
February: The History of Libraries in the Philippines
Not much has been written or published about the history of libraries in the Philippines. A few articles that are available online are...
March: Blogs as Filipiniana, Part I
In "The Pinoy A-list," I asked, what makes a blog "Pinoy"? Some suggestions have been made through the comments on my post, Random Takes and Ambot Ah! I'd like to suggest the following definition of a "Pinoy" blog based on the definition I use for my "Filipiniana Online" series...
April: The Cure for Information Overload
This is probably the best article I've read on this topic since I started this blog: "The Cure for Information Overload." Just follow the yellow brick road...
May: A-LIEP: DSpace and EPrints
Filipino librarians can definitely take advantage of DSpace and EPrints, but it will take a bit more technical know-how than a blog requires because the necessary software must first be downloaded, configured and installed. This should not be difficult, however, because quite a few institutions are already digitizing their theses collections.
June: I'm leaving on a jet plane...
I would have wanted to make this post a more substantial one, but I just finished packing and I'll be leaving for the airport in a few minutes. I will miss all of you—including those I have yet to meet =)
July: Male Librarians
In "2.0: Where are the Women?" Karen Schneider says that, "we just don't have enough women engaged in key discussions of the day." It is rather ironic that a female-dominated profession has a disproportionate number of males in leadership positions.
August: One More Dancing Librarian
That's Zarah Gagatiga, in black, dancing with her son to "Let's Hear It For the Boy." Zarah was the first librarian I featured on this blog (see "Zarah Gagatiga — Filipino Librarian"). In case you missed it, there's also a video of "Dancing Librarian."
September: Pinoy Top Blogs: August 2006
Basang panaginip held the top spot on Pinoy Top Blogs (PTB) for one whole month on the strength of one post that got Dugg and drew in the kind of non-Filipino readers that very few Pinoy bloggers get. Raincontreras.com traversed a similar path to the 22nd spot, which seems to suggest that sex toys aren't as interesting as vector art. Then again, maybe not having the necessary bandwidth after getting BoingBoing-ed held back its rise.
October: "Sexy" Librarians
As "The Men of TLA: A Calendar" makes clear, they are some of the guys who will "accompany you through 2007 and half of 2008, month by month, in an exploration of the barely-seen side of TLA men." (Via LISNews)
November: LLE 2006: Library Organization and Management
The Librarians' Licensure Examination is fast approaching. If you or someone you know will be taking the exam—or even if you're enrolled in a library management class now—you may want to take a look at the following...
December: LLE 2006: Results
The passing rate has gone up significantly to 37 percent from last year's 31 percent. Below are the list of the top 13 examinees and the roll of successful examinees. If you're one of the new librarians, you may want to check out Job Openings and Career Development =)

Category: About Filipino Librarian

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