The Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI) now has a website. There's also a blog with one post at this time. They're not quite on the same level as the other websites that got me excited in the past, but it's a start. At the very least, I hope they add an email address to their contact information to make it easier for members who are not in Metro Manila to get in touch with them. Overall, I still think the state of the PLAI website says a lot about "Philippine librarianship in the 21st century."
"What is an 'open access journal'? Short answer: it's available online and it's free. Longer answer: 'A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access' by Peter Suber."
There is, of course, more to it than the short answer (such as peer review), but that's what I wrote more than three years ago in a post about the "Directory of Open Access Journals." It's really encouraging to note that the open access movement has taken off in the Philippines, so that from merely blogging about Filipino journals available-for-free-online-but-not-necessarily-open-access in 2005, I am now able to blog about honest-to-goodness Filipino "Open Access Journals," especially "Philippine Studies," whose archives of full-text, peer-reviewed articles now go back to 1970.
I first learned about open access when John Willinsky came to the Philippines and delivered a lecture about it when I was still an MLIS student. I was also then assistant editor for Landas, and realized just how much it would help Philippine journals if they adopted the open access model. In "Open Access in the Third World," I summarized why open access mattered to me and, more importantly, why it should matter to Filipino publishers of scholarly journals:
I have worked on print and online publications, and while the time required to edit articles is the same for both, those published online do not have to contend with printing press schedules or deal with printing and mailing costs. And the publication is immediately available and will eventually be searchable through search engines.As the years passed, I learned more about open access at conferences and blogged about "DSpace and EPrints," "Open Access and Online Communities" and the "Scholarly Information Infrastructure." This led me to the realization that government-funded research, especially those related to science and medicine, should be published not in for-profit journals, but those that are freely available. After all, if it's our taxes that paid for the research, why should we have to pay to read the results? Privately-funded research, incidentally, should be freely available, too—even with certain restrictions—because scholars and scientists don't conduct research so that only those who can pay for the journals will read their articles, but so that the whole of humanity can benefit from their findings.
My belief in open access as the necessary next step for scholarly journals and Third World libraries convinced me to join the board of Library Student Journal, an open access journal, and make sure that I mentioned open access whenever I was invited to speak to Filipino librarians (see "Research in Librarianship" and "Filipiniana Online").
If you're still with me at this point, you should probably know that I've provided links to just about all the posts I've written about open access as a way of showing how I've been supporting open access—and how you can do it, too, by blogging about the movement!—for more than three years now... and that there's a "Synchroblogging competition" for Open Access Day. Wish me luck!
Here's a video of a librarian talking about the benefits of open access:
Diane Graves, Librarian, from Open Access Videos on Vimeo.
It's good to know that more and more Filipino librarians are pursuing PhDs. The latest one I just learned about is Sahlee Bualat (Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro City), who recently joined Nora Agustero (Saint Columban College, Pagadian City) at University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. Both are beneficiaries of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. Bualat just started, while Agustero is almost finished with her dissertation.
For a previous post on Filipino PhD students, not all of whom were librarians, see "i-Conference 2006: Filipino PhD Students."
Photo courtesy of Nora Agustero.
It looks like there is so little information available on "Buwan ng Wika" that students, teachers, and parents go online and look for answers on blogs like mine. My post on "Buwan ng Wika 2008" wasn't even the type that I expected to attract 75 comments, which has never happened to any of my posts in such a short time. I don't think any post of mine has actually gotten that many comments. Even "Buwan ng Wika 2006" merited 17 comments, all of them written two years after the post went up. (For some reason, it's not possible to leave comments on "Buwan ng Wika 2007.") True, some comments are repeated and some are spam, but that still leaves a lot of comments.
So what do they say? It's really just a lot of students asking—or rather, demanding—that I email more information or a talumpati about Buwan ng Wika "ngayon????????." I've never really thought it worth my time to reply to any of them, but if any of them are still waiting for an answer, here it is: I will not do your homework for you. But you may want to take up the offer of one of the commenters:
AKO AY ISANG INSTRUKTOR SA KOLEHIYO NG KOLEHIYO NG EMILIO ZAGUINALDO SA DASMARINAS, CAVITE.And then there's the parent who's doing her kid's homework and asking if I can do it for her:
MASASABI KONG BILANG GURO SA FILIPINO SA LOOB NG 5 TAON AY MALAKI ANG PAGPAPAHALAGA KO SA ATING WIKA KUNG KAYA'T AKO'Y NATUTUWA KAPAG AKO AY NAKABABASA NG MGA MENSAHE UKOL SA PAG-ALAM SA ATING WIKA.
KUNG MAYROON AKONG MAITUTULONG MAAARI NYO PO AKONG TXT SA 09216684454.
SAMA-SAMA NATING PAUNLARIN AT IPAGMALAKI SA ATING SIMPLENG PAMAMARAAN ANG ATING WIKA - ANG WIKANG FILIPINO!
This is not a comment about what you have written, rather I would like to ask you if you could translate the theme "Wika mo, Wika ng mundo, mahalaga" in six different dialects of the Philippines? It's my kid's homework and we need it today... Thanks a lotIs it the lack of face-to-face contact that makes most of my commenters think that their requests are reasonable? Would they actually ask such things of a librarian standing in front of them? I hope not.
"Love makes things real." Erin McKean, a lexicographer, wasn't referring to toys, but to words that people love that aren't found in dictionaries. We have many such words in the Philippines =)
The video above is of an enlightening and entertaining presentation that I just saw today (via Stephen's Lighthouse). The speaker, who is editor in chief of the Oxford American Dictionary, likens what she does to the work of a fisherman who uses his net to "catch" all kinds of words, not a traffic cop who separates the good words from the bad words. And while she knows a lot of big words (like erinaceous), she's also very good at simplifying them: "Serendipity is when you find things you weren't looking for because finding what you are looking for is so damned difficult."
Anyway, I thought reopening this blog with the words "Love makes things real" was a good way to welcome everyone back. For more about what the quote refers to, check out The Velveteen Rabbit or watch the video narrated by Meryl Streep.