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Too Busy to Blog

This blog will not be updated until 24 April 2008 at the earliest. Its owner is too busy to blog. Wish him luck.


Promoting Libraries

The screenshot above, showing that there was "No event for the [sic] Wednesday, March 5 2008" is from the National Library's Events page. It doesn't seem to be fully functional yet, but it's actually encouraging that the website is even up and that the catalog is working, considering that I've noted in the past that it wasn't always up (see this and this). So why the screenshot? Well, according to "107th Anniversary of the National Library of the Philippines" (Manila Bulletin, 5 March 2008), March 5 was the National Library's anniversary. The editorial's writer could have been mistaken—after all, I did receive an announcement last year that the National Library was celebrating its 120th anniversary on 14 August 2007—but this only goes to show that the National Library needs to do a better job of communicating with the public, not to mention journalists.

Another article, "eLibrary offers 800,000 literary works" by Rizalene Acac (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 10 March 2008), indicates that the Philippine eLib has "800,000 items on Philippine literature [that] have not been explored fully by students and researchers, according to a top National Library official." Well, I think it's unreasonable to expect that people will go to the eLib so that they can read novels. And then there's the prepaid card factor. As another blogger wrote last year,

One would have to buy a prepaid card in the National Library and then use it to download one’s selected content. Which sort of defeats the purpose of an e-text website, since the reason why I visited it was precisely because I did not have the time to drop by the actual library.
In contrast, there's the FEATI University Library. It doesn't have a separate website with a searchable catalog (maybe because it's not necessary?), but it just finished its "FEATI U Library Week 2008," which featured movies, music and poetry at a "Riverview Cafe." It seems to have been well-received by the community and encouraged participation not only during, but even before the event. Pictures of the different events, available on the FEATI website, accompany the post-event article, which reports that suggestions have been made to turn the cafe into a permanent feature.

Different libraries have different problems, of course, but what I wrote in the misleadingly-titled "Sex in the Library" is applicable for most libraries, especially "Promotions" and "Positioning." You may also want to check out "Proactive Librarians," which has suggestions that can be used to promote libraries.


Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao vs
Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez

"Many people think Manny Pacquiao is a Mexican killer, I don't think so. And on March 15 I will demonstrate who's better."

That's what Juan Manuel Marquez says in the video above. In English. (Even though someone translates the questions for him into Spanish.) In contrast, Manny Pacquiao goes beyond talking or singing (!)—in Tagalog and English—and is now writing for a tabloid. The name of his twice-a-week column is Kumbinasyon, which actually reads more like it was dictated to someone =)

Marquez was, of course, referring to his fight with Pacquiao on Sunday, 16 March 2008, which will be shown in Manila starting at 9 am on GMA. (Note: Due to time zone differences, the fight actually takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, 15 March 2008, 6 pm.)

Anyway, the usual go-to sites are HBO, if you're in North America; and GMA's Unfinished Business, if you're in the Philippines. But you should check out Pacquiao Video, where you can view the full 30-minute video of HBO's "Countdown to Marquez Pacquiao II," see the list of venues where the fight will be shown on a big screen for a fee or free (all over the Philippines!), and read tips on how you can watch the fight online for free!

If none of these work for you, you'll just have to wait for Pinoy Rickey to upload clips in his usual uploaded-within-minutes style. And if you really can't watch the fight on TV or online, news updates will be available on Inquirer.net's "The Pacquiao Files," Google News, Yahoo! News, and Topix.net. Or you can check out what bloggers are saying on Technorati and Google Blog Search.

Finally, Pacland has the latest news about Pacquiao from different sources, plus information about all previous fights and a forum for his fans.

By the way, for the benefit of those with editor-itis—and search engines LOL!—PacqUIAO is not spelled PacqUAIO or PacqUIO.


Of Budgets, Leadership and the National Library

Below are links to a few articles you may have missed, plus my comments.

Public libraries don't get enough funding. From "Public library gets budget for repair, new books" (Cebu Daily News, 20 February 2008)

For the first time, the Mandaue City Public Library is getting a budget to buy new reading materials and repair the building.

Acting librarian Marrieta Orque expressed relief that the government has allocated a budget for the purchase of new books for the library.
It's good news of course, but it's really sad that the fact that the library was allotted a budget, which is taken for granted elsewhere, is considered newsworthy. If Orque, as the article reports, has been with the library for 20 years, does this mean that the library has been operating without a budget all that time? Probably not... but I wouldn't be surprised, either, if the answer is "yes."

A town in Leyte seems to be in better shape. From "Poor town has modern library" by Joey Gabieta (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 January 2008):
This sleepy agricultural town has what other municipalities in the province lack—a modern and fully air-conditioned library.

Credit goes to its young mayor, Bernard Jonathan Remandaban, who said his "bias" for education was the main driver for the construction of a two-story library building on a one-hectare lot that was once a swampy area at the town center.
What's the difference? It's obvious that the town has a leader who thinks libraries are important. I don't really like the fact that no mention is made of the librarian (I certainly hope they hired one), but a new library building is certainly much more welcome news.

And then there's the National Library of the Philippines. From a column by Wilson Lee Flores (Philippine Star, 21 January 2008):
I urge the state to build more public libraries and to rebuild our National Library, instead of more waiting sheds, basketball courts or cock-fighting pits. Why is it that a private-sector bookstore like Fully Booked in The Fort is nicer than our republic’s so-called "National Library," which I believe should be renamed "National Disgrace"!
There is, of course, a simple answer: the private sector has more money than the state. And the state has never really considered libraries a priority. So I wouldn't really count on the government allotting a budget for libraries. My suggestion? Get the private sector involved (e.g., naming rights), but before that can be done, we need leaders!


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