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Outstanding Librarian 2020:
Stephen B. Alayon

Stephen B. Alayon

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Stephen B. Alayon on 17 December 2020. The citation reads:
STEPHEN B. ALAYON is a distinguished achiever in the field of Library and Information Science, committed to uphold UN SDGs by supporting open access to information from publicly-funded researches on fisheries and aquaculture. His undertakings served to strengthen fisheries education by promoting research and scholarship through the dissemination of SEAFDEC publications in print, institutional repository, and digital library box. His advocacy ushered in the protection of fundamental freedoms through his outreach NcelLIBERation jail libraries: his crucial role in the institutionalization of PLAI National Congresses; and his passion and service to capacitate Fisheries and LIS professionals and students. His competence, excellence, and commendable track record earned him various awards and recognition such as PAARL Outstanding Academic/Research Librarian, ASLP Citation Award for Excellence in Research, PLAI Distinguished Service Award, Severino I. Velasco Award, and Gawad sa Natatanging Laybraryan (Visayas), SLA Asian Librarian Award, IASSIST Fellow. and ACS Publications Travel Grant for Librarians. As an officer/member of PLAI, PLAI-WVRLC, ASLP, PAARL, PATLS, SLA, and IAMSLIC, he demonstrated relentless dedication to these organizations as a testimony to an outstanding career.
Thanks to Stephen Alayon for the citation and photo.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Outstanding Librarian 2019:
Enrique T. Cayaban

Enrique T. Cayaban

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Enrique T. Cayaban on 20 June 2019. The citation reads:
For his distinguished contribution in the field of Librarianship, his exemplary service in his profession such as: Director of Libraries, Saint Mary’s University; Chief Librarian, Cagayan Valley Computer & Information Technology College; College Librarian, Nueva Vizcaya State Institute of Technology; assistant reference librarian of De la Salle University; his being a professor of graduate/undergraduate courses in Library Science; author of library science books; researcher, and resource person in national and regional seminars shows his commitment and professionalism in his field.

His competence, excellence, and commendable track record have earned him various awards and recognition such as: Gawad Parangal sa Natatanging Libraryan [Luzon], PLAI, 2018); Lifetime Achievement Award (PAARL, 2018); Lifetime Achievement Award (CaVRLC, 2017); Outstanding Alumni Award (UST, 2011); Service Award for Exemplary Leadership and Cooperation from 2005 to 2010 (PLAI, 2011); Plaque of Recognition for 28 years of dedicated service and in various positions to Saint Mary’s University (SMU, 2011); Eagle Award for Service Excellence (3 consecutive years as Service Excellence Awardee, SMU, 2009); Most Outstanding Academic and Research Librarian in Luzon (PAARL, 2008); and 10th place, PRC Librarians Licensure Examination (PRC, 1998).

His leadership has been exemplified in the positions he held as the first president of Cagayan Valley Region Librarians Council (CaVRLC); board of trustees of Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI); executive council member of the National Committee on Library and Information Services (NCLIS) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA); founding president of the Nueva Vizcaya Librarians Association, Inc. for eight (8) years; president of Bambang Sunshine Project Organization, Inc., a charity project for children with disabilities (CWDs), are testament to his relentless dedication to his organization/s and outstanding career.

Thanks to Ike Cayaban for the citation and photo.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Free Registration for IFLA WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur

Would you like to attend the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?

Dysart & Jones, a trusted advisor to the knowledge, library, and information community, is donating FREE REGISTRATION (worth 595 Euros) for ONE licensed librarian from the Philippines to attend the 84th WLIC from 24-30 August 2018. (NOTE: This donation does NOT include the cost of airfare, accommodations, and other expenses.)

Priority will be given to a Filipino librarian who is: 
If you wish to qualify for this unique opportunity, please send an email with subject "IFLA WLIC 2018 free registration" to von.totanes@gmail.com by 8 August 2018, 12 nn (Manila time) with the following:
  • photo of PRC ID;
  • photo of the first page of your Philippine passport; and
  • answer to the question "Why should I be given free registration to IFLA WLIC 2018?" (max. 200 words).
The winner, as chosen by the donor, will be informed via email by August 9, 12 nn. S/he will receive a letter of confirmation of registration upon presentation of confirmed flight details and accommodations.


Outstanding Librarian 2018:
Elizabeth R. Peralejo

Elizabeth R. Peralejo

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Elizabeth R. Peralejo on 21 June 2018. The citation reads:
For demonstrating professional excellence and relentless dedication to her 40 years of involvement in the field of librarianship as shown in her significant contribution to the advancement of the profession through the revision of the Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS) program, the drafting of the Code of Ethics for Filipino Librarians, the formulation of Standards for Philippine Libraries, the preparation of Minimum Requirements for Higher Education Institution Libraries Common to all Programs, and the monitoring of library schools to ensure that they conform with existing policies, standards, and guidelines; for being a sought-after speaker and trainer in seminar-workshops and conferences, allowing her to sit as a member of the Education and Training Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions; for spearheading various activities for the successful celebration of Library and Information Services Month, the National Book Week, and Librarians Day; for initiating and instituting changes in the operation of the national accredited professional organization of librarians such as its rules of proceedings during annual conventions and general assemblies, guidelines in the management of funds and grants, as well as the holding of national conferences; and for her active participation in socio-civic and religious organizations dedicated for the welfare of people with disabilities and in the renewal of families.

Thanks to Jamie Peralejo for the citation and photo.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Why is the National Library headed by a Non-Librarian?

"Only qualified and licensed librarians shall be employed as librarians in all government libraries."

On 19 Jan 2018, I filed a complaint with the Ombudsman that questioned the appointment of a non-librarian as Director of the National Library of the Philippines. On 14 Feb 2018, I filed a supplement to the original complaint that charged the current Director with illegal practice of the profession.

This blog post shares the documents that I submitted to the Ombudsman, provides links to relevant sites (where, for example, you can verify for yourself if the current #NationalNonLibrarian is, in fact, not a licensed librarian), and links to all the articles and shows that have mentioned the complaint.

Just to be clear, I am NOT interested in the position. I filed my complaint because we have to safeguard the integrity and values of ALL professions by making sure that only licensed professionals are allowed to practice.

Here's the PDF of the complaint that I submitted on 19 Jan 2018:

Here's the PDF of the supplement to the Jan 19 complaint, which I submitted on 14 Feb 2018:

Here are the relevant links:
"SEC 31. Employment of Librarians. – Only qualified and licensed librarians shall be employed as librarians in all government libraries."

As posted by the Civil Service Commission:
"Qualification Requirements
• Others : must be a licensed librarian"

National Library welcomes new director
This press release does not tell us much. Neither does Google.

Excerpt from the message read by a subordinate at the national congress of librarians in Bacolod last November 2017. (Yes, he could not even be bothered to deliver it himself.)

"...The President himself had witnessed the destitute situation of majority of the Filipino people. With the numerous impoverished places he visited, he resolved that should he win the presidency, he would prioritize the majority who have been denied even of basic services from the government. His compassion over the poorest of the poor has been marked in his heart.

And so, when he won, he handpicked the people whom he believed could run with this vision. I am among those designated, not because I am the most qualified for the position, but because I have the trust and confidence of the President. To work with him closely in delivering government services to the majority who have been denied for these benefits for decades.

I have worked for Mayor Duterte, now President of this Republic, within fifteen years. My work as among the human resource officers was to hire, to deploy, and if ineffective, to fire. Over and above this, I handled some confidential matters for the mayor. I am appointed in this agency for a mission, ensuring that all citizens, especially the poor and other vulnerable groups, have access to NLP services..."

See the answer for yourself at the website of the Professional Regulation Commission:
Verification of Professional Licenses

The only one available online before I filed my complaint:
PLAI Statement of Concern
The one that was uploaded after I filed my complaint:
Statement of Concern of which copies were sent to the PRC and CSC

Code of Ethics for Philippine Librarians
Sec. 2.3: "Librarians shall not assist in the unauthorized practice of librarianship."

Why I became a librarian.

The following links lead to online articles and TV segments that have tackled this concern.

2 April 2018
Philippine Daily Inquirer
23 February 2018
13 February 2018
Philippine Star
5 February 2018
Philippine Star
2 February 2018
Philippine Daily Inquirer
1 February 2018
Philippine Star
31 January 2018
CNN Philippines
28 January 2018
Philippine Daily Inquirer
26 January 2018
25 January 2018
Esquire Philippines
Philippine Star
24 January 2018
Philippine Daily Inquirer
GMA News Online
Philippine Star


Hot Filipino Librarians

A few weeks ago, I was surprised to find my photo and name in a list of the hottest Filipino librarians. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I belong on the list. And I'm not being modest. Just take a look at the photos below ;-)

Note: All photos below are used with permission. And everyone on the list is a licensed librarian, except where indicated otherwise.

ISHEE finished her master's degree in library and information science in 2015, and is currently working at a law library. Her husband suggested using the pic above. He's sweet, right?

VINCE was a varsity basketball player before he traded balls and hoops for books and computers. He still manages, however, to score points with the college girls who line up to ask him questions... at the reference desk.

DIANNE, a magna cum laude graduate from the premier state university, is currently a full-time law student who's also studying for the librarian licensure exam. Oh, and she routinely beats her bf at Tekken.

NOEL followed in his mother's footsteps and is now a librarian at an international research institute. Except she's more like Marian the Librarian, and he's more like, well... Conan the Librarian's younger brother.

JOL is an AV librarian at an exclusive high school for boys. She approves their friend requests on Facebook only after they graduate AND only if she's friends with them IRL.

PHILIP is the kind of school librarian in whose presence a teenage girl has pretended to faint and who, after he took her into his arms to get her some help, started shouting, "Ang bango ni sir!!!"

KAORI is half-Filipino, half-Japanese. She's a librarian at the oldest university in the Philippines, where she's been told that she's "too hot to be a librarian." QED.

CARLO, who works at a local development bank, has been told he looks like K-drama star Lee Min Ho. But he does not take such comments seriously. He just strikes a pose and lets them decide. (Ok, I made up the last part.)

TIN is a hot mama who's employed as a librarian in Qatar. Her husband objected to posting her smoking hot pics, and that's why all you'll see here are the husband-approved pics above.

TROY is a storyteller who loves kids so much that once in a while he dresses up as HENERAL BASA at his public library and elsewhere. He makes reading fun... and that's hot!


Outstanding Librarian 2017:
Mila Medina Ramos

Mila Medina Ramos

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Mila Medina Ramos on 23 June 2017. The citation reads:
For her distinguished contribution in the field of librarianship as demonstrated by her exemplary service to her profession through sharing of her expertise as resource speaker in local and international fora and providing free on-the-job training to local and foreign librarians; for her strong commitment and professionalism having served as member of the Board for Librarians and conducting reviews for takers of the Librarians Licensure Examination; for promoting the library profession through her book, essays and lectures and updating of Philippine Standards for Special Libraries; for her participation in national committees for framing cataloguing standards and librarians' competencies;

For steering the International Rice Research library into one of the model libraries in the Philippines and for pioneering the creation of PhilAgriNet, and assuming a major role in the formation of the CGIAR Libraries and Information Services Consortium; for heading the ALAP as its President who engineered IRRI's membership in the Agricultural Networks Information Collaborative (AgNIC) and took the initiative in conducting librarian-related research;

For her competence, excellence, and commendable track record that earned for her various awards and recognition, such as the Outsanding Librarian Award (ALAP, 2005), Outstanding Academic/Research Librarian Award 2005 (PAARL, 2006), CGIAR Science Award (CGIAR, 2006), PLAI-STRLC Most Distinguished Librarian Award (2009) that served as a testament to her outstanding career.

Thanks to Rene Manlangit for the citation and photo.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


Marianita D. Dablio — Filipino Librarian

Congratulations to Dr. Marianita D. Dablio for her Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of the Philippines Library Science Alumni Association (UPLSAA)!

Below is the response she delivered at the awarding ceremony.

Marianita D. Dablio
2 July 2016

Thank you, UPLSAA 2015-2016, for this Distinguished Alumna Award.

It is with great humility that I receive this award in behalf of the librarians, library staff, and LIS faculty with whom I have worked at the Mindanao State University and other institutions in Mindanao. I would like to thank the faculty of the Institute, now School, of Library and Information Studies, who impressed on me the solid groundings of a good librarian: Prof. Rosa Vallejo, Dr. Ursula Picache, Prof. Filomena Tann, Prof. Namnama Hidalgo, and Prof. Herminia Santos.

How did I become a Librarian? My “romance” with the field must have started when I worked as a student assistant at the Mindanao State University Library, while pursuing a degree in BS Elementary Education. A long, long overdue expression of gratitude goes to two Institute alumni, Benifredo Sta. Maria and Leticia Espinas Aquino, who paved the way in my becoming a librarian. How can I ever forget the “imposing” voices of these two figures, who persistently told us what a library should be? Sir Benny and Ma’am Letty insisted that I should study in what was then the UP Institute of Library Science.

I would like to believe that as SLIS alumni, we have to spread our wings and leave a lasting imprint. I ventured to start the MSU Department of Library Science (now Department of Library and Information Science) as a one-woman department. Now the department has three full-time faculty members who are at the forefront of producing quality LIS professionals in Mindanao. It is worth noting the department has developed a number of Muslim and Christian librarians in the region, and in the country, as well.

Years of library work have earned me a number of monickers: “the walking encyclopedia,” “the walking dictionary,” and “Dabliography.” I realized that this image has highlighted our vital role in sourcing, resourcing, and outsourcing information for our various publics. It is our knack for looking for alternative sources of information that have connected us to our users.

Our profession is reaching a critical turn. It has reached a point where at the service delivery, “I don’t know” is not possible as a reply anymore. I always remind my students that “ewan” is not an acceptable option in dealing with our patrons. Colleagues tell us what happens when the librarian says “ambot” (meaning “ewan” or I don’t know). Perhaps it is is time to develop our reference course as an engaging moment where our students can apply their psychology, sociology, and even politics of the information interaction. With all the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there is still no substitute for face-to-face communication.

One of the most unforgettable lessons of being a teacher is how students and library practitioners are “teaching” me instead of the other way around. One never misses to listen to their endless stories of “no support,” “walang budget,” “walang paki si Boss,” and maraming “nega” sa buhay librarian. The realities of the field resound that libraries are indeed resource-intensive institutions. Perhaps we can train them how to manage libraries amidst resource constraints. Indeed the challenge is how to teach our students to see beyond the box.

With so much information around us, I have advocated the responsive and responsible use of library and information sources. We have to develop strategies on how our library professionals can respond to the changes, yet be ethically responsible for the use of such resources. Let us develop our information literacy sessions—where our students are provided opportunities to relearn, retool, and rethink—to enable them to rediscover the world from inside out.

Indeed, this award is a very prestigious one. With UP’s SLIS taking the lead in LIS education, we its alumni are challenged to reflect on what can do for those at the peripheries. UP’s SLIS has been a guiding light in our pursuit for quality education in Mindanao. While we see the need for increasing the number of Muslim and Christian library professionals, we look forward to encouraging more of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao to become librarians. Perhaps only then can we claim that Filipino librarians are multicultural. The UPLSAA has been the beacon for our initiatives.

A librarian’s work is never done, even after retirement. I retired three years ago, but my retirement felt more like a back subject. I have returned to the readings and many other things I wanted to do before I retired. I also call this phase in my life as “in progress.” I have not finished sending my expression of gratitude to the many students I have interacted with, and to the colleagues who supported me all the way.

My response has been full of “we,” “us,” and “our” because in every aspect, I was not doing the job solo. So I share this award with my former administrators who, while setting high expectations, had confidence in my ability to deliver. I would also like to thank the many individuals who shared the true meaning of resourcefulness.

I would like to thank my family, who have been there ALWAYS, through thick and thin.

For the greatnesS of God’s love in his mercy and compassion.

For all of us, MAGANDANG BUHAY!

Reproduced with the author's permission.


Librarians' Licensure Examination 2016: Results

Congratulations to the new librarians!

The passing rate for this year's Librarians' Licensure Examination (LLE) is 65 percent (738 out of 1,140), which is the highest-recorded passing rate since librarians began taking the LLE in 1993, and certainly higher than the 2015 passing rate of 47 percent.

The most important question is "Why?" Was the exam easier? Or are graduates getting better? It's hard to say for sure, but comparing the passing rates of the 2016 first timers (80 percent, or 622 of 780) and the 2015 first timers (70 percent, or 273 of 388), as well as the passing rates of the 2016 repeaters (32 percent, or 116 of 360) and the 2015 repeaters (22 percent, or 76 of 354), it's clear that the percentage of first timers and repeaters who passed the exam this year is consistently greater than the percentage of those who passed the exam last year.

While the change in exam schedule (i.e., from April last year to September this year) gave last year's graduates more time to study for this year's exam, the increase in passing rate for repeaters from 22 percent last year to 32 percent this year suggests that the 2016 exam was easier. There is a need to examine all previous passing rates for repeaters, but the passing rates for repeaters in 2013 and 2014 (22 percent and 15 percent, respectively) support my thesis that this year's exam was easier.

"Easier" in what sense? From what I've learned from previous and current members of the Board for Librarians, greater efforts have been exerted to ensure that test questions are easier to comprehend (though not necessarily making them easier to answer). From my own experience taking the exam in 2004, LLE questions can be rather difficult to comprehend, and examinees just have to make a guess regarding the answers to many questions. This can be rather disconcerting, especially to repeaters.

Anyway, while the University of the Philippines had a 100 percent passing rate (50 out of 50) and 4 of its examinees made it to the top 11, I think it's remarkable that 4 of the top scorers were from provincial schools, namely Holy Cross of Davao College, Baliuag University, University of Saint Louis-Tuguegarao, and Bicol College; with University of Santo Tomas taking the top spot, and examinees from University of the East and Philippine Normal University rounding out the list of topnotchers.

The list of the top scorers is reproduced below. The list of successful examinees may be downloaded from the official website of the Professional Regulation Commission.

Top 11


Outstanding Librarian 2016:
Rodolfo Y. Tarlit

Rodolfo Y. Tarlit

The Professional Regulation Commission conferred the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the Year Award on Rodolfo Y. Tarlit on 22 June 2016. The citation reads:
For having sustained his dedication, competence and integrity, as a Professional Librarian, contributed in raising the level of competence of Filipino Librarians and the emergence of Librarianship as a profession from obscurity to vibrancy; for having been an outstanding library educator, most preferred resource person, lecturer and trainer in information analysis and organization of library materials; for a body of library literature he wrote/presented/compiled/edited, such as conference, seminar and workshop papers and proceedings, newsletters, articles and inspirational messages; for his indefatigable leadership as University Librarian of the University of the Philippines-Diliman, President of the University of the Philippines Library Science Alumni Association (UPSLAA), Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians (PAARL), Inc., Philippine Association of Teachers of Library and Information Science (PATLS) and Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI); for having been recognized thru awards such as outstanding alumnus of the UPLSAA, Academic Librarian of the Year of PAARL, Professional Service Award of PATLS, Gabriel A. Bernardo Award, Severino I. Velasco Award, Service Award and Hall of Fame Award by PLAI, and Gawad Chancellor by the University of the Philippines-Diliman; and for his pioneering/trailblazing work as Convenor and Co-Chair of the National Committee on Resource Description and Access, which drafted the Policy and Guidelines on the Implementation of RDA in Philippine Libraries, as Chair of the National Committee that drafted the Guidelines on the Registration of Cultural Properties in Libraries, and as Member, Board of Trustees of the Martial Law Memorial Commission.

Thanks to Rene Manlangit for photo and to Elvira Lapuz for the citation.

Category: Librarians—Awardees


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