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Meme: Books I Own and Love

A meme (rhymes with "seem") is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as a "unit of cultural information... that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another." There's more on its history and uses at Wikipedia. But no, when bloggers get tagged with a meme, it's more akin to a chain letter rather than a transmission of information.

Well, Rambling Librarian tagged me a little while ago. And since my posts have been quite serious lately, let me just tell you a little bit more about myself through the books I own and love.

Total number of books owned: Hundreds, but less than a thousand.

Last book I bought:

The Island of Lost Maps
Just last week, I bought The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime (Miles Harvey) for 200 pesos in good-as-new condition. I was having second thoughts about buying it because I still have so many unread books. Well, I'm reading it now and I don't regret that I bought it for many reasons, but this quote will probably be one of the top reasons when I finally finish the book:
Librarian... it practically begs you to envision a stoop-shouldered loser, socks mismatched, eyes locked in a permanent squint from reading too much microfiche. If it were up to me, I would abolish the word entirely and turn back to the lexicological wisdom of the ancients, who saw librarians not as feeble sorters and shelvers but as heroic guardians (p. 113).
Last book I read:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
I've written enough about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (JK Rowling) in "For Harry Potter Fans," "Harry Potter!!!" and "A Tragic Death in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." I'll be writing one more soon but it will just be odds and ends, and not a review. So if you haven't read it yet, buy it or borrow it!

Five books that mean a lot to me:

The first library book I ever borrowed that was not—or so I thought in Grade Two—a children's book was The Melted Coins (Franklin W. Dixon). From then on, I probably borrowed all the Hardy Boys books I could find at the library and through friends, and bought a few of my own.

When I was in Grade Six, my father forced me to read The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum). I had added Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins and Apple Paperbacks to my reading mix, and was also rereading the Hardy Boys series, but my father insisted that I read at least one chapter of the Ludlum thriller every week. Pretty soon, I was the one begging to read... just... one... more... chapter! From then on, I was hooked. No more children's books for me!

I borrowed The Prodigal Daughter (Jeffrey Archer) from a classmate after reading Kane and Abel, which I had seen on television. While I liked the latter book, which first introduced me to the protagonist of the former, for some reason, I liked the sequel better than the original. I found the introduction to the workings of the US legislative system fascinating.

I borrowed Adventures in the Screen Trade (William Goldman) as a freshman in high school because it was one of the few books that looked appealingly new in the stacks. If the library card is still there, you'll see my signature as the first to fourth borrower. Yes, I reread the book every year after the first time. This is the book where "Nobody knows anything," the oft-quoted Hollywood put-down, came from. It's also where I got "Screenplays are structure," which I then proceeded to apply to just about everything I wrote from then on—none of them remotely resembling a screenplay.

I first read parts of Inside Oscar (Damien Bona and Mason Wiley) at the old Thomas Jefferson Cultural Center when I was doing research for a high school paper (my father brought me, of course). It was this exposure, I believe, that led me to take a more active interest in the Oscar Awards. I was drawn to the well-written stories about the making of movies and how they fared at the Oscars, especially after reading Adventures in the Screen Trade so many times.

But why exactly do these books mean so much to me? The Melted Coins was the one that I remember as the first to awaken my bibliophilic tendencies. I don't even recall anymore what it was about, even though I probably borrowed and read it a few times. (Note to self: buy a copy.) And the rest? Well, I suppose I could say that they are important to me because:
  • I have read each of them from cover to cover at least 10 times,
  • I reread my favorite parts every now and then,
  • I eventually bought or was given my own copies for posterity, and
  • I learned so much about other cultures, professions, etc.
But those aren't real answers. True, I got interested in detective work, espionage, politics and showbiz, but no, I never quite got to the point where I wanted to become one of the people I read about. I suppose the most honest answer I can give is that these are the books that really made me love reading... and ultimately, led to my desire to become a librarian.

The five people I tag:


"Useless" Controversy?

Filipino librarians are currently divided as to the offensiveness of "105 'useless' librarians." Some find it offensive, but some do not. A lot of the discussion is taking place on previously rather quiet yahoogroups, with some comments making it to my posts here and here. Allow me to repeat some of the things I have written in these yahoogroups:

What I really found insulting was the phrase "like 101 dalmatians." I don't know whether those who did not find the article offensive noticed this phrase, but I found this phrase unnecessarily offensive. Maybe some don't mind being likened to dogs, but I mind very much. Call me thin-skinned, but I don't think any profession would appreciate the comparison in just about any context.

Some people wrote that Cristobal had a "very clear point." Well, he ends his column with the following statement: "What they see on the idiot box is more revealing than a thousand words." Call me stupid, but I think he just presented a reason for the government's neglect of libraries.

If we follow his logic, this means that there is, in fact, no need to worry about whether Filipinos can read or that there are books in our libraries. And, of course, because all that Filipinos have to do is turn on the television, librarians will be unnecessary or—to use his word—useless.

But it doesn't really matter whether I'm right or wrong. Some have already pointed out that this is an opportunity to address the problems that ail our profession. And so, my question is this: Whether offended or not offended, are we going to continue doing things the same way we did before? I certainly hope not, for that would render this controversy—like all the other controversies we normally see on the idiot box—useless.



I just received an email asking whether I misread Cristobal's column. Perhaps I missed his sarcasm. So I read it again and, no, I don't think I missed his point at all. This is the reply I sent to the person who emailed me:

Well, as I said, I see the point he's trying to make. In fact, when I found out about it, I thought that the person who told me about Cristobal's column probably misread it or was overreacting.

But after reading his column, I wrote, "While Cristobal will probably call me humorless, I fail to see the need to state that librarians are like dogs just to make a point."

Did he really have to make the reference to dalmatians? I think not.

And then there's the fact that he ends by suggesting that what the people learn from television is more important than what they learn through books. It seems to me that this completely negates the point he's trying to make.
What do you think? Please feel free to say what you think. I am a librarian and I know that there are two sides to every coin and that an elephant can seem like many different things if you are a blind man holding on to just one part of it. But no, I do not bite.


105 ‘useless’ librarians?

In "105 ‘useless’ librarians" (Manila Bulletin, 28 July 2005), Adrian Cristobal says:

Having been accredited by the Professional Regulatory Commission, 105 librarians, just like 101 Dalmatians, make us wonder what to do with them? Their only possible employment lies with Powerbooks, National Book Store, and all other book companies which probably have more books than all the public libraries in the country.
In the next paragraph, Cristobal writes, "I exaggerate, of course," but what exactly did he mean? Was he exaggerating when he compared librarians to dalmatians? While Cristobal will probably call me humorless, I fail to see the need to state that librarians are like dogs just to make a point.

But what exactly is his point? If you read the rest of his column, he says congressmen don't know how to read or write, that government does not spend enough on books, and that people who have nothing to read learn a lot from watching television. I can see the faint outlines of what he's trying to say, but it's not very clear. For someone who is supposed to be a good writer, he needs to work some more on getting his point across.

Incidentally, he never again refers to the 105 librarians. Who are these "useless" librarians? Putting the word "useless" in quotation marks implies, I suppose, that these librarians aren't really useless. So why mention them at all?

I hope someone who has Cristobal's email address and cell phone number reads this. Please leave a comment below so that all those who feel insulted by Cristobal's remarks will know where to reach him.


The Great Raid

The Great RaidThe Great Raid—a film about the rescue of American POWs in the Philippines during World War II—will be shown in the Philippines starting August 10. The movie is topbilled by Benjamin Bratt, James Franco, Connie Nielsen and Joseph Fiennes. Cesar Montano plays a supporting role. Watch the trailer.

The film was produced by Miramax based on the The Great Raid: Rescuing the Doomed Ghosts of Bataan and Corregidor by William Breuer and Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides. It was shot in Australia way back in 2002. To find out why its release has been delayed for so long, see "Miramax dusts off shelved films" by John Horn.

Advance reviews from not-so-mainstream reviewers seem to be mixed:

  • "If you’re an adult and only going to see one film this year, The Great Raid should be the one." (Phil Boatwright)
  • "Caught up in the real worthiness of the subject, a running time of over 2 hours unfortunately dissipates what should have been tight and concise." (Variagate.com)
  • "The Great Raid probably won’t win any Oscars... I’m not a huge fan of war movies in general, but this is a class act all the way." (JE Smith).
  • "Except for the silly love story, everything about this movie is as good as it gets." (Tony Medley)
  • "Delayed since 2003, John Dahl's dust-collecting WWII chronicle The Great Raid finally arrives with the dull thud of a bomb that fails to detonate on impact." (Nick Schager)
  • "It could’ve been an inspiring true story of heroism, but the film forgot to take the audience along for the mission." (Lee Tistaert)
If you would like to read more about the days leading up to events narrated in The Great Raid, see "Bataan Day."


SLA 2005: Epilogue

With Pam Rollo

"I hope to share what I learn at the 2005 Annual Conference through my blog."

This is what I wrote in the statement I submitted when I applied for the International Travel Award. And so, just in case you've been wondering why I've posted so much about the SLA conference, I'm just fulfilling a promise. I only hope that you've found the information I've shared useful and interesting.

The photo above shows me with Pam Rollo, SLA president, after she gave me the raffle prize I won—but not before two others forfeited the prize because they were absent—for completing a Rolodex game (rtf). The prize? Free registration for next year's conference in Baltimore! Now all I need is the money for my plane fare...

For more information about the conference, check out the SLA Conference Blog (especially the "SLA Post-Conference Press Release," which states some basic facts about the conference), the InfoToday Blog, and "Two Views of the SLA Conference, Toronto, June 2005" by Mary Hudson and Joanna Kaczmarczyk (FreePint Newsletter, 16 June 2005). Other conference speakers have also made their presentation materials available online.

And just in case you missed some of my SLA posts, here's a complete list of all of them:


SLA 2005: University of Toronto Libraries

I visited three of the University of Toronto (UofT) libraries after the annual conference.

I signed up for a tour of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (see photo) along with Brenda Martin and Rebecca Vargha, SLA's president-elect. (Alan Harnum, whom I had met earlier, was also there, but only because he volunteered to give Vargha a guided tour of his alma mater.) Among the most impressive items we were shown were the small "book" (read: rock) with hieroglyphics, examples of incunabula and illuminated books, and the anatomically-correct medical books that had flaps to show what was inside. For an example of the last one, click here. Do click on the option to view the interactive image to see what a real digital library should be like.

The Faculty of Information Studies is home to the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, among other programs. (Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian, is best known for "The Medium is the Message.") The Inforum is a library and computer laboratory. But it is more than just a library with computers. Its transformation from library to Inforum began in 1997. By the way, it was there that I met Irene Cruz, and staff member.

The Robarts Library is UofT's main library. It's huge, with at least five floors, with enough escalators and elevators for a small mall. The first floor I went to was devoted to computers. The catalog was not limited to items in the library's physical collection, but brought users even to digital collections of other universities to which the library had access. Both the Fisher Library and the Inforum are located in buildings right next to the Robarts Library.



SLA 2005: Exhibits


A view of the exhibition hall. Photo from The Photo Group.

There were so many exhibitors at the conference that I just decided to pay more attention to those with smaller booths. I reasoned that whatever I might learn from the bigger ones would probably already be known by the people I wanted to share the information with. The following are the ones I thought worth recommending to fellow librarians. (By the way, if you're not a librarian or information professional, you may want to suggest that your librarian visit these sites.)

Evidence Matters will be useful for busy medical professionals. Instead of resorting to keywords, they can use drop-down menus to "assemble" questions such as, "For breast cancer, what is the effect of chemotherapy compared by the outcome rate of survival?" Users can opt to see just the top results, or even a graph synthesis of all search results. Try the basic free version.

ISI Emerging Markets was the only one of the research companies that I visited that had information on the smaller, developing countries in Asia, like Kyrgyzstan and the Philippines. And not just in EMIS, its flagship product, but also in its CEIC databases and its Islamic Finance Information Service. There are free trial subscriptions/online demonstrations available.

Robert A. Schless & Co.'s products were interesting because of how they're accessed by users. NOTEbookS is a library automation system that allows Lotus Notes users to access their library's catalog without leaving Notes. And, of course, the librarian can manage cataloging, research, serials management and acquisitions from Lotus Notes. NORMA, similarly Notes-based, is a series of databases for records management and archiving. View the demos for NOTEbookS and NORMA.



SLA 2005: Click University

Click UniversityThe coffee mug on the right was the token given to all those who attended the launch of Click University, "an online learning community for the benefit of SLA members." This initiative gives members a chance to attend seminars and continuing education sessions without having to pay for airfare, hotel rooms and conference fees. It's even possible that members can schedule the use of a training room and "share" the sessions with colleagues.

If you're not a member of SLA but would like to check out what Click University has to offer, all you have to do is click. Two course libraries are available right now: the Professional Improvement Libraries and the Information Studies Library. The former has more than 200 courses in four different libraries: Leadership & Management, Organizational & Professional Improvement, Personal Development, and Office Applications, while the latter, which is still being developed, just has a few seminars available at the moment.

So how much will it cost? Well, a virtual membership in SLA costs US$65. Subscriptions to the different libraries range from $19 to $249. Please note that these are library subscriptions. This means that you have access to any course during the period of your subscription. If you would like to see the description of a specific course, please email me privately. And no, I don't get a commission for this =)



FO: State of the Nation Address

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) delivers her fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) today as president of the Philippines.

The official government portal has the 2005 SONA Technical Report (pdf) and SONA Updates (pdf) as of 30 June 2004.

Inside PCIJ's "Weekend readings" provides links to pdf documents for those who wish to analyze the implications of recent scandals before the SONA today.

INQ7 has a special site where you can read the full text of her speeches since 2001 and watch the video of last year's SONA. It also has a year-after, point-by-point evaluation of GMA's 2001 "To-Do List," but they do not seem to have continued this practice.

The SONAs of Joseph Ejercito Estrada are also available online through the Chan Robles Virtual Law Library: 1999, 2000.

Finally, Manuel L. Quezon III traces the history of the SONA in "Notes on the State of the Nation."

Series: Filipiniana Online


SLA 2005: Career Guidance

There were so many interesting sessions at SLA's annual conference that I wanted to attend but couldn't because of conflicts in schedule or lack of time, but I made sure that I made time for two sessions on career planning. The first gave me an idea of the demand (or lack thereof) for information professionals, while the second allowed me to seek guidance from a professional career coach.

At the "Career Guidance and Mentoring Breakfast," I met librarians who wanted to know what the employment opportunities were in North America and Europe. Mandy Baldridge (InfoCurrent), the speaker, also gave advice on resumés and interviews. I later approached her at her company's booth in the exhibition hall and she gave me more detailed advice regarding my resumé.

I also had a 30-minute, one-on-one session with Marshall Brown through "Career Connection." I showed him my resumé and we discussed my current situation and future plans. And then, when he found out that I had a blog, I ended up giving him a short introduction to blogging =)

By the way, if you've been told that there is a huge demand for librarians in North America, please read "The Entry Level Gap" by Rachel Holt and Adrienne L. Strock (Library Journal, 1 May 2005).



SLA 2005: Networking

With Ethel Salonen Signing my name

Left: That's me asking for Ethel Salonen's signature. The ribbons on Ethel's ID identify her as SLA's then-president, among other things, while mine indicate that I'm a first-timer and conference blogger. Right: Another first-timer asks for my signature. Photos from The Photo Group.

What I really liked about SLA was the fact that I felt so welcome. Whether I was asking at listservs or reading online tips about attending the annual conference, the most common advice I received was to just talk to everyone because SLA members are very friendly. And that I should bring calling cards. Most of those named below are those with whom I exchanged cards.


"SLA First-Timers and Fellows Connect" was a good way to meet other first-timers and more experienced conference-goers, including the SLA leadership. A bingo game (xls) was played where first-timers had to get the signatures of members who, for example, had previously been SLA president, owned a dog, or was a twin (see photos above). I even found myself signing for "My flight to Toronto exceeded 4 hours" and "I speak at least two languages." And because I was one of the first to finish, I actually won a t-shirt! The following probably won't remember me, but I got their signatures at the event: Debra Bailey, John Crosby, Carol Ginsburg, Richard Hulser, Neil Infield, Dav Robertson, Ethel Salonen, Jacqueline Snider.


Bloggers who were in town to attend the conference had an informal gathering at C'Est What. Check out the photo, the bloggers' names and their blogs at the SLA Conference Blog.


At the Business & Finance (B&F) Division's "Annual Business Meeting & Awards Lunch," in addition to my fellow awardees, I remember being congratulated by Annie Leung, Steve Kochoff and Esther Gil, who was very helpful during the ceremony. And, of course, I finally met Awilda Reyes, chair of the Grants and Stipends Committee, with whom I corresponded for so long via email and who liked my barong tagalog so much that she couldn't stop telling people that it was made of pineapple fiber.

That same night, I attended the awarding ceremonies for the B&F Division's Centers of Excellence Awards, which was modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and with which I was familiar because of the work I did in a previous life. I joined Bonnie Sebby, Susan Gormley and Jan Chindlund at their table and spoke with Kevin Manion and Hal Kirkwood about the work they do for B&F.


On the last day of the conference, I attended the Networking Breakfast of the Military Librarians Division because I'm a military brat. That's where I met Deborah Keller and David Pachter.


There were also many other opportunities to meet and talk to people. At the B&F Division open houses on different nights, I had interesting conversations with Miguel Figueroa, Joanna Kaczmarczyk, Joan Martin and Kim Nayyer. Seatmates at different sessions were Adam Bennington, Stephanie Boyd, Felix Chin, Alan Harnum, Tara Murray, Roger Strouse and Ken Winter. I joined Chen Chao and Ofer Allan Avital on different days because we happened to be having lunch at the same time.

While walking around the conference center, I ran into Randal Baier, David Bigwood, Tod Hebenton, Irene Laursen, Marydee Ojala (who started talking to me because she liked my i blog t-shirt) and Lorraine Waitman. And there were those to whom I was introduced by Filipinos (plus one Tagalog-speaking Indonesian) I met at the conference: Mayumi Hepburn, Iain MacFarlane, Rita Reisman.



Bloggers on TV

Blogging highly popular"24 Oras" has just featured blogging. Manuel L. Quezon III and Alecks Pabico of Inside PCIJ were the two bloggers interviewed for the show.

If you didn't see the show or missed the two-minute feature "Blogging highly popular," click on the image on the right and look for the title encircled in red. Alternatively, you can go to the INQ7 Video Archives and watch the entire July 21 show. And if you find which part it's in (there are seven), maybe you can leave a comment below. By the way, you'll need Windows Media Player (free download) to watch the video.

If you're not familiar with blogging at all and would like to start, check out "Of Bloggers and 'Blog People'." Please remember that a blog need not be just a personal diary. What was not mentioned in the feature on blogging is the fact that bloggers can, in fact, become online experts in their field if they choose to write only on specific topics in which they are knowledgeable. Some of us even get invited to be speakers =)

If you're already a blogger, you may want to check out "Creating Traffic" by Jonas Diego and "Don't Bore Me With Your Blog" by Susan Solomon for more ideas on what you can do with your blog.


The Principal Factor

Today I will make my first presentation as a licensed librarian for a group of 100 public school administrators, mostly principals, at the annual Teacher-Librarian Seminar-Workshop sponsored by the Children's Library.

I was invited to be a speaker at the event because of what I have written in this blog, specifically "Librarians as Leaders." This relatively fresh graduate (2004) has the (mis)fortune of being the speaker after the director of the National Library. Wish me luck.

The rest of this post contains the slides and full text of my presentation.

Let me begin by giving you an overview of my presentation.

The original title was supposed to be “So what if we don’t have cash?” But this tends to give the impression that money is not important. However, since money is, in fact, important, I decided to change the title.

“Principal factor” is not a term that is as common as “teacher factor,” which refers to the impact of a teacher’s performance—or lack thereof—on student achievement. The principal factor, as I use it in this presentation, refers not just to the principal’s role in the development of the library, but also to the most important factor that affects library development.

We’ll be going through some basic facts about the state of public school libraries just to make sure that my assumptions are correct. After all, you are the best persons to ask about the state of your libraries.

We’ll also look at some of the factors that affect the development of school libraries. Why is it that some libraries develop more than others? Could it be that they just have more money?

And finally, what can we do about the situation? I hope all of us are here today because we want to improve our libraries.

Why am I here? I have already been introduced, but I think I need to tell you more about myself because, if I were in your shoes, I’d also be wondering, “Sino ba siya?”

The main reason I’m here is that I was invited on the basis of an essay I wrote, which was based on my thesis, entitled “Factors influencing the development of public school libraries.” I am also a licensed librarian who knows what it means to work with pupils, teachers, principals, and administrators—because I was once a teacher myself.

I was also a government employee for a short while, but it was long enough for me to learn just how difficult it can be to try to implement changes with so many constraints. In addition, both my retired parents were once government employees. My mother, in particular, was a public school teacher at T. Alonzo Elementary School in Project 4, Quezon City.

In fact, when I told my parents that I would be speaking to a group of principals, they told me to highlight the fact that they and their brothers and sisters—all seventeen of them—were products of the public school system.

I may not have the benefit of your experience, but I’d like to think that I understand your situation. And so, I do not intend to tell you what to do or prescribe solutions that will be difficult to implement. I hope you will find my suggestions realistic and reasonable.

Why you are here? When I was gathering data for my thesis, I spoke with school principals before talking to librarians because I needed to get their approval and because I wanted to get a bigger picture of the school’s situation.

When I told one of the principals the title of my thesis, she said, “There’s no need to study the matter; you just need money.” Do you agree? Well, as it turned out, money is important, but it is not the only factor.

The principal factor is much more important. Later, I will tell you about two libraries that had money but one was more successful than the other. What was the difference? The principal factor. I hope you are here today because you believe that it takes more than “just money” to set up a library.

In addition, I’d like to think that you’re here because you are interested in upgrading the reading skills of your pupils and that you wish to improve your school library. Why? Because you recognize that the library has an important role to play in the development of your pupils.

Please consider the following findings and think about whether they are applicable to your library:

Books are merely accessioned, but neither classified nor catalogued.
This is accompanied by an unbalanced or disproportionate distribution of books.
The housing conditions provided for the library, if any, are poor, and the furniture and equipment are inadequate.
The library is not open long enough for students to use it to the fullest extent. Opening the library is only a matter of “if time permits” for the librarian. Some schools do not even open their libraries at all.
Librarians have not had any training in library work.
How many of these would you agree with? Well, these findings also appear in your handouts, but what you will not find there is that I am quoting from a thesis written by Concordia Sanchez in 1940.

How much has changed since then? Please approach me after my presentation if you think that there have been a lot of changes.

I believe that not much has changed since 1940 because of certain constraints. What are some of these difficulties?

In a book published in 1999 about the prevalence of corruption in the Philippine public school system, the canteen is given a section all its own, whereas the library is never mentioned. Why? Because there is money to be made through the canteen, but none through the library. Please tell me if I’m wrong, but no budget allocations are made for most school libraries and, unlike private schools, you are not allowed to collect library fees.

A high-ranking administrator once told me that it is difficult to justify hiring a full-time librarian if you do not even have enough teachers. And so, overworked and underpaid teachers—who have little or no training in library work—are also assigned to be librarians.

Then again, some teachers become temporary “librarians” because—forgive me, but I don't know how else to say it—they are either going to retire soon or cannot teach effectively. There’s also property accountability, which dictates that lost books will be charged to the account of the person responsible for the books.

No money, no time, no training. And the threat of paying for lost books. Can we, therefore, blame librarians for the state of libraries today? Not really.

Have you heard of the “Guidelines on the Implementation of School Library Policies and Programs” issued in 1998 by the then Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS)? It should properly be called Enclosure No. 1 of the DECS Order No. 6, s. 1998, signed by Ricardo Gloria—but let’s refer to it as the 1998 Guidelines. Copies are available in your handouts. [For an online copy of the DECS Order, see "The State of Public School Libraries."]

The 1998 Guidelines set forth what should be available in public school libraries in terms of:
  • Physical facilities – If, for example, you have an enrollment of 500, then your library should have a floor area of at least 72 square meters.
  • Librarian and support staff – If you have 2,000 pupils, then you should have one full-time librarian and one part-time teacher-librarian.
  • Programs and services – This includes library orientation during the opening of classes and library lessons as part of the curriculum.
  • Collection – Encyclopedias, dictionaries, plus magazines, newspapers and professional books for teachers and librarians.
  • Sources of funds – To pay for all these, the 1998 Guidelines state: “Library funds shall be 5-10% of the school funds (based proportionately) as released by the Division office.”
Question: What happens to schools that are unable to comply with these guidelines? No answer is really needed. It looks like this DECS Order is one of the few—or is it many?—that no one pays attention to, except for researchers like me.

In spite of constraints, some public school libraries have developed and flourished to a point that they actually exceed the requirements of the 1998 Guidelines. You have probably heard of some of these success stories because of articles that have appeared in magazines and newspapers.

Star Teacher has featured libraries sponsored by Hongkong and Shanghai Bank. Articles have also been written about school libraries chosen by Books for the Barrios to be part of its Models of Excellence program. There are others, too, but almost always the focus was on results.

We hardly ever read about the difficulties that had to be overcome. What happened between the “before” and the “after”? How exactly can others replicate their success? Readers may, in fact, get the impression that all you need to have a good library is a donor who has money. But is it really just about money?

The following factors are taken from the findings of a project in the United States called Library Power. I will not go into each one of the factors, but if you look at them carefully, you will see that resources—or money—is just one of many. Which factor is the most important? Which one is the principal factor that will lead to success?

You may also look at these factors as a guide. Ask yourself: How many of these factors are present in your school library? Do you have a vision? Have you created an environment in which change can occur? And so on…

In my thesis, I looked at the development of seven public secondary school libraries in Quezon City. Using the 1998 Guidelines, I quantified the level of development of each library, and focused on the two school libraries with the highest scores. By comparing these two libraries, I was able to determine that both were “developed” according to the 1998 Guidelines, but one was more developed than the other. Not because one had more money, but because one had a factor that the other did not—the principal factor: leadership.

Eleven school libraries in Quezon City were automated as part of the SB e-Library project through the leadership of Mayor Sonny Belmonte, Division Superintendent Victoria Fuentes, Asst. Division Superintendent Meleda Polita, and the school principals and librarians.

The two libraries with the highest scores in my study were part of the SB e-Library project. And that’s why they were the only ones among the seven included in my study that had most of the factors needed for development.

This is a photo of the Juan Sumulong High School e-Library, the library with the highest development score. The other library—please do not ask me to identify it by name—scored much higher than the other five, but it was not a close second.

Sumulong had the principal factor, but the other did not. Please don’t get confused. The principal of Sumulong High School, Noemi Moncada, played a major role in raising funds for the library, but the other principal also raised funds for her school’s library. So leadership was present from the mayor to the principal in both schools. What was the difference? The Sumulong librarian was—and is—a leader.

Susan Torres, Sumulong’s librarian, has the necessary leadership skills that the librarian from the other school does not. One of the most important things that a good leader does is to get people to listen, to pay attention. And Susan Torres, with her principal’s support, gets people to listen.

What do school libraries need? The principal factor.

Leadership is very important. Not just at the librarian’s level or the mayor’s level, but at all levels. And it is especially important at the principal’s level. You, the principal, are a factor. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but directives from the Secretary of Education will have no effect if principals do not believe in them. In fact, if the principal champions the cause of the library, all other factors will follow. And if the principal does not believe libraries are necessary? Even if the librarian is very good, not much will happen.

We need principals who will begin with the end in mind. We need principals who believe in the importance of the library. We need principals who will provide a convenient location for the library. And, more importantly, we need principals who will appoint the right person to take charge of the library.

The right person is someone who actually likes pupils and books. The right person will allow pupils to use the books. With the principal’s support, this person will have time for the library. This person will also have to be a leader because you, the principal, won’t be able to do everything. This person will have to be good at public relations—not just with pupils, but also teachers, parents and possible donors.

Finally, the one factor that was not yet present in any of the libraries I visited: accountability. This factor does not refer just to property accountability. I am referring to how useful the library is. I am referring to test results. It’s very possible, after all, that an expensive, good-looking library will have no effect on learning.

If you would like to read further, I recommend that you look for Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning (Chicago: American Library Association, 1998). It will probably not be available at any local bookstore, so you are better off checking with the nearest school of library and information science or the Internet.

You may also want to look at School Librarian in Action. Zarah Gagatiga, who will be speaking with the librarians this afternoon, owns this website where she talks about her experiences at Xavier’s Grade School library. She writes, of course, not from a public school perspective, but there is much that can be learned from her experience.

There is also Filipino Librarian. This is my own website. Here you will find the slides and full text of my presentation today, other things I have written about libraries in the Philippines, whether public or private, and resources freely available on the Internet.

Before I end, I would just like to repeat a few points.

Money is important. But there is something more important than money.

School libraries need leaders. And one of the most important leaders is the principal. After all, it is the principal who will choose the librarian, among other things.

Leadership is very important. All other factors will follow, including money, if you have a leader.

Maraming salamat po.


Photocopying, Copyright and Libraries

When I read "Waging war against book piracy" by Blooey Singson (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 July 17 2005), I decided that I would be writing about it because I did, in fact, photocopy entire books as recently as last year, when I was studying for the librarian's licensure exam.

And then I read "My Little Heroes, Page 3," where Bugsybee wrote about a student who copied whole sections of a library book by hand because he couldn't afford to photocopy it (never mind buying the book), and "book piracy," where Dean Alfar discusses the issue from the points of view of the user who can't afford to buy the book and the writer who has to protect his intellectual property.

So, instead of the short post that I was thinking of writing, I decided that I had to do some research and come up with something more substantial. That's how I found "Don't Steal This Book" by Burton Bollag (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2 April 2004) and the table shown above, where the Philippines is shown as the top offender as of 2003. The Philippines has since been overtaken on the Priority Watchlist for Books by Pakistan and China according to the 2005 Special 301 Report (pdf) of the International Intellectual Property Alliance. More specific findings may be found in the country report (pdf) on the Philippines.

But what exactly is the law being violated when entire books are photocopied? It's called the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, or Republic Act No. 8293, specifically the Law on Copyright. Many mistakenly believe that Presidential Decree No. 285 (as amended by Presidential Decree Nos. 400 and 1203), which authorizes the reprinting of books "for a limited period and only for the purpose of making the same available to the people at reasonable cost," is still in effect. This presidential decree, however, was repealed when the Intellectual Property Code was enacted in 1997.

For related laws and other resources, see the Intellectual Property Brief at the Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Other relevant articles are "RP Incapable of Curbing Book Piracy Yet" by Carlo June Panila and "10 Big Myths about copyright explained" by Brad Templeton.

And then, for the bloggers reading this, there's "Are You a Copyright Criminal?" by Dave Zielinski (Presentations, June 1999), which says that, "lifting clip art, fonts, icons, stock photos, WAV sound files or any other content from a Web site... without written permission or a license to do so, is clear copyright infringement."

Finally, no, I do not have a definite opinion on this yet. All I can say is that we should follow the Constitution and let the President be impeached... Oops, but that's another issue altogether =)


National Children's Book Day

Today is National Children's Book Day.

The Philippine Board of Books for Young People (PBBY) has lined up some activities for today. Please see "Feast of children's books" by Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 18 July 2005) for more information.

Zarah Gagatiga—, librarian and newly-elected PBBY board member—has written about Edgar Samar's Uuwi na ang Nanay kong si Darna [My mother Darna is coming home], which is available online in English and Tagalog through the International Children's Digital Library.

If you would like to see a "showcase of some of the brightest and most exciting Filipino writers for children today," check out Literatura's February 2004 issue, which was devoted to children's literature.

You may also wish to participate in the Aklat, Buklat, Mulat Txt Quiz, a contest sponsored by the National Book Development Board and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It started last June 28 and ends on July 28. "Daily winners will receive a Gintong Aklat award-winning book. Sunday winners will receive a Gintong Aklat award-winning book and an iPod Shuffle 512 MB" [emphasis mine].

Related post: International Children's Digital Library


A Tragic Death in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!
I have just finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I knew I wanted to use the quote above from the moment I read it because of its relevance to the Philippines. I had no idea I would want to use it for another reason.

This will be my last post about Book 6. It's a good book but deeply troubling. I will not be posting tomorrow. I will be mourning.


Search Filipino Librarian

Search Filipino Librarian

In case you didn't know, this blog may be searched using the box on the upper left corner of each page. Try looking for supposedly un-librarianlike terms like "kung fu" or "westlife" and see what you get =)


Harry Potter!!!

I just finished the first three chapters. Unlike all the previous five books, this one does not start slowly. War is at hand, the tension is palpable and that is, perhaps, the reason the book starts in the office of the Prime Minister (Tony Blair? Could JK Rowling be drawing parallels with the Iraq war?). Snape reveals that he remains loyal to the Dark Lord (but I suppose it remains to be seen whether this is, in fact, true). And Dumbledore finds it necessary to personally escort Harry from Privet Drive.

Don't worry, this will be my last post about the latest Harry Potter book until I finish it. By the way, as the first person to pick up the book at the bookstore this morning, I got a Hogwarts keychain. Photos will follow.


Updates on Previous Posts

Maybe what I wrote had something to do with these changes... but I doubt it =)

The National Library

  • The National Library has revitalized its website. But it's rather ironic that now it's the link to the online catalog that does not work.
Licensed Librarians
The Philippine eLib
The Filipina and "Yan ang Pinay"
  • If you want to see who and how many have joined the "Yan ang Pinay" campaign, search that phrase on Google (it's interesting that four of the top five results are from men). You may also wish to look for "."
Librarian's Center?
  • I received an email from National Bookstore regarding my observations. I plan to visit the Library Center again soon and will report as soon as possible.


Serving the Customer

While there is joy in being able to give customers the books they want to read, not being able to give them what they want leaves you with a heavy feeling in your heart...

There was the young couple who looked embarrassed as we tried to track the book This Book Will Change Your Love Life for them... And there was the woman who tugged at my heartstrings. She... asked me to find books on adoption. Soon, two books were in her hands, Raising Adopted Children and Parenting Your Adopted Child. "Not these," she said. "I'm looking for a book on how to adopt children in the Philippines."

It broke my heart that I wasn't able to help her more.
I wish I could say that the passage above was written by a librarian, but no, it was written by a reporter who took on the duties of a sales person at a bookstore. See "Bookworm at the bookshop" by Pam Pastor (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 13 July 2005).

Why is it that very few Filipino librarians are writing about their experiences? Even articles written for scholarly journals—whether local or foreign—are rare. Could it be that there is no venue for publication? Well, I've been planning to "publish" an online journal for Filipino librarians, if you think you'd like to write for it, email me or leave a comment below.

Something else that this article made me think about is the fact that bookstores have actually taken over the role that public libraries should be playing. In Singapore, for instance, plans were made so that Neil Gaiman could visit the public library, and he did. But no such thing happened when Gaiman arrived last week. Where did he go? He went to a bookstore.


Real Life

I thought I was going to finish my series of posts on SLA in one week, but I'm at least four posts away from actually covering everything that I wish to share. And so, I hope you'll bear with me if I suspend my SLA posts for about a week and concentrate on my professional and personal life (this includes reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!). In the meantime, I'll still be writing—but expect shorter posts.


SLA 2005: Giveaways

Click on the photo above for a better view of the giveaways I brought home with me. You may also click on the photo on the right, which are the items I forgot to include in the photo above.

My favorites? The "Love Your Librarian" button (from Office Movers); the blue stress ball (from Global Best Practices) and the CD, notebook, and poster (from Elsevier) with the slogan, "Never underestimate the importance of a librarian."

The other items are from (in alphabetical order): Alacra (ballpen and pad), APS (radio), ASTM (ballpen), Copyright Clearance Center (hand sanitizer), Evidence Matters (USB flash drive), Global Health (yo-yo), Information Today (magazines), ISI Emerging Markets (yo-yo), Marquis Who's Who (highlighter), Reed Business Information (magazines), Snapshots (stress ball), Springer Link (mints).



SLA 2005: Maximizing the Internet

The majority of Filipinos are not "wired." But this is no excuse for librarians to ignore what is already—or will eventually become—users' first option when looking for information. Librarians can also use the latest trends (e.g., blogging) to "speak" the language of their customers or even for their own professional development.

With Gary Price

In 2002, I had no idea who Gary Price was when I bought a book he co-authored called The Invisible Web. But by the time I saw that he was going to be a speaker for several sessions this year, I knew enough about him to know that I had to attend at least one of them—and that I wanted to have my picture taken with him. In "Gary Price—the newest and the best from the one who knows" (see webpage with links to recommended sites), Price joked that the Invisible Web—which, according to the book, "consists of material that general-purpose search engines either cannot or, perhaps more importantly will not include in their collections of Web pages" (p. xxii)—has come to refer to any results beyond the first five! Some of his more interesting points were:
  • Not only is Yahoo! getting better, but it's also moving faster than Google. Check out Yahoo! Search, which has a Google-like interface, and Yahoo! Mindset, which allows users to specify how to sort results by using a "slider."
  • Demonstrate just how different results from different search engines are by using Thumbshots Ranking (e.g., ) and Dogpile's Missing Pieces Tool.
  • Conduct more specific searches through vertical or specialized search engines like ZoomInfo (contact information for people), Answers.com (results organized according to use) and RedLightGreen (find out if a book is available in nearby libraries).
Mary Ellen Bates was another speaker with multiple sessions. And her session was very similar to the one with Gary Price—but, to use an analogy, he was Yahoo!, and she was Google. In "60 Tips in 90 Minutes" (pdf), Bates covered some material that Price already mentioned, but there was also a lot more that was different (sounds like search engines, right?). And then there were those that she highlighted that complemented what Price discussed (e.g., YaGoohoo!gle, which has morphed into Twingine). She recommended the following sites:
  • Furl, which allows you to bookmark Web pages, add titles, et al., and save a copy of the page;
  • FaganFinder's The Google Ultimate Interface, which puts together on one page all of Google's searching options—including Advanced Search and non-Roman characters; and
  • Incoming Links, which is intended for webmasters and bloggers, but which she recommended for its Directory of Directories, a list of 613 topical directories that are more likely to contain links to sites that would probably appear as the umpteenth results in general search engines—if they appear at all.
"Blogging/RSS'ing the Librarian Way" was a standing-room-only session. There were supposed to be three speakers, but Jenny Levine (ppt slides) had to cancel because of a family emergency. Marie Kaddell (ppt slides) spoke about trends in blogging and RSS, while Catherine Lavallee-Welch (ppt slides) focused on the use of blogs for professional development. The latter presentation was the most helpful for me because while I have benefitted greatly from blogging—e.g., constant updating, improved writing, "meeting" people—I never quite looked at blogging as a means for professional development. For more detailed notes, see "SLA2005 - blogging about blogging - Monday 11:30."



Librarian's Center?

In "History and Dignity" (Manila Bulletin, 9 July 2005), Ronald S. Lim writes about a talk delivered by Bienvenido Lumbera—writer and Magsaysay awardee—at the first anniversary of the Librarian’s Center at the National Book Store Superbranch in Cubao. Please click on the link above if you would like to know what Lumbera discussed. This post will be about the so-called Librarian's Center.

The fact that the largest bookstore chain in the Philippines has set up a center for librarians in its biggest branch is a welcome development. However, it seems rather unfortunate that not many librarians seem to know about its existence. I was certainly surprised when I saw it last April as I was looking around the branch, which I had not visited in a long time. As it turns out, I should not have been surprised.

I identified myself as a librarian to a saleslady and asked to talk to the person in charge so that I could gather additional information. No one could be found, so I just looked around the area to see what exactly would make the place ideal for librarians. Aside from the more luxurious shelves and furniture—throw in the carpeting, too—there was not much that I could see that would be beneficial for librarians.

From the people I was able to talk to, I gathered that no discount was given to librarians who went there. The books available were also the same ones displayed in other parts of the branch. But what I found most unforgivable was the fact that the books were arranged not by subject, but by publisher! It was then that I decided it was time to go. A "Librarian's Center" that does not consider a librarian's needs is not worthy of its name.


For Harry Potter Fans

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling will be available by July 16. But in case you want to find out more about the book before then, you may want to visit Rowling's official website. It's an interactive site, so your computer better have a good connection, high-resolution, speakers, etc.

You'll need to explore the page by pointing your mouse at the objects on the page to see what's available. But if you don't like playing games (are you sure you're a Harry Potter fan?) or just don't have the time or bandwidth, check out the text-only version. And no, it's not just a public relations site. Rowling actually talks about herself, how she writes and the nasty rumors about her.

And for the blogging addicts out there who want to leave comments, the official website won't allow you to do that. But there is a blog that you can visit—The Leaky Cauldron, which Rowling herself visits and on which she has bestowed a Fan Site Award. One of its founders will even be interviewing Rowling on the day of the launch of Book 6. Right now, commenting on the blog posts has been disabled because of the tremendous amount of traffic the blog is getting, but you can participate in the forums at Leaky Lounge.


SLA 2005: Proudly Filipino

Posing with Philippine flag at SLA

I never thought wearing a barong tagalog could accomplish what online queries could not. But that's how I found other Filipinos at the conference. Or rather, they found me.

Grace Villamora, Filipina, followed me when I left a session because she was also looking for Filipinos (more about her in a future post). She told me that I should meet Jose Escarilla. Well, he found me, too! Ramon Curva also approached me after the awarding.

Lily McGovern commented on my barong while I was looking at the exhibits and, since she doesn't look like a Filipina, I had to ask her how she knew about what I was wearing. It turns out that she's half-Filipino and visited Manila before. Then Widharto, an Indonesian who obtained his MLS in the Philippines, surprised me by greeting me in Tagalog.

There's also Cynthia Kutka, who left a comment at the SLA Conference Blog after seeing a photo of me wearing my barong. And, of course, Michelle Amores and Marubeth Ortega—the only Filipinos who replied to my email queries—just recognized me right away when they saw me.

There is not much that Filipinos can be proud of at this time—how exactly can one be proud of a government that has all but gone to the dogs?—but I was proud to have met Filipinos at the conference. And I have my barong tagalog to thank for that.



SLA 2005: Justifying the Library's Existence

Some banks do better than others. And I'm willing to bet that they do better because they let customers know what the bank can do for them. The not-so-successful ones probably just wait for customers to find out what the bank has to offer. But customers don't come, profits don't materialize, investors bail out, and the bank eventually closes. Libraries, I believe, are the same.

"Making a Business Case for the Information Center: Key Strategies for Business and Financial Libraries" was a continuing education (CE) course and, as such, it should have cost me US$250. But since I was entitled to attend one CE course as part of the award that I received, I got in for free. It was a four-hour course where I was able to participate in discussions that centered on what can be done to convince decision-makers that what information professionals do is important. What I found most encouraging was that participants were focused on being proactive and customer-oriented. For more information, see the slides (pdf) shown by Lesley Robinson, the speaker, and "Writing a business case to improve organisational impact" (pdf; Legal Information Management, March 2005).

"Top 10 Tips" sounded like a good session to attend. What I didn't know was that all the tips had to do with news libraries. But it was good, in a way, because I've always been interested in newspaper operations and some of the tips could, in fact, be applied to just about any library. For example, one tip involved the compilation of a "kudos file," where all compliments and notes of appreciation were filed, which would then be emailed to the community at regular intervals just to show that the library was serving its purpose. The compilation also became a means to identify those who were either not using the library or were not being served properly. While listening, it also occurred to me that the compilation would be a good candidate for a blog. For a list of all the tips, see "SLA Notes: Ten Top Tricks for News Libraries."

Libraries may not be profit centers, but there is a need to show that they add value to a community or an institution. No one is obliged to recognize the importance of the library. The librarian must, therefore, proactively seek to convince others of the need for the library.


Related post: What Librarians Can Learn from Basketball


SLA 2005: Awarding

Note: I was able to attend the 2005 Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) because I applied for and was given an International Travel Award, which was sponsored by ISI Emerging Markets and administered by SLA's Business and Finance Division.
The "Annual Business Meeting & Awards Lunch" of the Business & Finance (B&F) Division was a more formal event than most of the other sessions. It was not just a stage-and-chairs affair; there were about fifteen tables with room for ten people each. And, of course, food was served.

The people were nice and seemed to be better-dressed than usual. The food was a real meal because we even had salad and dessert. The business meeting went smoothly. But that's about all I can remember... because I couldn't really concentrate. All I remember thinking was, "I'M GOING UP THERE AND I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY!"

It's a good thing there were six other recipients of professional grants and student stipends, so I was able to organize my thoughts. (By the way, I was told that I had to deliver a short speech after receiving my award only when I got to the venue.) And then it was my turn.

Robert Clarke, chair of the International Relations committee, gave a brief background on the International Travel Award, and that's when I found out that I was the first recipient of the award (more pressure!). He also introduced James Hammond III, executive vice president of ISI Emerging Markets, who then called me to the stage and gave me the award.

SLA B&F Awards
From left: Robert Clarke, James Hammond III, and me

I told them I had three things I wanted to say:
  1. Thank you to the Business & Finance Division and ISI Emerging Markets for giving this award for the first time;
  2. Thank you for giving me the award (this got a few laughs); and
  3. Thank you for requiring that applicants write an essay. I posted mine on the Internet (see "Librarians as Leaders") and this new kid on the block received good feedback about it from some of the most influential librarians in the Philippines.

SLA B&F Awards
With the other awardees, from left: Terence Forsythe, Claudia Cohen, James Wiser, Laura Tuers, David Gibbs, Alexey Panchenko.

If you would like to attend next year's conference in Baltimore, just visit this blog regularly because I will be sharing announcements regarding awards that you can apply for as soon as I find out about them.

Right now, only the SLA's Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics (PAM) Division has guidelines available online for 2006 awards. But I know that more divisions will be offering awards for librarians from developing countries, like the Advertising & Marketing, Museums, Arts, and Humanities (MAH) and Social Science divisions.

Previous SLA travel awardees from the Philippines include: Marie Antoinette Villaflor (PAM, 2004; see the presentation she delivered) and Maria Luisa Calanag (MAH, 2003; see the report she wrote after the conference).



The Camp John Hay Library

Note: It's not every day that a library makes it to the front page, so please excuse me for "interrupting" my posts about SLA.
Check out "Cozy John Hay library recalled" by TJ Burgonio (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 5 July 2005). Maybe reminiscing can galvanize some of the library's former users into action.


SLA 2005: General Sessions

Most, if not all, of my posts this week will be about my experience at the SLA Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada, last June 5-8. Below are a few notes on the General Sessions. I will be writing about other talks and my personal experiences in the next few days.


All the participants gathered for the first time in one venue for the Opening General Session. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were so many of us—in all sizes, shapes and colors. Don Tapscott, the speaker and author of The Naked Corporation, spoke about the librarian's role in today's should-be-transparent corporations. Memorable quotes: "The problem with librarians is they think they're in the library business" and "If you're gonna be naked, you better be buff." For more detailed notes, see "Don Tapscott at SLA 2005 Conference."
Bill Buxton, technology designer (my term), was the speaker at the General Session on the second day. He started by quoting Melvin Kranzberg ("Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral") and proceeded to illustrate how technology, if not designed properly, will most likely be bad. He also cited the blackboard as an example of "technology" that works. Why? Because it gets the job done. For more detailed notes, see "SLA 2005: Bill Buxton."
At the Closing General Session, Gary Hamel, author of Leading the Revolution, spoke about change and how we're all becoming more ignorant faster. He emphasized the need for innovation and challenged the librarians present to "Move from being custodians of information to catalysts for renewal." For more detailed notes, see "SLA2005 - closing keynote - Wednesday 09:00."
It is only now that I am writing about it that I realize that what I learned at the General Sessions were, in fact, applicable to the Philippines. The need for transparency, after all, led to demands that the contents of wiretapped conversations between the President and an election official be widely disseminated, while technology made the proliferation of recordings possible. And transformation? I'm hoping we'll have some of that in the near future.




The following (except for the last) are events I wish I could attend. Unfortunately, most of them are being held on week days. If anyone who reads this will be going to any of the following, I'd appreciate any feedback regarding the sessions I wish I had the time and/or money to attend.

July 4-6

The League of Corporate Foundations is holding the "Corporate Social Responsibility Expo." According to the ad, it's a free event! I'm particularly interested in "Looking into Business Solutions to Public Education Problems" by Aniceto Sobrepena (Metrobank Foundation) and "Business & Education: Unleashing New Value in Education Through Corporate Philanthropy & Public-Private Partnership" by Usec Juan Miguel Luz (Department of Education).
July 8-10
The Ayala Museum is hosting "Manila, a World Entrepot: 16th-19th Century Exchange of Objects Between Asia, Europe and the Americas." The "Conservation Roundtable," with participants from the New York Public Library, the Newberry Library (Chicago), the National Museum of Ethnology (Leiden, Netherlands), and the Ayala Museum, is something I really wish I could attend. But it will cost 850 pesos to attend just the roundtable. So...
July 9-11
Neil Gaiman, creator/writer of the Sandman comics, will be signing books and doing some reading from his works. Check out his itinerary here (scroll down to see his schedule in the Philippines).
July 11-15
The Association of Booksellers for the Academe and the Professions is sponsoring the "9th Philippine Academic Bookfair." Some seminar-workshops (pdf) for librarians and teachers are available.
July 14
The Women's Business Council Philppines has organized the "1st Philippine Summit on Women & Technology" (pdf). Roselle Ambubuyog—Filipina, blind, and summa cum laude and valedictorian (!) at Ateneo de Manila—will be speaking on "Winning Against All Odds." If she can do it, then librarians have no excuse =)
July 19
The Philippine Board on Books for Young People will be celebrating National Children's Book Day. Unfortunately, they don't have a website, and there don't seem to be any press releases available online at this time.
July 21
The Children’s Library is conducting its "5th Annual Teacher-Librarian Seminar-Workshop" for public school teacher-librarians, plus district supervisors and principals. Unlike the other events listed above, I will be attending this one because I was invited to be a speaker =)


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