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Pardo de Tavera, T. H. (Trinidad Hermenegildo), 1857-1925

Trinidad Pardo de Tavera was, among many things, a doctor and a librarian. (Note: "Pardo de Tavera" is his surname.) Some of the books he wrote in Spanish are available online through Project Gutenberg. Nick Joaquin describes Pardo de Tavera in "Jose Rizal: July 19, 1861-December 30, 1896" (in A Question of Heroes [Makati: Ayala Museum, 1977]) as

a man who came to loathe both the Malay and the Spaniard in himself so intensely he became the first of the sajonistas and, as a member of the Philippine Commission of the 1900s, fought for the implantation of English in the Philippines, in a virulent desire to uproot all traces of Spanish culture from the islands. For good or evil, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, whom we hardly remember, was one of the deciders of our fate.
Well, some people still remember. The Philippine Foundation for Library Scholarship, in cooperation with the Jose Rizal University, is sponsoring the Inaugural Lecture of the Dr. Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera Lecture Series at the Jose Rizal University Auditorium, 80 Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City, on Saturday, 3 September 2005, 1 pm.

Dr. Serafin D. Quiason, former chair of the National Historical Institute and former director of the National Library, will deliver the lecture on "Pardo de Tavera: A Character Sketch and His Legacy to Philippine Scholarship and Librarianship."

Dr. Mita Pardo de Tavera, granddaughter of Dr. Pardo de Tavera, will give the response in behalf of the family. Ms. Ma. Cristina B. Samson, Librarian-Archivist of the Ateneo de Manila University Rizal Library, will talk about the Pardo de Tavera Special Collections Archives. A fee of Php 50.00 will be charged for snacks.

Category: Librarians, Events


CAT: Humor

Pickup Lines in the Library
Garfield on Librarians
Boring--Addresses, essays, lectures
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes MA and PhD Students Make



O di ba, sa wikang Pilipino lang `yan posible.

Photo from Babbling Point (posted August 29).

Note: This will only make sense if you are familiar with the Tagalog alphabet.

Category: Humor


National Heroes Day

Every last Sunday of August is National Heroes Day. Here's a list of national heroes, with a one-paragraph biography for each hero, but did you ever wonder how an individual becomes a national hero?

No law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as a national hero... Even Jose Rizal, considered as the greatest among the Filipino heroes, was not explicitly proclaimed as a national hero.

—Reference and Research Bureau, "Selection and Proclamation of National Heroes and Laws Honoring Filipino Historical Figures" (2003)
The report quoted above adds that "no action has been taken" on the recommendations made in 1995 by the National Heroes Committee, which was formed by Fidel V. Ramos in 1993.

And so, the trivia question "Who is the national hero of the Philippines?" does not really make sense. If we have so many national heroes, who declared that Jose Rizal is the national hero?

Category: The Philippines


Hope for Basic Education

An appalling indicator of the poor state of basic education in the Philippines is the finding by the Department of Education that around 130 textbooks in English language instruction and the social sciences proposed by publishers for use in public schools are full of grammatical errors.

—"Editorial: Substandard textbooks" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 27 August 2005)
When errors in a textbook were featured in newspapers last year, the knee-jerk reaction of people from the Department of Education was to deny that there were any errors at all, and that the one who called attention to the errors was blackmailing them. Well, it seems that much progress has been made since then. There is hope...

Category: Education


Digital Divide: The Other Side

Blograrians overseas are debating whether the term "digital divide" should be retired. It all started with "Digital Divide - Tired Old Cliche" and continued with "On the Digital Divide," "The Poor Will Always Be With Us" (don't forget to read the comments), and "the world is not flat." The last is the only one with input from someone in the developing world.

Well, I've written in the past about how very few Filipinos have access to the Internet; I've asked whether a librarian is truly computer-literate if s/he doesn't know what a search engine is; and I've ridiculed the suggestion that the study of information technology does not belong in the LIS curriculum. But I haven't written about the digital divide. Let me correct that now.

"Digital divide" suggests a division between the "haves" and the "have-nots." But what exactly do the haves have and the have-nots don't? Is it just computers? Not exactly. The ability to use computers? Still not quite right. The haves, in my opinion, are those who have the capacity to experiment with and use the latest technology. The have-nots are those who don't know that technology can make their lives easier and, if confronted with a machine, think that pressing the wrong button will cause it to explode.

I have referred to "technology," instead of just "computers," because the digital divide also separates those who use cellular phones and those who don't. And then there are those who can withdraw cash from a machine and those who can't. For a concrete example, see what Peachy Limpin, Filipina Teacher-Librarian, wrote recently in "ATM Literacy."

Is the division caused solely by the lack of access to resources? Well, the rich are more likely to be haves because they can afford the latest technology, but there are still many of them who can't—or won't—use something new because of fear that it will cause problems later on. Our family is not all that rich, but my mother only agreed to get a credit card many years after her three children already had theirs. She is also now able to use a cellular phone, but still doesn't know how to use a computer. And no, she has never withdrawn cash from a machine and still constantly updates her bank passbook.

It might also be said that the poor are more likely to be have-nots, but there are more than just a few who are able to embrace and learn the latest technology. How? At work, in school, and because of Internet "cafes," which are very common in the Philippines, but are hard to find in developed countries. In the United States, if someone doesn't have access to a computer at work or at home, s/he can go to a public library. Here, where public libraries are lucky to have even one computer, s/he pays for access at an Internet cafe.

And then there's employment. "School on wheels cruises QC" by DJ Yap (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 27 August 2005) shows that individuals with basic computer skills are more likely to get hired than those who don't. It also presents anecdotal evidence that the digital divide is not just a function of age.

This article reminded me of my 1995 trip to Culion, Palawan—which, at that time, was an "offline" island: no telephone calls could be made to Manila except through a pay-per-call provider, and television sets were used only to watch videos because there was no signal. It was there that I met Dario Saniel, a Jesuit priest, who brought computers from Manila so that he could teach the locals how to turn them on, use programs and print documents. Why? Because it would get them hired if they wished to work in Manila.

Ten years later, the technological landscape has changed, but the digital divide is still there. No, it's not just a matter of having computers (as some of our congressmen think); it's about knowing how to use the available technology to accomplish more. Maybe the term "digital divide" has become an over-used cliche, but we have to call it something. Some people talk about it, some even study it, but here in the Philippines, we live with it.

Category: Information Technology


CAT: Leadership

Wanted Leaders
The Leadership Challenge
The Principal Factor
SLA 2005: Justifying the Library's Existence
What Librarians Can Learn from Basketball
John Paul II, Stephen Covey, and Leadership
Librarians as Leaders


Influential Friend of Librarians

Ambeth Ocampo, historian and chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, writes the following in "Crime and punishment in Spanish times" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 26 August 2005):

Students do not need to waste their time on memory work. The more important skill they should learn is to know where to find the answers to nagging questions in a library or the Internet...

Even professional Filipiniana librarians smile when I tell them how much I have enjoyed browsing through the basic references on the Spanish period: Wenceslao Emilio Retana's handsome three-volume "Aparato bibliografico de la historia general de Filipinas" (Barcelona, 1906), Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera's "Biblioteca Filipina" (Washington, 1903) and last but not least Jose Toribio Medina's "Imprenta de Manila desde sus origenes hasta 1810" (Santiago de Chile 1896).
It's good to know that librarians have columnist-friends who understand the need for information literacy and what it is that librarians actually do.

Incidentally, Ocampo will be one of the speakers at a symposium on "The State of Filipiniana Indigenous Materials," which will be held at the World Trade Center, Buendia cor. Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, on August 31, 1:00 pm. Other speakers are: Fr. Angel Aparicio (Prefect of Libraries, UST), Prudenciana Cruz (Director, National Library) and Salvacion Arlante (University Librarian, UP Diliman). There is a registration fee of P100 for non-members, or P50 for members and library science students.

Categories: In the News, Events


Bookfair Website and Special Events

The 26th Manila International Book Fair, as many already know, will be held at the World Trade Center, Buendia cor. Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila, from August 31 to September 4, 2005, 10:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M. But what many don't know—perhaps because the website was only put up recently—is that the book fair actually has a website with a list of exhibitors and a floor plan.

The list of special events is also available. But if you would like a hard copy, check out the ad in the August 22 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, page B10.

The following are the events I wish I could attend and/or are sponsored by library associations:

AUGUST 31, 2005 - Wednesday
Forum on “The Leadership Challenge”
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 NN, Function Room A
Speaker: Mr. Dennis S. Ycasiano
University of the Philippines Library Science Alumni Association (UPLSAA)

Symposium on the State of Filipiniana Indigenous Materials
1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M., Function Room A
Philippine Association of Academic Research Libraries (PAARL)
SEPTEMBER 1, 2005 - Thursday
Forum on “Promoting Effective Reading Skills: A Challenge to Librarians, Teachers and Students”
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 NN, Function Room B
Philippine Association of Teachers of Library and Information Science (PATLS) & Book Talk Society of the Philippines (BTSP)

Seminar: NBDB Efforts Towards Quality Filipino Books
10:30 A.M. - 12:00 NN, Function Room A
National Book Development Board

Forum on “Innovations and Strategy: “The Risk and Choice in Shaping User-Centered Libraries”
1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M., Function Room A
Speaker: Mrs. Lourdes T. David, Ateneo de Manila University
Association of Special Libraries of the Philippines (ASLP)

Symposium on Copyright Law
3:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M., Function Room B
Publishers' Representatives Organization of the Philippines
SEPTEMBER 2, 2005 - Friday
Forum on “Environmental Health”
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 NN, Function Room A
Speaker: Ms. Chinchin Gutierrez
Medical and Health Librarians Association of the Philippines (MAHLAP)

Forum on “Ethical Issues and Concerns in Collection and Development Management"
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 NN, Function Room B
Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc. & Philippine Librarians Association, Inc.

Symposium: Can a Reproduction Rights Organization (RRO) Curb Illegal Photocopying in the Philippines?
1:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M., Function Room A
International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organization & Philippine Reproduction Rights Organization

Seminar on “Introduction to Singapore's Elementary Education Curriculum and Textbooks”
4:00 P.M. - 5:30 P.M., Function Room B
Edcrisch International, Inc.

Category: Events


CAT: Filipina

Google AdSense
Mail-Order Brides
The Filipina and "Yan ang Pinay"
Yan ang Pinay
Sacha Chua: Filipina
Images of the Filipina Online
The Filipina in Cyberspace


Directory of Open Access Journals

What is an "open access journal"? Short answer: it's available online and it's free. Longer answer: "A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access" by Peter Suber.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) currently lists 1691 "free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals." The list of journals may be browsed by title or subject, and articles from 414 journals may be searched by title, author, ISSN, etc.

This is not just for librarians but for anyone who would like to read journal articles written by experts from all over the world. For example, librarians who would like to update themselves on the latest developments in librarianship have forty journals to choose from under the subject "Library and Information Science."

More importantly, those whose institutional budgets will not allow them to subscribe to electronic databases or individual journals may refer users to DOAJ. In fact, those seeking PAASCU accreditation may wish to include DOAJ titles in their list of available journals—assuming, of course, that the library provides Internet access to users.

As far as I can tell, no Filipino journals are listed on DOAJ. If you know any Filipino journals that are available online (never mind that they don't fulfill all of the DOAJ criteria), please leave a comment below because I already know of a few and will be featuring them soon.

Category: Technical Services


CAT: SLA 2005

University of Toronto Libraries
Click University
Career Guidance
Maximizing the Internet
Proudly Filipino
Justifying the Library's Existence
General Sessions
Stay Tuned
Librarian Trivia


Librarians' Licensure Examination 2005

The Professional Regulation Commission is now accepting applications for the Librarians' Licensure Examination. The deadline for filing of applications is on Friday, October 14, at the central office and on Tuesday, October 4, at the regional offices. The exam will be held on Thursday and Friday, 3-4 November 2005.

If you are going to take the licensure exam this year—or know someone who will—the following are what I learned from my experience last year:

  1. It's never too early to start the application process. Getting copies of some of the required documents will take several weeks.

  2. Check out the "Instructions to Examinees," print it out, read everything carefully, and make sure you understand and follow all the instructions.

  3. Prepare your documents and make sure that your birth certificate is from the National Statistics Office. (Note: You may obtain a copy of your birth certificate at the PRC office in Manila, the Census Serbilis Centers, or online). If the birth certificate you have is printed on NSO paper but signed by someone from City Hall, it will not be honored.

  4. If you are able to get the right birth certificate but there are discrepancies between your birth certificate and other documents (e.g., name, date of birth, sex), you will either have to obtain further documentation, have the other documents changed to reflect the details in your birth certificate, or go to court to officially change what needs to be changed. (Aside: For some strange reason, my birth certificate did not have entries for sex or date of birth. It's a good thing all I had to do was show my... er, get a supplemental report from City Hall LOL!)

  5. Finally, let me just repeat: It's never too early to start the application process. As Murphy has stated so eloquently, "If anything can go wrong, it will."
This is just the first in a series of posts about preparing for the exam. Expect at least four more posts: Applying in Person, Studying for the Exam, Getting Ready for D-Day, and Taking the Exam.


CAT: The Philippines

FO: Biyahe Tayo!
National Heroes Day
What Do Foreigners See That We Don't?
Hope for the Philippines
Update the National Anthem?
Lupang Hinirang
I Love Philippines?
What's better than...?
Small Change
Bataan Day
The Philippines are or is?
Are We Poor Because We're Catholic?
The Philippines


What Do Foreigners See That We Don't?

Did the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese invade the Philippines just because they could? Is it possible that they saw much more—e.g., strategically or economically—than the natives did? If these foreigners did not find our land "interesting," would they have even bothered to come?

Well, at a time when many Filipinos seem to have given up on the Philippines, foreigners or expatriates are still able to see the good in our country. In "Real Returns" (Time, 4 July 2005), William Green tells the story of how he came to invest in a call center and says that it is "the only investment I've ever owned that has actually made me happy, regardless of whether it pays off financially." He also tells the story of another foreigner who considers investing in the Philippines a "moral obligation."

In "Sky not falling, or why expats choose to live here" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 August 2005), Gilda Cordero-Fernando writes about the Japanese, Israeli, American and German expats who chose to live in the Philippines.

Is the sky falling? Could it be that Martial Law during the time of Marcos is, in fact, preferable to our current political situation?

Please don't get me wrong. I am not criticizing Filipinos who wish to work or are already working overseas. All I'm saying is that we are not entirely in a hopeless situation just because our leaders can't get their act together.

We keep saying that foreigners who are critical of the Philippines should not judge all Filipinos based on the few bad eggs they've seen. Well, should we abandon the road just because of some potholes we've encountered?

The sky is not falling. And I am confident that the sun will come out tomorrow =)


FO: Paper Money

Audrius Tomonis - www.banknotes.comSource: Audrius Tomonis - www.banknotes.com

Today is the anniversary of Ninoy Aquino's death. But no, I will not add to what has already been written—and written better—to commemorate his assassination. This post will be about Philippine currency as Filipiniana.

Images of Philippine paper money (front and back) from 1928 onward (including the one above) are available at Banknotes.com. Part of the site is the World Currency Gallery, which you may also wish to check out if you are a numismatist—"coin collector" is not quite appropriate—or just interested in money.

Series: Filipiniana Online


Six Months!

Allow me to celebrate this "month-sary" by recalling what I wrote in "Mabuhay!" and commenting on what has actually taken place and what I intend to do with this blog in the coming days, weeks and months. (Note: This post is actually two days late because the first post is dated February 18.)

This blog is for all Filipino librarians—whether working in the Philippines or elsewhere.
This is still true, but let me add Filipinos and Filipinas all over the world—whether librarians or not—and even librarians who are not Filipino. If you do not happen to fit into these categories (i.e., you are not Filipino and not a librarian), please let me know so I can expand my list of known readers.
I am not really a blogger but I thought of setting up this blog as a way of establishing a presence for Filipino librarians on the Internet.
This is not quite true anymore because there is now no way of denying that I AM A BLOGGER. And I do believe that the goal of "establishing a presence..." has already been met; not just in the worldwide community of librarians, but even in the Filipino blogosphere. There is, however, a lot more that needs to be done.
This blog will not be about me. Initially, I see it as a means to share information that I think will benefit Filipino librarians. And once I gain enough blogging experience, maybe we (yes, you and I) can think of other things that we can do with this blog.
At first, I thought that I could keep myself out of the picture, like a journalist writing for a newspaper. But eventually, I discarded this approach because I found it very difficult not to use the word "I." I do believe, however, that I have succeeded in sticking to writing about "the Philippines, Filipiniana, Philippine libraries and Filipino librarians." If I have strayed in the past, it was because I thought that it would "benefit Filipino librarians" (do you remember the Garfield comic strip?).

And the "other things"? Well, I've made a few cosmetic changes (the sidebar is now on the right) and will be making a few more; I'll be categorizing posts in the coming days so that it will be easier to see what you've missed in the categories you're interested in; and I've set up the FilipinoLibrarians googlegroup for all Filipino librarians. You do not have to be a member of a Filipino library association. Neither do you have to be physically in the Philippines. Heck, you don't even have to be Filipino or a librarian. As long as you are interested in "the Philippines, Filipiniana, Philippine libraries and Filipino librarians," you're welcome to join the group.
Finally, just to make things clear, I do not claim to be the Filipino Librarian.
Let me repeat that: I do not claim to be the Filipino Librarian. So please, if you must refer to this blog or to me, please do not use "the Filipino Librarian." I would rather that you just use "Filipino Librarian." I am, after all, only one of many Filipino librarians.

One last request: Please leave a comment below. I'd like to know the following:
What do you think of this blog?
What would you like to read more about?
What is your favorite post?


Manuel Quezon and the National Language

See also the category "Talumpati." And whether you found what you were looking for or not, please leave a comment below so I can help you better.
Today is the birthday of Manuel L. Quezon (1878-1944), former president of the Philippines (1935-1944) and considered "father" of Filipino as the national language of the Philippines. For more information and links, see the post of Manuel L. Quezon III today. (Note: What you need is toward the end.)

It used to be that August 13-19 was National Language Week, but in 1997, the entire month of August was declared National Language Month by then-president Fidel V. Ramos. For more on the development of Filipino as the national language of the Philippines—including relevant laws and legislation—please see the speech delivered by Jimmy Lopez on 9 August 2004. (Note: The link leads to an article published in Manila Bulletin [24 August 2004] that can only be accessed at this time through Google's cache.)

Filipino Translation

Ngayon ang kaarawan ni Manuel L. Quezon (1878-1944), dating pangulo ng Pilipinas (1935-1944) at kinikilalang "tatay" ng Filipino bilang pambansang wika ng Pilipinas. Para sa karagdagang kaalaman at babasahin, pakikonsulta ang sinulat ni Manuel L. Quezon III ngayong araw. (Paalala: Nasa bandang dulo ang kailangan niyo.)

Noong una, ipinagdiriwang lamang ang Linggo ng Wika tuwing ika-13 hanggang ika-19 ng Agosto, pero noong 1997, idineklara ni dating-pangulong Fidel V. Ramos ang buong buwan ng Agosto bilang Buwan ng Wika. Para sa karagdagang kaalaman tungkol sa pagsulong ng Filipino bilang pambansang wika ng Pilipinas—kasama na ang mga batas na ipinasa ukol dito—pakibasa ang talumpati ni Jimmy Lopez noong ika-9 ng Agosto 2004. (Paalala: Ang talumpati ay inilathala sa Manila Bulletin [24 August 2004] pero maaari lamang itong basahin sa kasalukuyan sa pamamagitan ng cache ng Google.)

Category: The Philippines, Talumpati



Have you ever wondered who else shares your birthday? Check out the following sites:

FamousBirthdays.com. Besides offering the names of famous people and their birthdays, its most popular features are electronic greeting cards, free e-mail and trivia quizzes.

Scope Systems Anyday Page. It's a repair company (!), but it provides a not-limited-to-the-famous list of birthday celebrants, plus a list of those who died and historic events that occurred on a particular day.

Infoplease Daily Almanac. This well-known reference site offers a featured biography of a person born on a particular day, plus links to others born on that day, information on historical events, and today's news, weather, etc.

Robert Redford's birthday is Aug 18Friendster. Finally, to see who among your friend(ster)s—assuming you have an account—are celebrating their birthdays today (or soon), log in and look for the "My Friends" box. If there is a cupcake with a candle below a photo, point your mouse at the cupcake to see when the person's birthday is. In the case of the photo on the right, it will say, "Robert Redford's birthday is Aug 18."


The Leadership Challenge

Disclosure: I am currently the public relations officer of the University of the Philippines Library Science Alumni Association. But since the objective of this seminar is not inconsistent with what I have written here in the past, I hope you will excuse the plug and my enthusiasm =)

What are the qualities of an effective leader? What is the difference between a leader and a manager? How can librarians develop their leadership skills? Can librarians working alone be considered leaders? Why do librarians need to be leaders?

All these questions and more will be answered in the context of the current political crisis, and in the wake of the "useless" controversy, at "The Leadership Challenge," a forum organized by UPLSAA, which will be held on Wednesday, August 31, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

Mr. Dennis S. Ycasiano, the guest speaker, is a consultant who has developed and implemented training programs for Citibank, Pepsi Cola, Shell and Colgate, and other companies in Southeast Asia.

The occasion and venue for the forum will be the 26th Manila International Book Fair, which will be held at the World Trade Center in Roxas Boulevard, Manila, from August 31 to September 4.

Registration fee is Php 50.00 for members and students, and Php 100.00 for non-members, inclusive of certificates and handouts.

For inquiries and reservations, please call
426-6001 ext. 5805 (Florie Valdez),
426-6001 ext. 5802 (Cristy Samson),
981-8500 ext. 2869 (Grace Tabiendo)
or leave a comment below.


FO: Comics

The Philippine Comics Art Museum was set up by Gerry Alanguilan because "a lot of Filipinos, specially the young artists reading comics and trying to enter comics as a career, are not familiar with the great Filipino Komiks Masters of yesteryear" (1 August 2004). Perhaps a reason for this lack of familiarity is society's low regard for comics—or "komiks," as it is spelled in Tagalog—as seen in the fact that when brought by students to school, comic books are more likely to be confiscated by teachers, rather than studied.

The museum features Filipino artists and samples of their works (i.e., panels, strips, or covers of magazines or comic books), which appeared in local and foreign publications from the 1930s to the present. Trivia question: What was the first comic book published in the Philipines? Click here for the answer =)

More news and images are available at the Komikero Comics Journal. Don't forget to check out the links to websites devoted to Filipino comics and/or artists (e.g., Pugad Baboy, Darna, Larry Alcala).

Series: Filipiniana Online


60 Blogs in the Biblioblogosphere

This blog just made it to "a study of 60 library-related weblogs, written by one to four people (not big group affairs) as personal effort (not *library* or *course* weblogs), listed in one of three major directories of library-related weblogs, that appear to have fairly broad reach."

True, the fact that this blog was number 59 doesn't really mean that this blog is one of the best or that it has so many readers—but, hey, I had no idea that someone like Walt Crawford (author of First Have Something to Say) had taken notice of this blog =)

In "Investigating the Biblioblogosphere" (Cites & Insights 5:10, September 2005), Crawford quantifies the "reach" of a blog by using a formula that involved Bloglines readership and reported links from Google, MSN and AllTheWeb. Nope, this blog was not included because of its "reach." It was in the third group of blogs, which were those "in the top 40 of either Bloglines subscriptions or the top 30 in Google links, MSN links, or AllTheWeb links."

Crawford never actually goes into a detailed discussion of why he did the study, but the following provides a clue:

How many of these 60 blogs fall into the idle chatter and semiliterate categories attacked by people who should know better? A few are rich in the personal lives of the bloggers, but most aren’t. I wouldn’t accuse any of these bloggers of lacking writing skills. I would be hard-pressed to choose even a dozen I don’t consider worthwhile.
If you would like to know more about the context behind his remarks, see "Of Bloggers and 'Blog People,'" especially the next-to-last paragraph, which starts with, "To understand why librarian-bloggers are up in arms..."

For a list of all the 60 blogs included in the study, check out "The biblioblogosphere: Enabling ego searches" (no click-able links) or the MS Excel file with all the metrics (URLs are available, but not click-able either).

Thanks to Hoi for the heads up!


The Not-So-Great "Raid"

I did not say it in my previous post, but I was hoping that The Great Raid might have a shot at an Oscar nomination—if not for Best Picture, then at least for Cesar Montano as Best Supporting Actor. Well, I just saw the film and none of the actors are worth nominating for any award. The movie is just not good enough.

"There's no rescuing 'Great Raid'" by Mike Clark (USA Today, 12 August 2005):

Just about any golden age Hollywood hack could have made a zestier drama about one of the greatest rescue missions in U.S. military history.
"A Valiant Rescue Assuages a Wartime Atrocity" by Stephen Holden (New York Times, 12 August 2005):
The actual raid, when it finally happens in the movie's last 40 minutes, provides no visceral release; the prolonged, soggy fireworks display is devoid of suspense, excitement or human drama.
"Powerful 'Raid' rings true" by Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times, 12 August 2005):
The film is unique in giving full credit to the Filipino fighters who joined the Rangers and made the local logistics possible by enlisting the secret help of local farmers and villagers. The Filipinos are led by Capt. Juan Pajota (Cesar Montano), a forcible local actor who steps into the Hollywood cast and adds to its authenticity and sense of mission.
The last review offers some hope, but unless the film gets respectable box office (at least $50M in the next two months), Oscar voters will probably forget it by December.


Certified Blog Addict

If it's in the news, then it must be true. Check it out, I am now officially a Blog Addict. There's even a photo that, I hope, will forever shatter the stereotype that all Filipino librarians are female.


Hope for the Philippines

Would you agree that what's happening in the Philippines right now is comparable to the Martial Law years under Ferdinand Marcos? That's what DJ Yap suggests in "Filipinos need to relearn truth-telling" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 12 August 2005). He also draws a comparison between our current situation and wife-beating, and implies that many Filipinos are in denial. (Aside: the Marcoses are still in denial, see "Imee Marcos: Will we tolerate liars and thieves?")

Well, I am aware of what's going on, but no, I have not seen evidence of anything remotely resembling a return to Martial Law or wife-beating. Unless, of course, a complex-but-increasingly-ridiculous case—full of hearsay, incredible witnesses, grandstanding politicians, illegally-taped conversations and yet-to-be-proven charges of election cheating—amounts to the "rape" of our democracy. I'm sure the current administration is far from clean, but I'm really just sick of all the intrigue and negativity.

But life goes on. And there is reason for hope.

Yesterday, I was able to renew my driver's license in less than ten minutes at a convenient location without having to line up for a long time. True, I had to get a medical certificate and drug clearance before then, but since there was a clinic right next to the office, it didn't take very long either.

Check out the LTO Offices where you can have your license renewed easily. You can also go to any of the One-Stop-Shop Offices, like the one I went to at Farmer's Plaza in Cubao, which are near, if not in an MRT station.

And then there's NBI clearance renewal, which can also be done at mall-based kiosks, where lines also move very fast. There's even a procedure for Filipinos overseas to obtain NBI clearance.

These initiatives have actually been around for a few years, but the agencies involved are getting better at anticipating users' needs, and procedures are being followed because there's no need to resort to grease money to speed up the process. While the existence of these initiatives will not alleviate poverty or eradicate corruption, they give me reason to hope that someday we can get our act together.


"Librarian's Center" Revisited

In "Librarian's Center?" I wrote about the Librarian’s Center at the National Book Store Superbranch in Cubao and said that, "what I found most unforgivable was the fact that the books were arranged not by subject, but by publisher!" In "Updates on Previous Posts," I mentioned that, "I received an email from National Bookstore regarding my observations," and planned to visit again.

Well, I did go back soon after, and—because I appreciated the fact that the person who emailed me was open to customer feedback—here's what I found...

  1. There was no mention of a "Librarian's Center" on the directory next to the escalators on the first floor.
  2. I suppose I should have qualified my earlier statement, but most of the books are, in fact, arranged by subject—except for the Filipiniana books and the NBS reprints. I don't know why I thought they were arranged by publisher on my first visit, but this time I really tried to see if there was any logic to the arrangement of books. There was none. Some of the books that were next to each other were by the same publisher, some were on the same subject, and some seemed to be together just because they were Filipiniana books. One example: a book on food was flanked by history and showbiz books. Go figure.
  3. Finally, I turned my attention to the other books that I hadn't found time for the last time. It would have been nice if they had hired a "useless" librarian so that they could at least follow the main divisions of LC or DDC, but the arrangement seemed logical enough. What I really found disturbing was that the 4-volume DDC, which catalogers need, was not with the other library and information science books. In fact, they were not even in the Librarian's Center. Well, maybe their regular customers need DDC more than the librarians...
Please don't get me wrong. I think what National Bookstore is doing is great! I just wish they'd do it right =)


St. Lawrence the Librarian

Today is the feast day of Saint Lawrence the Librarian.

He is said to have been roasted on a grill in the hope that he would reveal the names of the Christians on the list he kept as librarian and archivist of the early church. (Click on image to enlarge it and for information about the engraving itself.)

However, it is more likely that he was beheaded rather than roasted. For a better understanding of the varying accounts of his martyrdom, see "It's not Gruesome - It's Reverence."

You may also wish to consult the Catholic Encyclopedia and "Saint Lawrence: Patron of Librarians and Archivists" by R. Lee Hadden.


Pickup Lines in the Library

It's getting too serious; time for some humor. Check out "The LISNews Librarian Pickup Lines" by Blake Carver. It's written from the male point of view, but some will work for females, too.

What's your cutter number baby?
Are you a librarian, because when you walked in the room I knew I was overdue!
I'd catalog you under "Desirable!"
Mind if I check you out?
Want to come back to my room and play cataloger?
Don't forget to look at the comments. And add your own, too!


4,000+ Useful Librarians

In "4,000+ Useful Librarians" (Manila Bulletin, 8 August 2005), Peachy Limpin replies to another column published in the same newspaper last July 28. Limpin, probably the only librarian with a regular column in a national broadsheet, starts her response by saying that "Blogger-librarians were all fired-up two Fridays ago." Well, the following are the blograrians—plus a few "honorary" ones—she was referring to:

Zarah: 105 'useless' librarians, Useless Again, Schools of Thought
Clair: Useless librarians?
Arnold: 105 'useless' librarians
Christine (LIS student): Never a Dalmatian
Watson (librarian's husband): 105 'Useless' Librarians ???

And then, of course, my own posts: 105 'useless' librarians?, Sarcasm, "Useless" Controversy?

Quite a few librarians and non-librarians also left comments on my posts. Aside from those already mentioned above, I'd like to thank the following—in reverse chronological order—for caring enough to click on "Add a comment": Bernadine, Marj, Anacres Salvador, Isabela, Myrna Carrillo Halim, Ari, Maria Jose, JM Ibanez, Alana, J. Angelo Racoma, Rowena Cosico, Grace, Bugsybee, and Paulette M. Mingi.

Finally, some noted that the writer who started all of this did not know what he was talking about. Well, who will educate him and the others like him? No one else knows what exactly it is that librarians do except us. And no one else will speak up for librarians but us. Maybe, just maybe, more librarians will want to make their voices heard after this.



In "Education is simply off the country’s radar screen" (Part I, Part II; Philippine Daily Inquirer, 7 August 2005), Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, president of the Ateneo de Manila University says:

What we have found in studies as early as the 1990s is that, among schools with more or less the same circumstances and the same budget, success has depended on (1) the leadership of the principal and (2) the support of the parents and the community... Actually, not every problem is about lack of money.
Replace "schools" with "school libraries," and "principal" with "librarian," and I may as well have been quoting Nebres in the following posts:

The Principal Factor
In spite of constraints, some public school libraries have developed and flourished... 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? More...
Librarians as Leaders
"We don’t have money" is what many librarians in the Philippines will say to excuse the state of our libraries. But I do not believe that money is the only problem. Many Filipino librarians do not have the leadership and communication skills necessary to persuade their superiors and possible donors—even subordinates—that they can effectively implement the projects for which they ask assistance. More...
And then, of course, there's the school director who is willing to allocate money for the library—but won't. Why? Because the librarian can't explain how the interventions s/he wants to implement will help the school achieve its goals. Now, that's a useless librarian.


Harry Potter Odds and Ends

I took the photo on the left just a few minutes before National Bookstore at Robinson's Galleria opened at 7:00 am on July 16 (see the clock inside the door?). The photo on the right shows the bookmark given to the first ten customers who claimed their reserved copies. I thought it was a keychain when I got it. And Muggles think a broom is just a broom.

Do you have editor-itis like me? What's wrong with the following sentence?
The site, therefore, of Fudge stepping out of the fire once more, looking disheveled and fretful and sternly surprised that the Prime Minister did not know exactly why he was there, was about the worst thing that had happened in the course of this extremely gloomy week (p. 10).
And no, I did not retype the quote above. I used the very difficult copy-and-paste technique, which was made possible by the Word document that I received via email. Yes, the entire book is available as a file. But please don't ask me to send it to you, Kreacher hid it somewhere.

How many times have you read the Harry Potter books? Well, some people have read them over and over again... like me. And that's why I really like "In Love With Harry, Over and Over Again" by Julie Salamon (New York Times, 15 July 2005).

And just in case you have read the book so many times, did you ever notice the Star Wars parallels? In "Harry Potter Spoilers," this question appears: "...how will Harry deal with the fact that Voldemort is his father?" Oops, I think I've said too much...

Finally, for those of you who've read the book but didn't notice the objectionable phrases that the Catholic Church should be objecting to—but isn't—check out "Hairy Pooter, part Sex: Quotable Quotes!" Please note, I used the word "objectionable." Consider yourself warned =)


Analog Thinking in a Digital Library

We must stamp out the vestiges of analog thinking, in favor of the digital imagination. The analog values the logical, the sequential and the hierarchical. The digital exalts the intuitive, the spontaneous and the democratic.
This is what Raul Pangalangan writes in "Analog thinking in a digital world" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 5 August 2005) in connection with "Blogging Gloriagate," an event attended by lawyers and journalists who also happen to be bloggers.

I have been informed that at a recent forum on the revision of the curriculum for schools of library and information science, a comment was made to the effect that librarians should concentrate on the library and just call in the IT experts when the need arises. A perfect example of analog thinking in a digital world...


In the News...

The following newspaper articles on books and/or libraries were published in the last three weeks. As far as I know, only the last article was written by a librarian. Please feel free to "Add a comment" below to make corrections in the bibliographic data or suggest other articles that I may have missed.

"Promoting literacy and learning in children" (Manila Times, 18 July 2005)

On July 5 the Asia Foundation and Sa Aklat Sisikat presented over 8,000 volumes of donated books to children and public schools in Cavite. The donation aims to help educators and community groups enhance English language skills, sharpen vocational and research skills, build small business knowledge, and promote literacy among children.
"The enduring legacy of Miguel de Cervantes" by Lito B. Zulueta (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 24 July 2005)
The Instituto Cervantes's lecture series on the fourth centenary of "Don Quixote" rounds off with National Artist F. Sionil Jose's talk, "A Filipino Writer's Quixotic Adventure," on Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. at Central Library Hall of the University of Santo Tomas.
"Rare and valuable books" by Ambeth Ocampo (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 29 July 2005)
Where did these books come from? If they were from one single library or collection, who was interested enough in the Philippines to keep these works? Are there other Filipiniana materials that came with the books but were not placed on auction?
"Listened to a good book lately?" by Susan A. De Guzman (Manila Bulletin, 31 July 2005)
Audio books are supposed to be convenient alternatives to books in their traditional form. You listen as you’re driving to the office (although won’t it be too distracting if, say, you’re listening to a thriller?), pop one in in your Walkman as you ride the MRT, play it as you’re cooking or cleaning the house, sewing or doing all the other chores you have to attend to.
"Online Resource for Women Launched" by Peachy Limpin (Manila Bulletin, 1 August 2005)
The CWC Library Committee created the website to make the Internet community aware of their presence, to provide a gateway to information resources, particularly on women not otherwise available from Google and other similar search engines, and in the future to become an e-Library of women resources.


Comments, Links, Email, Etc.


Just in case some of you don't know what exactly those words are at the end of each post, here's a quick explanation:

  • "Posted by vonjobi @ 4:22 PM" means that I clicked on "publish" at that time. In case you'd like to see my Blogger profile, click on "vonjobi," but there's not much there.
  • Click on "Permanent link" if you'd like to see the page on which the post you're reading will always be. After all, this blog's "front page" will change very often. You may wish to copy the URL or bookmark the page. Then again, if you'd just like to copy the URL so that you can send it to a friend or use it in your own blog, you can also right-click on "Permanent link" and click on "Copy Shortcut" without having to click on the link.
  • "Add a comment" is what you click to, well, add a comment. This will open another window. I would appreciate it very much if you would leave your name, email address, and website or blog URL (if you have one), but if you'd rather not, that's fine, too.
  • A "Trackback link" is not really going to be interesting for you unless you're a blogger who wants to let me know that my post is referred to in your blog. And if you want to do that, then you already know what this link is for.
  • If you point your mouse at the image of an envelope at the end of all these links, you'll see that the word "Email Post" will appear. And that's what you can click on if you'd like to send my post to someone else without having to open your email.


Librarians at the Magsaysay Awards

Only one librarian has won the Magsaysay Award, but two of the following were cited for the work they did that led to the establishment of libraries.

  • Ohm Dae-Sup (South Korea), a librarian who "organized community reading clubs to overcome the villagers' apathy to reading," won in 1980 for his "abiding commitment toward making knowledge a tool for life-betterment in rural Korea."
  • Hans Bague Jassin (Indonesia), a literary critic who set up "Indonesia's most exhaustive library and archive for literary research," was recognized in 1987 for "preserving for Indonesians their literary heritage."
  • Abdullah Abu Sayeed (Bangladesh), a writer who "launched a nationwide library program in 1998," received the award in 2004 for "cultivating in the youth of Bangladesh a love for books."
If you think there are Filipino librarians who should receive the Magsaysay Award for their achievements, please let me know.

Related posts:
The 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Awards
FO: Ramon Magsaysay Awardees


The 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Awards

The recipients of the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Awards have been announced. They are:

  • Jon Ungphakorn (Government Service)
  • Teten Masduki (Public Service)
  • V. Shanta (Public Service)
  • Sombath Somphone (Community Leadership)
  • Matiur Rahman(Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts)
  • Hye Ran Yoon (Emergent Leadership)
The Presentation Ceremonies will be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila, on August 31 at 4:30 pm. Everyone is invited.

Each of this year's awardees will deliver a public lecture from August 29 to September 2. Please see the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation website for details.

Incidentally, the deadline for submission of entries for the Ramon Magsaysay Student Essay Competition has been moved to August 15.

Related post: FO: Ramon Magsaysay Awardees


I Am a Digital Librarian

Filipino Librarian
Today is my first day as a truly digital librarian.

When I was still studying for my master's degree in library and information science, people would ask me what I intended to do after I graduated. I resisted the impulse to say, "Obvious ba?" and just said, "I'll be a librarian—preferably, a digital librarian." What I had in mind, of course, was that I would join an organization that had a digital library.

Well, now that my contract with the institution where I was working when I began this blog has expired, it seems I've gotten my wish. I am now, technically, a digital librarian. I am a licensed librarian but I am not working in a library. I have no books to catalog or arrange. I have no budget to fight for. I don't even have students or customers to shush.

Some might say that I'm pretty much a useless librarian. But some of us know better =)


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