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Abigail Capitin-Principe — Filipino Librarian

Abie is a Filipina, a librarian, an MBA-holder, and a black belt in aikido. She obtained her MLIS in Japan, where she is also now finishing her PhD. Her mother is a librarian, her sister is a librarian, and her husband is a librarian!

I first "met" Abie through the Filipino Librarians Googlegroup. But it was not until she came to visit last Christmas that we finally met in person. The most interesting story she told me was about the time when she was still the chief librarian of a public library in Manila.

When she took over the small library, she found out that the library had so many employees whom she had never met. It turns out they were actually "15-30" employees—those who showed up only to collect their salaries on the 15th and 30th of every month. Well, she put them all to work. And when the 15-30 employees realized that they had to work for their salaries, they all eventually asked to be transferred to other departments. They all returned when Abie left for Japan.

Why are public libraries in the Philippines in such a sad state? There are many reasons, of course. But I wish we had many more librarians like Abie.

Category: Librarians

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