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Pinoy Big Biblioblogosphere: June 2007

I must confess that this post is not just for readers of this blog. It's also for me. Otherwise, I probably would not have a chance to find out what else is going on in the Pinoy biblioblogosphere, especially during the past month when I did not have much time to post on this blog or even read other blogs. There was quite a bit of activity in the biblioblogosphere last month, so I will feature posts about Book Development Month separately. Aside from the usual links to posts by librarians, there are also quite a few posts below by library users, and even a short story.

On the month that students went back to school, Clair challenged the faculty and students of our alma mater to engage in "cross-pollination." What does this mean? Well, take a look at what she wrote about how having a LIS degree helped her in software development. Zarah is now the president not of a librarian's association but of Kuting, an organization of children's writers. And there's Arnold, who is now blogging about new technology so much that he has a tech news round up. But it seems that others were thinking about "cross-pollination" even earlier than Clair because Igor—who happens to be into technology, theater and so many other things—is teaching again!

Speaking of going back to school, Clair recommends Schoolpad, which allows pre-schools, and elementary and high schools to build their websites for free. Juned describes Filipiniana.net as "heaven sent," but you may also want to read "Filipiniana.net" by Ronald Lim (Manila Bulletin, 9 June 2007). On the more practical side, Zarah narrates some stories about first encounters @ the library. But that's from the point of view of the librarian. What do users say? Nika was embarrassed when she unknowingly walked into a closed-shelves area—twice. It wasn't a big deal, but if I were the librarian, I'd look into the physical set-up of the library. Maybe the closed shelves look more like open shelves?

From Down Under, Peachy writes about an example of the hazards of our trade. One aspect of the Biogesic ad, it turns out, was not exactly wrong. Peachy, however, probably needs to talk to Melsungit, who couldn't stomach certain aspects of living in Australia, including the fact that librarians need to have licenses. She seems to be under the impression that librarians in the Philippines don't need to get a license. Peachy also ponders the future of cataloging, but this perhaps will be more interesting for catalogers and students taking cataloging right now. Users will probably be better able to sympathize with Demsen, who found that her city library was an "undersized crowded place," and the "librarian" was someone who, apparently, "doesn’t even know where to locate books."

On the acquisitions side, Tin points to some bookstores that are offering deals on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But those who want to buy the book may want to wait a little longer and read what Charles has to say about previous Harry Potter wars. Zarah, meanwhile, has been gaining some traffic on a series of posts on pseudo-spoilers (1 2 3). Speaking of bookstores, I really need to get back to the question, "Are bookstores better than libraries?" Charles, a non-librarian, ponders this question in the continuation of his "Library Stories" (2 3 4), refers to how intimidating the Dewey Decimal System can be, and concludes that, "perhaps at the end of the day, it's not about the books inside the library—it's about the people in it be they librarians, students, researchers, bibliophiles, or the janitor." Amen.

Black Lion, meanwhile, laments having to put up with bookstores because "the Philippines has no decent public libraries (WE NEED THESE)."
Sedricke apparently agrees. He does not seem to be a librarian, but the single thing that he loves most about his job is that he is surrounded by books that he doesn't see in bookstores or public libraries. Unfortunately for everyone else, Sedricke seems to be working in a very special library. It must be noted, though, that there's a difference between being surrounded by books and reading them, which explains Virgilio Almario's question in "Nagbabasa Ka Ba?" See the reactions of Tin and Charles (1 2). For the more visually inclined, you may want to check out a post by Gilbert on The Reading Room: "Unlike other films where libraries, readers and reading serve only as backdrops to some scenes, the Reading Room is the main focus where most of the action takes place." He also notes that, "In local cinema and TV programs, there is a dearth of positive roles showing readers in real-life terms."

If you happen to be living abroad, you may be able to identify with the experience of Cecilia, who recalls "going to libraries to look for books, stories by Filipino/Filipino-American writers," and realizing that, "It was as if Filipinos in America did not have a literary voice, as if we barely existed." Alex, however, has a different story—a short story. The OFW protagonist remembers the "abandoned and neglected library" of his youth in the Philippines, and contrasts this with the one "he always finds himself running to... before closing time to get a glimpse of another bestselling book he has yet to read." A line toward the end makes this a rare short story: "He would be happy to be known as a librarian."

Special events during the previous month included the 35th anniversary of the The Agricultural Librarians Association of the Philippines (ALAP) in Laguna. Mila provides some history, while the ALAP blog has the photos and PowerPoint presentations. EISI was there for the 34th general assembly of ALBASA in Cebu. Meanwhile, BASA (no relation to ALBASA), shares photos of a 2006 trip to Masbate and indicates the schedule for the rest of 2007. The best thing about all these events? None of them were held in Metro Manila, but the blog posts allow Manila-centric readers to realize that not everything happens in Manila. If other library associations and institutions were blogging their activities, we might have a better picture of what's going on in Philippine librarianship.

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