Friday, November 30, 2007

Welcome new filipino librarians!

Today, as I arrived from the national conference of public librarians in Manila, I went to my office to check the new additional books coming from DepEd Manila for the Naga Library HUB. I am not actually interested to attend the conference because I left Naga with a typhoon forecast signal number 2. I'm worried with the effects that it will bring to the library. It is still different if you are in your office when there is typhoon unlike when you are in other place, which at that time, attending a conference in Manila while my staff preparing for the typhoon.

My ordinary days at the Naga Library continue started with a normal checking of the building - the lights, the Hall, the Roco Memorabilia etc. The last stop is going to my computer and Internet... reading news at the
inquirer and philstar, checking the weather at typhoon 2000 ,and read blogs.

What is more significant is the release of the passers of the 2007 Librarian’s Licensure Examinations conducted last November 26 and 27. I have friends and classmates in UP which took the licensure exam, and luckily, they passed. The list of names were published at the Philippine Star.

Journaling my daily work, the blogging and etc.. are things I am thankful. They said that there are no professional growth in public library, hmmm i guess, at Naga Library, I am different. And it is different after nine (9) years when I passed the librarian's exam. It's deja vu.

Now that new librarians are coming, my congratulations to them for choosing this profession. I urge that they will choose to WORK IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES.

Books donation: give us what we want, not what you dont like

“Books died. Books died in the United States, and unfortunately, the Philippine serves as the big cemetery for these books” averred Manolo Silayan. He is one of the resource speakers and guests during the conference of public librarians in connection with the 73rd celebration of the National Book Week.

It rings a bell, when someone like him, told the crowd of public librarians who were all recipients of donated books coming from United States. This is actually the lesson I learnedwhen we are transferring to a new building.

Last 2004, Mayor Jess asks me about a proposal from a book donor offering books from US. She only asks the naga city government to shoulder the payment for the shipment of these books. At that timewe are tempted to respond to her offer. This is because we are looking for more books to add to our 6,000 volumes in the new library. However, after knowing the cost of the shipping, I practically suggest to Mayor Jess to decline the proposal. Instead, funds shall be spent for the acquisition of new books.

Public ibrarians, including me, would jump into the offer of donors to increase its collection. We have no choice either because of the shortage of funds in dealing with the acquisition programs. However, accepting donations from the private companies and organizations is one of the many strategies to increase the library holdings. There is nothing wrong with accepting donations if there is a guidelines being followed and a vision to give direction.

My experience in developing the Raul S. Roco Library, is to see it in a perspective that we are in a process of developing a community. It means, we have to involve the community leaders, the people, other sectors from selection to making library policy and rules. I BELIEVE, NO ONE CHOOSES TO BE A DUMPING GROUND for dead books. And if public librarian were articulate over their needs, soon, those books will not be brought in the country. This I think, how Manolo Silayan caught the attention of public librarians during the national conference.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Computerization craze!

Making library resources accessible to its clients is one of the primary goals of any library. Naga library is not an exemption.

The increase of library books prompted the Naga library to include in its program the computerization of service to the increasing number of library users. A simple program that will address the circulation of books, the inventories and reports of library holdings are the details of the library computer program. The plan must reflect the level of readiness of the Naga Library staff on the use of computer along with the level of understanding to the technical works of the library.The program must also addrees the level of comprehension of major library clients - the students, and the general public.

Before I entered in the naga library, an Internet service has been one of the projects of the city government since 1996. It was offered free to library clients on its first year and charges a reasonable amount to keep the project sustainable. While naga library appears advance, some public libraries are gradually establishing an Internet Center in the library. It became a fad for libraries to include in its operation the use of electronic resources such as the Internet, CD-ROM etc.

Incidentally, in 2000, the National Library has introduced the public library information network or the publin project. In my own understanding, the project seeks to establish an automated system of library services in select public libraries in the country trough a network of library resources. On its first kick off, naga library has availed the general library automation system or GLAS program. Shortly, it was replaced with TINLIB, and again, with the library. Solution programs. Duplication of work, conflict of coding, usual repair of CPU to the National Library etc. are wastes of resources that any librarian may opt to return the software for practical reasons. I could not imagine how much the naga library has spent for this project.

While I cannot control the inevitable increase of library holdings, I am forced to address the problem by developing a simple computer program. With the ms publishers at hand, and the experiences that my library staff gained from the national library project, we gambled to develop a library computer program. First, a web page serving as an entry point to the Naga library circulation project (which I have required to my practicum students) which became a project. Later, after having observed and study the program, I decided to adopt the program and be used in the Naga Library.

Today, as I look at my experiences, Naga library computerization, indeed, a challenging tasks. Staffs have been exposed to the bibliographic information of the book. I could not explain my satisfaction when my staffs are already talking the same language in the library. books are barcoded and in a minute books can be lent to the readers. Profile of users and the library holdings can be viewed immediately. In short, the project helps my staffs ease on providing reference services to library clients.

Any comments to the naga library computerization project? Can visit us at

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The third sector @ the library

Most people thought that working in a library is easy, especially in public library. For public libraries, I am used to the assignment of staff with having a little knowledge and appreciation of the library… worst with people who do not read any. Thus, I maintain a small organization in naga library. It follows a premise that the smaller the organization, the easier it is to handle. Instead of requesting for additional staff, I depend on volunteers.

Last 2004, I met Nick Hake, an American Peace Corps volunteer assigned in jp2 reading center. Though he was assigned there, he would spend most of his time working in naga library. When in the library, he would help us make and prepare the newsletter, brochure, and manual. While ff he was in the bookmobile; he’s a storyteller in our regular library sessions. His 2 years of volunteer work in the library help us find books and funds for the library hub. Fortunately, the us embassy club gave us a small fund to address those concerns. We don’t need shelves, aircons, and TV, what we need are bins, tables, and computers, because, they will not be used once the books are distributed.

Having a peace corps working in the library is an education itself. Aside from knowing their culture, the most important development was when my staff have developed the englog-taglish converstation. I never emagine that my staff are talking in english. The experience of my staff in conversing with Nick has made them at ease in dealing with other foreign visitors in the library. Aside from Nick, PCVs Will Stone and Dan Nover have had a share of moments with the naga library.

When thousand of books arrives and needs to be distributed before the June 2006, it was also his last month in naga library. Tasks of covering, classifying, bar-coding and accessioning that requires additional personnel to perform has became a problem in accomplishing the deadline.
This brought me to the next point ..... finding local volunteers. Students who are recipient of educational scholarship grants of lgu-naga helps us do the covering of books. In turn, we were able to accomplished the deadline.

Volunteers or the third sector of the society is one of the many features of Naga City multi-awarded brand of governance. Naga made every city resident involve in the affairs of the government. And, naga library benefits from governance. AND FOR PUBLIC LIBRARIANS who work alone in the library may have look at the possibility of finding volunteers. If i can do it naga library, i guess, you can do it in your library.

Monday, November 12, 2007

naga library hub

Three years ago, then Superintendent Dr. Nitz Ramos visit the (Roco) Library and inform us of the library hub project. We were convinced then, so we presented the project to mayor Robredo.To fast track the project, the superintendent authorized me to facilitate the close coordination in DepEd Manila. It was Usec Luz, Ms Marge Barro and Ms. Bev Gonda who were the people i have met, where the project was consequently going on in Davao and Bacolod (as pilot projects). However, things have changed and Ms. Bev Gonda left alone working on the implementation of the project.

For naga, it was an opportune time, because naga library was slowly transfering to a new building. At the Children Section, the problem was how to fill-in the shelves with children books. So we have withrawn all the books at the bookmobile to increase our present collection in the section (the bookmobile catered to elementary school libraries). However, since we transfered the books to the Children's Section, we can no longer serve th bookmobile to elementary schools. So, that is how the Library HUB came into the picture.

BUT Today, after we have adopted the DepEd project, naga library hub works successfully. It became a part of the children's library located at the ground floor of the roco library. Once the book were distributed, we transformed the area into theme parks, a reading area etc so as the area used to be for the Hub will be maximized.

MY THINKING, this is one thing that PUBLIC LIBRARIANS must be aware once the project reached at thier local Dep Ed. The Naga DepEd partnership experience has added a new dimension in the public library works - working with teachers and academicians. We knew how teachers employs the use of books as oppose to our daily routine of waiting the readers to visit the library. NOW, things float on. Library HUB is getting the attention and the support of the DepEd and the local government. Until then...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

november works

I will be attending the National Library sponsored public librarians conference on November 28-29, however I will not leave Naga without a program to promote the Raul S. Roco Library.

On November 22, 2007, is the formal launching of the 2nd Raul S. Roco Youth Achievement Awards for 2007 at the R. Fernando Hall of Ateneo De Naga University with Pathways to Higher Education and Ateneo Eagles for Environment as partnering group. Likewise, we will be launching in Daet, Iriga City, Bicol University for Albay, Sorsogon State College for Sorsogon and Catanduanes State College for Catanduanes.
On November 25, a simple program for Naga readers will be conducted as part of the library rewards program and afterwards, a round-table discussion/ meeting with public librarians in Camarines Sur. Naga DepEd English Supervisor Ms. Salve Selga and I will be partnering for the Elementary Division-wide National Book Celebration. The culminating program will be held at LCC Activity Center.

As a follow-up to the reading sessions last year, the Brigada Basa, a reading tutorial sessions will be held at Tinago, Con. Pequena and Mac Mariano Elementary Schools. The sessions will be held at the Roco Library with Grade II pupils as recipients of the tutorial sessions to be conducted by selected library volunteers.

November for public librarians is the month to visit the National Library to receive the annual allocation of books. Thus, instead of celebrating the Book Week on the prescribed date, we made the celebration earlier. For Naga Library, this month is not the same as the months before because of the preparation of the Roco Day occassion. With so much adjustments and pressures, i hope as the year ends, we have reached what we wanted for Naga people.