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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Becoming a librarian (part 1): Libraries as a haven.

For years, I have refrained from writing about my work, believing that my personal life should remain distinct and apart from my professional one. But I have an advocacy to make, and a personal blog seems as good a medium as any. This is my personal contribution to making people more aware about the world of books, libraries, librarians, the librarianship profession and the enduring relevance of these things.... -bds

I will be marking two years of becoming a librarian in July of this year. Two years of having been part of what I believe, is one of the best and most dynamic Philippine libraries today - The UP College of Engineering Library II.

The UP College of Engineering Library II - one of the Philippine's Best
Looking back, I could refer to my journey towards librarianship as a homecoming. I was a kid who grew up in libraries. From grade one to grade three, then enrolled in a private school,  I would wait for my elder sister to finish class while in the comforts of the school library. I remember immersing myself into rows of the Bobsey Twins titles, and then always hoping that our school librarian, Ms. Soriano (Regis Marie School, ca. 1990) would open the shelves containing the beautifully illustrated Disney books so I can lose myself into them. I did finish off the available Bobsey Twins, but not the Disney books. When I transferred to public elementary school, our training for inter-school competitions were done inside the library. This made me really happy because we were allowed to read as much as we like while we were waiting for our trainors or co-trainees. Then there was the city's public library where, during troublesome times, I would hide myself away whenever I cut class. In UP, I frequented the General Reference reading room during long breaks. It is where I used to write letters, read general interest stuff, or pretend to read in the hope that I will fall asleep soon. I also was a regular CAL visitor where I would frequently make a random title selection on the shelves and take home whatever it is that had made me interested enough to continue reading. 

Libraries, for me, have been places of freedom. Those I have been to have encouraged me to learn, inspired me to dream, taught me to be more productive with my free time. It was no surprise then when, burnt out from  my original college, I chose to pursue a degree in librarianship. I asked the Guidance Center at the Vinzon's to help me figure out what other career options someone of my personality would most likely be compatible with. Librarianship won, hands down, against social work and psychology (I have too much of a bleeding heart to survive any of the latter two.) It also was pretty interesting that at that time, the Institute of Library and Information Science (ILIS) had just introduced the IT track into the BLIS curriculum - something related to my former major.

(to be continued...)
Next in the series: The library school
kaigachi is a conjugation of the Japanese term "kigaicha" or crazy. It roughly translates as "crazy about something."

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." - C.Jung

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