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Friday, April 30, 2010

The Registered Librarian (RL)

Part 3 of the "Becoming a librarian series" - a personal advocacy to create awareness about the world of books, libraries, librarians, the librarianship profession and their enduring relevance.

Librarians are licensed professionals. This surprises most people, both non-professionals and even co-PRC license holders (we share the same PRC window with Landscape Architects, ECEs, etc.). 

I remember the surprised look that a BDO teller gave me when I presented my librarian's license during a bank transaction. It was her first time to see one, she said. Then she had the temerity to comment that perhaps the licensure exam was an easy one. I wish she had taken the 2008 exam! Out of more than a thousand takers,only 23% or less than 300 individuals passed. It was that hard! The exams also has a way of making you feel helpless even if you seriously studied for it. (Don't ask. Not here. Just find someone who had previously taken the exam. Or read the forums....)

A librarian's licensure exam takes two days and covers six subjects: management (ours is a management course), reference, acquisition, cataloging, indexing, and information technology. As dictated by R.A. 9246 or the Philippine Librarianship Act of 2003, an examinee must garner an average of 75%, with no grade of less than 50% in all subjects in order to earn his or her license. Unlike the engineering professions where a non-passing grade in one subject will only obligate the examinee to retake that subject in order to pass, aspiring professional librarians need to retake the entire exam and meet the grade requirements. Fortunately for me, I did not have to go through the hellish application process and exam all over again. I passed. Even better, I ranked second.

To quote the speech of LLE 2009's exam topnotcher and now co-EnggLib2 librarian, Ojie Sarmiento, it was "redemption." It made up for all the tears and frustrations and self-doubts of the last nine years, the lonely nights spent away from home which I endured so that I can devote time to prepare for the exam, and the self-imposed extra shelving hours at the library so that I can familiarize myself with LC call numbers. It made me proud to become part of the institutions which I now serve, knowing that I have brought pride and joy not only to my family but also to the SLIS, to my colleagues, and most especially to UP- to my "dear Oble."  So this was why he did not let me go yet. I still have much to accomplish in the service of the University.

(to be continued...)
Next in the series: The librarian's work
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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