As we embark on a new semester, it is important to revisit the Library’s policies, services and information resources. Online library resources may change access, content, user interface, features, and functions over time. As such, academic libraries emphasize the need to reeducate their stakeholders through proper library instruction.
The University Library, through the Information Services and Instruction Section (ISAIS) decided to conduct a webinar series for faculty members. The main objective of the webinar series was to walk faculty members through the library’s various information sources and to provide a venue to ask questions, raise concerns and gain hands-on experience in navigating new online resources. Faculty members from the entire UP System were invited to attend since most of our online subscriptions are accessible system-wide. Product managers, publishers and vendors were invited to lead the discussions to provide a detailed demonstration
The series was held from August 23 to 27 with a total of 19 sessions. The faculty edition webinar series gained positive feedback from the participants, who even provided suggestions on what the Library can tackle next. In hindsight, activities such as these fulfill the mandate of the University Library to enhance the information literacy and research skills through library instruction programs; and provide access to information resources in support of teaching, research, creative work, and extension work.
Apart from the information mentioned above, the University Library is glad to announce the webinar series for UP students entitled “UPSkill Tuesdays and Thursdays.” UPSkill aims to provide information on the various library services and resources which are readily available and accessible for all students. Each episode will focus on two to three resources, explaining the important features and functions of these academic resources. Our very own reference librarians will be leading the discussions. If you wish to register, you may do so here.
As a result of the pandemic, academic librarians have become more resourceful and creative in addressing the needs of their stakeholders. From verifying the availability of physical materials to providing access to electronic resources, creativity and patience are always at play. The promotion of library services and resources can be achieved by efficiently using graphic design tools and platforms to deliver the message. That being said, several academic libraries turned to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to disseminate necessary updates or news to their users. Apart from these media, librarians also explore uncommon platforms to augment their current library promotion and marketing strategies. An example of a unique platform that can be used in libraries is TikTok. This social media platform is used to make a variety of short-form videos from genres like dance, comedy, and education. You might wonder, how can librarians use TikTok for the benefit of their libraries?
To tell us more about this endeavor, we invited Ms. Melanie Sangalang and Ms. Dianne Viray, library staff who made excellent use of TikTok for the College of Science Library. Like any other library service, we asked them what or who gave them the idea to use Tiktok as a marketing platform for the College of Science Library. “Kapag may zoom meeting ang buong CS Lib staff, madalas nababanggit sa meeting na we have to be aggressive and active in promoting our services. Sakto itong si Dianne, tinap ako para simulan namin na gamitin ang TikTok at gawan ang CS Lib ng TikTok account para sa marketing promotion. Yung mga naging guide namin for educational TikTok video eh sila Dr. Kilimanguru, etc. Engaging and informative yung videos nila kaya naging patok sa netizens, so naisip ni Dianne na bakit hindi rin gawin ng CS LIB. I think magandang way din ito para mapakita ‘yung “cool side” ng library habang nag-po-provide ng information sa ating mga library users,” Melanie said.
Looking into the future, we asked them what services or resources they wish to promote using this platform. According to Dianne, “As the premier science library, we also see ourselves producing content that will benefit the general public. Our TikTok account was created as an additional marketing platform to promote our new collection, new services and share our existing library resources. There’s also a plan to utilize this app to educate our students about what we do, our advocacies, share our experience with customers, and hopefully, correct some misconceptions about our profession.”
With regard to their colleagues, students, or faculty, what was the response of the community upon using this strategy? Both Melanie and Dianne were pleased that “despite being on the platform for just a few weeks, the responses and engagements have been encouraging, a hundred likes and views in such a short period is something that we didn’t see coming. We were grateful for the support of the CS LIB staff, most especially Ma’am Tonet, in this endeavor. We see the joy in their faces with each video we upload, and that gives us the motivation to do well. As of the moment, dahil bago pa yung TikTok account ng CS LIB, wala pa kaming feedback from faculty members and students, but we are looking forward to receiving feedback from them soon.”
For librarians who wish to use TikTok as a library promotion tool, Melanie and Dianne are generous enough to share their suggestions. As for Melanie, “Patience is a virtue, lalo na sa mga first-time users ng TikTok. Challenging s’ya pero sobrang satisfying kapag may na-discover kang feature nya na angkop don sa content n’yo. Honestly, we are still in the process of discovering yung iba’t-ibang features nya. Magandang bagay din na dalawa kami ni Dianne sa pag-explore ng Tiktok kasi may matatanungan. As for the content, kailangan matiyaga ka din manood ng ibang videos na pwedeng magamit for marketing promotion kasi kami ni Dianne we want our content to be informative and relatable. So kailangan updated din sa mga trends on social media. Mas maganda rin kung may mga suggestions from your colleagues.”
She furthers “We don’t have much advice to share yet, but based on what we have experienced so far, it is crucial to immerse yourself in the app first before everything else. Familiarizing and making use of it makes it easier for you to think of ideas and content you’d like to create. We’ve also learned that content incorporates humor, funny and relatable experiences to gain more engagement. So if you wish to use TikTok as part of your library’s social media platform, we recommend you fully embrace the culture of the app and its vibe. Don’t be afraid to get a little silly at times for the video. After all, it’s the entire point of being on the platform to spread information to the masses in a more entertaining and funniest way possible. So let loose. And let yourself have fun with every content you’re about to do.”
As librarians and information professionals, it is necessary to continue exploring different media and platforms that can contribute to the enhancement of library services and resources. If you want to know more about this endeavor by the College of Science Library in TikTok, you may visit their TikTok account through this link.
Every year March is celebrated as International Women’s Month. As such, several institutions and groups would organize events to celebrate women who made a significant contribution to the world. For their part, the University Library Gender and Development Committee organized an online storytelling event on March 26 via the Zoom platform for children ages 5-12, entitled, “Kwentong Lockdown ng mgaKababaihan: A Storytelling Activity.”This endeavor was facilitated and led by Ms. Melanie Abad Ramirez, a Kwentistang Laybraryan who has extensive experience in conducting storytelling for children. According to the committee, the objectives were to promote reading among children through storytelling, entertain the children during this pandemic, develop their communication skills, and most importantly, introduce the concepts of gender equality and women empowerment.
To shed more light on the activity, we sat down with one of the committee members, Ms. Rina Cossid, Head Librarian of the Asian Center Library. First off, as the participants were children, we asked her how they reacted to the activity. “Overall, the children, as well as their guardians/parents, were happy and participative. The storyteller connected with the participants through the engaging movements she demonstrated and even asked them questions to make them feel they are part of the story. She let the children express their feelings. Also, you could notice the children’s eye and hand coordination and muscle movement the entire time. I think their focus improved because the storyteller was able to connect with them,” she said.
Conventionally, storytelling has been used to convey information or content with fantasy, picture books, folk tales, and the like. As librarians, another critical question is whether storytelling may be considered an effective way to introduce social issues among children. According to Rina, “Yes. In celebration of Women’s Month, we, the ULGAD Committee, thought to reach out to children as our audience. The storyteller, Ms. Melanie “Ate Melai” Ramirez, featured the stories “AngNanay kong Driver”and the classic “Papel de liha” to highlight the role of women as parents, workers, and co-equals in the family and society. The stories showed how women could accomplish and perform jobs usually associated with men and celebrated motherhood in all its forms.”
In recent years, libraries have begun to undertake initiatives beyond the usual duty of providing information, particularly towards social change. We asked Rina if libraries in the Philippines can be great vehicles for promoting women’s welfare. “Yes. Libraries can and should be enablers of gender equality. As such, provided it is related to the curriculum/program and endorsed by the faculty, we acquire books on women, gender, and development. In UPD, some libraries have Gender and Development Collection, and staff would actively undertake programs and activities for Women’s Month,” she eagerly stated.
As individuals, may we constantly educate the younger generation of the importance of treating women and all genders with respect and dignity. The significant contribution of women in our society cannot be stressed enough. We see them through our mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, and friends. Through our ways, may continue to honor and celebrate women, not just on Women’s Day, but every day.
The University Library (UL) was formally created in 1922, fourteen years after establishing the University of the Philippines. The founding anniversary of the UL is commemorated in March. This year is the library’s 99th anniversary, just a year shy of its centennial celebration. Since its inception, the UL has constantly espoused the ideals of the University as a bastion of higher learning, academic freedom, and safe space. Along with establishing the constituent universities throughout the archipelago, the University Library eventually found its way within Baguio, Cebu, Los Baños, Manila, Mindanao, the Open University, and the Visayas. The challenge of managing several libraries, which are geographically apart, paved the way to delegate the enormous responsibility to capable librarians who shall serve as the University Librarian of each campus. Through the initiative of the Staff Training and Development Committee, a three-part lecture series entitled “Towards 100 Years of Resilience: From the Helm of the University Library” was organized. Past and present University Librarians and administrators discussed the milestones, current engagements, and future undertakings of their respective University Libraries.
The previous University Librarians of the Diliman campus, Prof. Salvacion Arlante, Prof. Rodolfo Tarlit, and Prof. Chito N. Angeles, delivered the first lecture on March 17. Prof. Arlante started by sharing her personal experiences with the late Prof. Marina G. Dayrit, who served as the University Librarian of Diliman from 1963 to 1981. She highlighted Prof. Dayrit’s 5-year development program for the UL by building its collection and resources through Ford Foundation grants. For his part, Prof. Tarlit ardently narrated the establishment of a formal education program in Library Science which was overseen by the librarians of the University. More so, he stressed the critical role of the Office of the University Librarian in meeting the academic needs of the UP community. Last but not least, Prof. Angeles discussed the various initiatives, programs, and technology that ushered the transformation of the UP Diliman Libraries towards the digital era. He also emphasized the need to constantly analyze and understand User Experience (UX) to design and implement user-centered library services.
The second lecture was opened by Ms. Maria Nimfa Castro, University Librarian of the UP Manila campus. She highlighted the partnerships and networks established by the library with various government and international institutions in Medicine and Allied Health Sciences. A renowned library in medicine and health-related fields in the country, the UP Manila Library seeks to continuously expand its resources by securing funds and subscribing to high-quality online databases.
Ms. Amelia Cendaña, Officer-In-Charge of the UP Baguio Library, talked about the improvement of the library’s physical space which was initiated by Ms. Brenda Dogup and developed during the time of Ms. Cristina Villanueva. As a component of their online library services, she announced the UP Baguio Library’s avatar, dubbed Integrate Services and Knowledge Assistant or ISKA. This initiative aimed at supporting students and the staff was made possible through the support and assistance of the UP Baguio Administrators. Additionally, the UP Baguio Library increased its social media presence through Facebook by constantly posting announcements, updates, online resources, and services available to its stakeholders.
The last presentation was led by Dr. Briccio Merced Jr., University Librarian of the Mindanao campus. During his talk, he shared updates regarding the planned expansion of the library. A noteworthy endeavor is its active membership in the Davao Colleges and University Network (DACUN) to enhance resource-sharing and continuous professional development. In conclusion, he highlighted the efforts of the library concurring with the campus’ strategic plan “Towards UP Mindanao’s 100 Years,” a long-term development plan.
For the third and last lecture of the series, Ms. Concepcion Saul, University Librarian of the UP Los Baños, started by highlighting the history of the library and the progress initiated by the previous administrators. She also noted the importance of cooperation and partnership with several student organizations, which brought forth initiatives such as Food Boxes to benefit students. To provide the students a clear picture of what the library offers, they decided to redevelop the University Library website. She also gave updates regarding the construction of the University Library and Knowledge Center.
Ms. Sheryl Alforque represented the UP Cebu Library. She eagerly enumerated the programs they implemented, such as the digitization of Cebuano literature, RFID technology, automated inventory system, and library personnel in-service training and workshop, to name a few. Similar to the UP Los Baños Library, Ms. Alforque emphasized the student body’s involvement in the library’s initiatives.
The last lecture for this series was presented by Ms. Analiza Linaugo, University Librarian of the UP Visayas Library. Apart from the continuing transformation of software and equipment, the library administrators underscored the power of resource-sharing to provide students high-quality information resources such as the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (AFSA) Partnership Agreements under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. As the UP Visayas campus specializes in aquaculture, it is worth mentioning that the library is affiliated with the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Laboratories and Information Centers.
The accomplishments and plans presented by each UP library are a clear testament to the commitment of the university and library administrators in providing high-value information resources and the best learning environment for its stakeholders. Should the University Library continue to uphold its level of excellence for the next one hundred years, it will undoubtedly be among the best academic libraries in the Philippines and the entire Asian continent.
In the last two decades, progressive movements have sprung involving ordinary people, aiming to address and eradicate gender discrimination, violence against women and children, gender equality, and the like. This was made possible through Executive Order No. 273, s. 1995 which mandated the institutionalization of Gender and Development (GAD) Committees or agendas within local government units and government offices. By virtue of Memorandum CAS-12-009 by then Chancellor Ceasar Saloma, the University Library established the Gender and Development Committee in 2012 to promulgate and ensure gender sensitivity among its staff. The Committee oversees GAD-related activities through seminar-workshops and lectures that tackle issues, including but not limited to gender sensitivity and women empowerment, among others. Through the help and guidance of the Diliman Gender Office, the University Library continues to pursue GAD work and engage others to do the same.
Held during the second week of February, the annual One Billion Rising, which the Gabriela Youth and Diliman Gender Office spearhead, saw the participation of various GAD Committees from the academic and administrative units of the University. The One Billion Rising campaign is the most significant mass action worldwide to end violence against women (cisgender, transgender, and gender-fluid). The campaign launched on Valentine’s Day 2012 began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than One Billion women and girls.
This year’s theme campaigns for both women and our planet, recognizing that the two are the least protected and most violated under the oppressive systems of capitalism, fascism, and patriarchy, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Gardens represent our connection to the Earth and each other and our cultivation of our basic needs and our community. To maintain a garden is to resist the environmental, social, and spiritual collapse brought about by oppressive systems; to rise is to take up the responsibility to protect and uplift the Earth, which is essential to all life.
As an active GAD Focal Point System in the U.P. Community, the University Library’s GAD Committee holds this annual event in high regard and with great anticipation. To know more about the Committee’s contribution to this year’s One Billion Rising, we asked one of its members, Ms. Allyssa Feb Valdehueza of the U.P. Integrated School Library. “We have been invited by the Diliman Gender Office together with the Gabriela Youth to partner with them for this year’s One Billion Rising Campaign. We actively joined the preparatory meetings on the plotting of activities. As for the contribution of the ULGADC, we decided to create a video presentation featuring the plantitas of the library and one other government employee entitled “Women Bloom, Women Grow, Women Thrive” to show how women, especially in the time of the pandemic, are empowered through ornamental and sustainable planting. This is in line with this year’s OBR theme, “Rising Gardens, Growing Resistance.” I, as the ULGADC representative, participated in the on-ground protest Feb 14 held at the amphitheater. On Feb 15, the committee members joined the online protest and participated in the “Sayaw ng Paghihimagsik,” she narrated.
Given that gender sensitivity programs are among the most useful tools to create awareness among a community, we asked her if these activities are still relevant during quarantine when there are no physical classes, and workplace arrangements are limited. In her opinion, “It certainly is. Sexual harassment is not limited to physical contact. Anyone could still be harassed online through their social media platforms, whether private or wide-open through their public profile. So yes, GSP is still relevant during these times.”
Lastly, looking forward to the future, we asked if the GAD Committee has any programs or activities in line for the University Library this year. “During the start of the year, we planned out a few. But as for now, as a celebration for women’s month, we have an upcoming activity entitled “Kwentong Lockdown ng Kababaihan: a storytelling for Children” on March 26, 2021, 9:00-11:00. Other programs will still be planned in the coming months, and we will keep everyone posted through our Facebook page, she said.”
People eagerly participated as the One Billion Rising 2021 was launched in U.P. Diliman last February 14at the UP Amphitheater
In retrospect, the One Billion Rising movement indicates a constant need to inform people to eliminate inequality, abuse, and discrimination. Although there is still a long way to go, it is essential to acknowledge that no effort is too little because when women join forces, surely a more progressive and safe U.P. is within reach. As we are unyielding during these challenging times, may we also be unyielding in standing up for equality and respect.
As a year of quarantine in the Philippines draws to a close, an unprecedented number of businesses and establishments have completely shut down and filed for bankruptcy. Alongside this outcome, social gatherings and events have become scarce as it has been observed that transmission of the virus is effective when a certain number of people are gathered in a single place. However, COVID-19 didn’t completely halt one of the University’s most enjoyable events which is the annual Lantern Parade. That being said, UP Diliman’s recent Lantern Parade veered off from the usual and opted for a virtual celebration by also reflecting on the University’s challenges and successes in the previous year. The virtual event entitled, “Diwa ng Diliman 2020” was broadcasted last December 18, 2020 through the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) Facebook Page.
In order to understand the arduous task of creating a lantern that would best represent the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA), wherein the University Library is a part of, we interviewed Ramil De Leon from the Main Library’s Information Systems and Network Services Section. He was the primary person tasked to oversee the lantern’s conceptualization, design and construction. Like in any other work, we asked him what was the inspiration behind the lantern. “Sa una, sa totoo lang sa bawat lantern na ginagawa, wala talaga akong maisip na ideya. Madalas na inaantay ko ang mga meeting para sa mga opinion saka palang nakakabuo ang komite ng plano para sa lantern. Ang ideya ng lantern ay walong bukas na palad na sumisimbulo sa mga opisina sa ilalim ng OVCAA na nagaalay ng talento’t kasanayan at walang humpay na paglilingkod sa buong komunidad nang may husay at dangal,” he said. The eight offices under the OVCAA are: Office for the Advancement of Teaching (OAT), Office of International Linkages (OIL), Office of the University Registrar (OUR), General Education Center (GEC), Interactive Learning Center (ILC), Office of Field Activities (OFA), NSTP Diliman Office, and as mentioned earlier, the University Main Library.
The OVCAA Lantern
Additionally, we asked him to share his personal experience in constructing the piece. “Sa umpisa medyo mahirap kasi gagawa ka palang at iniisip mo kung aabot kaba? Pero habang nakikita mo siyang nabubuo at nakikita mo na yung kakalabasan kahit hindi pa siya tapos, sulit din yung pagod. Plus na yung alam mo na aabot ka pala sa deadline,” he replied. As the recent virtual parade required the lanterns to be small in size, Ramil didn’t hesitate to share his preference between a small or large scale piece. “Okay sila pareho dahil palaging naman naka suporta hindi lang ang buong komite nang Lantern pati na din and University Library. Pero mas okay para sa aking ang paggawa sa malaking parol, dahil nakakawala ng pagod yung may kasama at kausap ka habang gumagawa,” he argued.
In total, the virtual celebration received more than twenty eight thousand views. This in itself is a clear indication that although festivities and celebrations are highly discouraged, the UP community looked forward to the annual event and were very happy. Hopefully this year, we would be able to celebrate the Lantern Parade and Christmas season at the campus once again.
The Asosasyon ng Aklatan at Sinupan ng Diliman, Inc. (AASDI) annually holds a seminar-workshop aimed at enhancing the capabilities of professionals and staff working in libraries and archives. This annual event called LIKAS stands for Linangin ang Isipan para sa Kaunlaran ng Aklatan at Sinupan. The objectives of this edition’s workshop are aligned with the theme, “Libraries in Transition: Discussing Safety, Security, Responses, and Preparedness in Time of Pandemic.” As a result of COVID-19 crisis, it has been acknowledged that a continuous effort in equipping and retooling library personnel should enable libraries and archives to stay as relevant as ever in communities. Additionally, the library community emphasized the need for library staff to design and implement guidelines to ensure the safety of personnel and users alike. LIKAS 2020 is a three-part webinar session held via Zoom and is free and open to all.
Held last November 20, 2020, the first of the three-part webinar series was presented by Ms. Elvira B. Lapuz, University Librarian of UP Diliman. Her topic revolved around basic tenets of library management, which are security and safety protocols within the library—highlighting the threats brought about by natural and man-made disasters, stringent strategies that would solidify safety and security in the library. Some of these strategies involve the installation of physical facilities such as plastic barriers, self-check-in kiosks, book showers, and more to counter the spread of disease such as COVID-19. Another important thing to note is the essence of accountability between every staff or personnel attached to the library, stating that “emphasis should be on the need for security staff and understanding that security is everybody’s business.” As for the actions and responses that the library personnel can take, Ms. Lapuz advised everyone to think first and, most importantly, “to be within reason” all the time.
To sum up her presentation, Ms. Lapuz showcased the best practices and measures that the University Library has put in place to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of services to the UP community. As previously mentioned, physical facilities have immensely contributed to the overall security and safety of everyone. However, non-physical strategies such as flexible work arrangements, increased social media presence, online promotion of services, and the like are considered just as effective in library operations. The unforeseen change in the library work environment proved to be challenging for the majority but undeniably led to personal and professional development, which are beneficial in the long run. Lastly, Ms. Lapuz went on to remind the participants about the importance of continuously revamping their existing safety measures.
If you’re interested in joining the third and final webinar session, which shall be held on February 19, 2021, you may easily register through this link. The last webinar session shall be presented by the current Deputy University Librarian of UP Diliman, Ms. Eimee Rhea C. Lagrama.
For more announcements, activities, and events, you may want to keep yourselves posted through AASDI’s Facebook Page here.
As the pandemic forced schools and universities to transition abruptly to online learning, one of the critical tasks of the library is to guide students through the library’s various online information sources .
For its part, the University Library, through the Information Services and Instruction Section (ISAIS), held the 3rd and final leg of its webinar series, this time targeted towards students from all levels. The first set of webinars was held from October 20-23, while the second set was from October 27-30. Patterned after Research Made Easy (RME), the library’s information literacy initiative, the webinar provided practical knowledge in navigating through the various online databases and information resources of the Main Library. The other webinars were dedicated to enhancing students’ necessary information literacy skills by introducing smart search strategies in their research process. Smart search strategies employ various symbols to execute specific operations such as the use of quotation marks (“ “) for phrase searching, hash (#) or questions mark (?) for a wild card search, and asterisk (*) for truncation operations, among others. Considered one of the primary search strategies that every researcher should know, Boolean Searching was also discussed, which involves using operators such as AND, OR, and NOT in a logical manner to narrow down or expand a search.
There is a multitude of online databases that students can use, from multi-disciplinary to subject-specific. However, it is equally important to instruct students how to efficiently use these databases to locate an authoritative article, search for an appropriate research paper within the shortest time possible, and narrow down a search to a specific subject matter, to name a few. Additionally, a session was also dedicated to updating the participants with the new tools and upgraded technology employed by the University, such as the web-scale discovery service platform, Tuklas, and the new Main Library website, which boasts a more responsive design.
Another key objective was to understand the students’ personal experience in utilizing the library’s various resources by providing a venue to ask questions and provide comments. As the Main Library subscribes to User Experience (UX) ‘s significance in modern-day libraries and information centers, ideas, and reflection from the clients are valued as they contribute to the library’s growth. In this case, however, users’ opinions and experiences are limited to research concerns. True enough, a handful of students managed to exchange ideas and share their personal experiences in conducting their research.
More so, this webinar series proved useful to those who are unable to personally visit the Main Library, such as this academic year’s new students. Having that in mind, the University Library shall continuously uphold its mandate to aid the student community with their information needs with or without a pandemic.