6th AASDI General Assembly

Asosasyon ng Aklatan at Sinupan ng Diliman, Inc. (AASDI) is a non-profit professional organization whose mission is to foster knowledge and increase the capabilities of librarians and staff to meet users’ ever-changing information demands. Because organizations engage in numerous activities, regularly revisiting their goals and objectives to realign their members’ expectations, resources, and abilities is critical. This could be accomplished by holding a regular gathering or providing an avenue for people to raise issues, concerns, and long-term projects. Considering this, the AASDI held its 6th General Assembly online on January 31, 2022.

Outgoing AASDI President Rhoel E. Rondilla showcased the activities of the organization in the past year.

The General Assembly was led by outgoing AASDI President Rhoel E. Rondilla, who presented the initiatives under his leadership. The organization held webinar sessions throughout the pandemic to raise awareness about specific topics and address issues among libraries and information centers. Library and information professionals were invited to share their experiences, insights, and strategies, allowing them to implement long-term solutions. Prof. Dan Anthony Dorado of the UP School of Library and Information Studies (UP SLIS) and Director of the Diliman Learning Resource Center presented a webinar titled “Library Security: Protecting Electronic and Information Systems from Potential Risks or Threats.” A webinar session entitled Libraries’ Effective Response and Preparedness during a Pandemic was also delivered by Ms. Eimee Rhea Lagrama, Deputy University Librarian of UP Diliman, to ensure the continuation of library services to users. The webinar discussed the current trend of libraries and information centers providing access, promoting safety, and encouraging learning.

He also mentioned a project that aimed to digitize the personal papers of National Artists and Scientists from the University Archives collection, including Teodoro Agoncillo, Antonio Buenaventura (Music), and Lazaro Francisco (Literature), as well as Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero (Theater), Nick Joaquin (Literature), Jose Joya (Visual Arts), Antonio Molina (Music), and Guillermo Tolentino (Visual Arts). The project was finished and made possible by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) funds.

As an organization that strives to foster camaraderie among its members, it went above and beyond the typical promotion of library functions by encouraging members to share their interests and hobbies via the internet. Some members were involved in toy collecting, scale modeling, artisan coffee production, art collection, and various other activities. This demonstrates that librarians have the necessary skills and talent to provide timely information and a flair for entertaining activities. If you’re curious about our librarians’ abilities, you can quickly view them on AASDI’s Facebook Page.

Ms. Romena Vicente, Treasurer of AASDI, presented the fund balance statement to its members.

Ms. Romena Vicente presented the total available funds and expenditures incurred by the organization from its various engagements and responsibilities to ensure accountability and transparency within the organization. Aside from the agenda items listed above, the General Assembly included the induction of new board members, which was led by outgoing AASDI President Rhoel E. Rondilla and Ms. Elvira B. Lapuz, University Librarian and AASDI Adviser.

PAGSALUBONG SA SENTENARYO NG AKLATAN NG UP: Agahang Handog para sa mga Guwardiya ng Unibersidad

Guards and breakfast have little in common, except that they both play an essential role in our mornings. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, when people were not wearing masks and freely reported to the University for classes and work, our office security guards were the familiar faces we saw when we entered our office buildings. Similarly, we would have breakfast in the mornings. Our Ate and Kuya Guards are awake earlier than most to open facilities and ensure we are safe for the rest of the day. This time around, the library committee made sure that their morning was greeted with a bag of joy. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the University Library, the Library Extension Committee (LEC), Asosasyon ng Aklatan at Sinupan ng Diliman, Inc. (AASDI), and Emergency Management Committee (EMC) expressed their appreciation to our reliable security personnel by organizing a breakfast program for them.

Members of LEC, AASDI, and EMC preparing breakfast bags for distribution.

On March 9, 2022, breakfast bags prepared by the committee were delivered to on-duty guards throughout the university. Simple and filling, the bag contained the usual Filipino breakfast assortment of hot pandesal, boiled saba, eggs, and instant coffee. Martian Jinio, a member of LEC, was asked why they chose our beloved guards as recipients of the breakfast program. He answered, “Our security guards have always been part of our daily lives as UP employees, with or without pandemic. As such, we wanted to pay honor and appreciation to their dedication to the university. They are our frontliners not just by providing basic security but for always being present and with us, 24/7, especially now during the pandemic. Thus, we chose them to be the recipients of the Agahang Handog program during daybreak to coincide with the start of their shift and the forthcoming centennial anniversary of the University Library.”

Members of LEC, AASDI, and EMC distributed breakfast bags to several college/ unit libraries.

The distribution started at early dawn and culminated in the morning. Although modest, the gesture was highly appreciated by our security guards at the university. When asked about LEC’s future plans to conduct similar programs to the other members of the UP community, Mr. Jinio mentioned “The Agahang Handog program for our security guards is just the start of it. We already have plans laid out for other members of the UP community. Be sure to follow us on Facebook at UPDLibLEC (https://www.facebook.com/UPDLibLEC) so you won’t miss any of our programs!.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said that “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one”. This initiative has demonstrated that a small act of kindness can have a ripple effect. This breakfast event to celebrate a century of success for the University Library was made possible through the efforts of the Library Extension Committee (LEC), Asosasyon ng Aklatan at Sinupan ng Diliman, Inc. (AASDI), and Emergency Management Committee (EMC).

UP Diliman Libraries launch Isang Parol, Isang UP, Isang Daan sa 2022

December has always been a month of gleeful anticipation for every Filipino because of the joyous celebrations, merry-making and gift-giving. Celebrating the holiday season in UP Diliman is always met with many events and activities organized by student organizations and academic units here and there. More so, the entire community comes together to enjoy the much awaited annual Lantern Parade which features, as the name suggests, lanterns created by the academic units, administrative offices, and organizations within the campus that would best represent a given theme. However, for the second time amidst the pandemic, the lantern parade was celebrated virtually. For its part, the University Library launched “Isang Parol, Isang UP, Isang Daan sa 2022,” in conjunction with the centenary of the University Library. Similar to the Star of Bethlehem which guided the Three Wise Men to the manger where Jesus was born, the UP Diliman Libraries hope to reaffirm its mission to guide users towards credible and trustworthy information in the form of a lantern or, more commonly known to us Filipinos as parol.

Members of the Library Extension Committee distributed lanterns to several unit libraries as seen during the virtual launch.

The Library Extension Committee (LEC) headed by Mr. Rhoel Rondilla, distributed a total of one hundred parols to unit libraries and campus residents. Personal hygiene kits were also provided to the campus residents. When asked about the reactions of the beneficiaries upon receiving their parols, “Sa unit libraries ako nag-distribute. Natuwa mga librarians lalo na sa mga kulay. Mayroong mga nagrequest ng kulay ayon sa kulay ng kanilang kolehiyo at looking forward sila sa ika-100 taon ng libraries. Mayroon akong isang nabigyan ng parol sa Area 2, photocopying services. Nag congratulate at naka post sa FB page nila,” Mr. Rondilla said. Apart from the LEC, this endeavor was made possible through the support of the Strategic Communication, Research and Marketing Section and the Asosasyon ng Aklatan at Sinupan ng Diliman, Inc.

Apart from unit libraries, residents on campus were also given lanterns.

Despite the difficulties brought forth by the pandemic, the U.P. Libraries will always find ways to effectively serve its present and future stakeholders in the next one hundred years.

UP Integrated School Libraries Celebrate the 87th National Book Week

In conjunction with the Library and Information Services Month, National Book Week is celebrated every November 24-30 which aims to encourage and instill interest among Filipinos in reading good books. This year’s theme is OUTcomes. OUTreach. OUTstanding: Libraries Beyond Boundaries. The UP Integrated School Libraries, headed by Therghie Ablin, joins other libraries, institutions and information centers by holding a virtual celebration through the UPIS Library Facebook Page. The program comprises three videos with the intention of educating students from Kindergarten to 12 on the value of information in society and in school. Most importantly, the event seeks to inculcate among the participants that the library is an invaluable asset to achieve one’s aspirations.

The first part of the program showcases the Filipiniana Books Reader’s Theater conducting a storytelling activity with the story Ang Matandang Mananahi written by Zarah Gagatiga and illustrated by Diane De Las Casas. As storytelling is considered a conventional library service, it is highly encouraged that public and school libraries should regularly conduct this activity as it is an effective and creative way for children to understand a narrative. Apart from finding an appropriate literary piece for a specific audience, the library staff plays an important role in portraying the story through spoken words and physical gestures.

Members of the Filipiniana Books Reader’s Theater as they conducted a storytelling activity of Ang Matandang Mananahi for children. (L-R) Therghie Ablin, Reslyn Espino, Elmer Tolentino, Elizza Mae Jayag, and Rhoel Rondilla.

Following the storytelling session, an important issue that was discussed is how to identify misleading and false information that are circulating in various social media platforms. The presentation entitled “Web Wise: Avoiding Fake News on Social Media” was delivered by Michelle Ann Manalo, a reference librarian from the Main Library. First, she went to define and discuss the common types of fake news such as satire, false connection, and misleading content among others. As most students these days possess a mobile device or computer it’s likely that they would encounter several fake news whenever they log in to social media or just simply by browsing through the internet. Any form of fake news can have a detrimental effect on an individual or society by simply sharing any erroneous information whether consciously or unconsciously. To mitigate this, Michelle shared several pointers on how to fact check information by looking beyond the headline, checking other sources, checking your biases, and utilizing fact-checking sites to name a few.

Michelle discussed the implications of fake news to an increasing number of social media users in the Philippines.

Lastly, Aiza Palaya from the Main Library, held a session entitled “Cite it Right: Introduction to Proper Referencing in Research.” The objectives of the session are to share the fundamentals of proper referencing and citation as well as create awareness on commonly used style guides in academic research writing. Understanding this matter as early as possible is essential for any student, regardless of grade level, as they would inevitably write a research paper as a final requirement or otherwise. Applying these sets of guidelines would not only help students avoid plagiarism but also promote accountability and trustworthiness. To conclude her session, Aiza conducted a quick demonstration on how to search for credible and authoritative resources using online databases such as EBSCO and JSTOR. Showcasing these resources would prompt students to capitalize on these resources for the long run.

Aiza explained the common types of information and sources to be cited.

The National Book Week videos are shared within the UPIS students’ Google Classroom.

UPSkill Tuesdays and Thursdays

Through the years, academic libraries and information centers have constantly been acquiring both print and non-print resources to enrich their collection. That being said, there is a need to develop a proper library instruction program to serve as a guide in maximizing the use of available resources. Understanding and discovering the wide array of resources in an academic library can be a daunting task, especially for new students. Even though a student may be able to identify resources that are beneficial for their academic needs, building confidence in using these library resources is a skill that may only be developed through time.

Ms. Kristine Jaromamay discussed several multidisciplinary resources and their features.

To address this concern, the Information Services and Instruction Section (ISAIS) organized a webinar series entitled UPSkill Tuesdays and Thursdays. The objective of the webinar series is to discuss the library’s services and resources and shed light on some of the most frequently asked questions regarding their features and functions. Each episode focused on two to three resources and discussed how students can make the most out of each one. Upskill was hosted by our reference librarians every Tuesday and Thursday morning from September 28 to November 18. Some online resources that were discussed were Philippine eJournals, ScienceDirect, Labster, and EndNote Online to name a few.

Mr. Lucan Eugenio showcased products from SAGE Publishing such as Journals, Knowledge and Research Methods.

As most of the online resources are available across the UP System, students from other UP campuses also attended UPSkill to gain knowledge and ask questions concerning each resource. Since majority of UP campuses have access to these resources, navigating these resources has also become convenient through the single sign-on function provided by OpenAthens. Conducting information literacy initiatives in any academic library is essential as it can empower students to take advantage of their library’s resources and engage in meaningful research and fruitful conversations. In the long run, continuous library instruction would not only produce a well-informed studentry but most importantly, passionate life-long learners of society.

Getting Acquainted: A Webinar Series on the Library’s Online Resources and Services

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

Mr. John Christopherson Fredeluces discusses how to access online database subscriptions
through OpenAthens.

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.

Ms. Rose Crisostomo, Account Manager for TurnItIn in the Philippines, demonstrates how
instructors can easily employ TurnItIn in their classes.

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.

TikTok at the Library: Insights and experiences of the College of Science Library

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. 

Melanie provides information how to access and utilize the resources of the CS Library during this pandemic.

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.” 

Aside from providing relevant updates, Dianne shares tips in conducting an effective search using Google.

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.

UP College of Science Library official account 📚 https://www.tiktok.com/@upcslibrary

The University Library GAD Committee celebrates National Women’s Month

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 mga Kababaihan: 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.

Ms. Melanie as she eagerly introduces the book Papel de Liha which revolves around the selfless care of a mother.

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 “Ang Nanay 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.

Apart from the storytelling activity, Ms. Melanie led an icebreaker activity using a short video presentation for children.

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 99th U.P. Library Foundation Anniversary

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.

Ms. Nimfa Castro emphasizes the importance of continuously building a library’s collection to ensure student success.

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. Amelia Cendaña presenting the achievements and updates of the UP Baguio Library.

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.

The University Library GAD Committee joins One Billion Rising 2021: Rising Gardens, Growing Resistance

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.”

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.