Freshie Welcome Assembly 2022: Your library, the heart of the University

The wait is over – after two years of holding classes and events virtually due to the pandemic, the University of the Philippines – Diliman finally welcomes the first year students for A.Y. 2022-2023 on campus through the annual Freshie Welcome Assembly which was held on the 5th of September 2022. In the said event, the University Library takes part by setting up a booth to provide the attendees with an overview of its resources, services, and social media platforms, as well as to answer reference queries and address library concerns of the attendees. A photo wall was set up in the booth and a fishbowl filled with rolled papers containing QOTDs or Quotes of the Day was prepared for the attendees. 

Ms. Rizalyn V. Janio, Head Librarian of the Information Services and Instruction Section, and the organizers of the Freshie Welcome Assembly 2022.

The organizers wish to provide the freshmen with a spectacular experience – one that is entertaining but educational at the same time, hence, the 5 interactive games they came up with. To play these games, a prerequisite is to register, then like and follow the University Library Facebook page, and Twitter and Instagram accounts. One of the games was “Unlock the Puzzle” wherein a picture of the facade of the Gonzalez Hall was turned into a jigsaw puzzle, then students were asked to arrange it within a minute. In every sense of the word, the game “Word Hunt” was prepared as a way to introduce players to the various library services offered by the University Library like Saliktroniko, Asksinag, and Aklat-taan. “Guess the Mystery Logo” requires participants to pick a card that contains an incomplete logo with clues about a certain database and guess its correct name. Another game was called “Are you lost, Isko/Iska?” where a maze puzzle piece with the Gonzalez Hall as the endpoint was given to players. Lastly, the game “I Spy with my Little Eye” is played by giving players one piece of paper containing two pictures that are relatively the same, and then find and encircle five differences between the two.

Freshman students accepted the challenge to unlock the puzzle and intricately solved the word hunt.

During the first half of the day, students flocked over the booth as they were highly encouraged by organizers who were giving out bookmarks with the QR codes of the various library services. Surprisingly, the number of participants to play the games exceeded the expectations of the organizers. We often hear the idiom “curiosity kills the cat”, all the more that the students flock over the booth, more students are curious of the activities that are prepared at the booth.

The University Library prepared notebooks, towels, pens, t-shirts, tote bags, water bottle containers, bluetooth speakers, and Aquaflasks as a grand prize sponsored by CE Logic Inc., Elsevier, EBSCO International, MegaTEXTS Phil. Inc, and Statista for the aforementioned games. The organizers even prepared customized sticker packs that signifies some identity or mark of the University of the Philippines Diliman like the Oblation statue, Gonzalez Hall, The University Library logo, Isko and Iska as well as UP Ikot written in a jeepney signage lettering, and street foods or commonly known as “tusok-tusok” such as “isaw” (chicken intestines) and fish balls as consolation prizes for those who played the games but did not win. Regardless of the prizes, the students indeed had fun with all the games prepared for them. Aside from the games, students excitedly went to the booth to ask reference queries such as library visits, library orientation, borrowing procedures, and online databases offered by the University Library.

Enticing prizes that await the game winners are displayed at the booth.

The booth was a hit to a lot of students and the University Library is glad to know that they left a positive impression on new students and the number of social media platform followers increased which consequently allows them to raise awareness of the library activities and programs. Freshie Welcome Assembly 2022 is indeed a remarkable event, aside from being the first-ever in-person welcome assembly since the pandemic struck in 2020 it also happened during the centennial celebration of the University Library. With that in mind, the organizers are more than willing to plan ahead for more fun and engaging games and more enticing prizes for the students. See you at the next Freshie Welcome Assembly!

LEADing at Cavinti: The Library Extension Committee commits to Phase III

As the name implies, extension work is any activity, event, or procedure that aims to broaden the form of assistance an organization or group provides to a particular community. The goals and objectives typically range from meeting basic needs to ensuring access to information, appropriate technology or hardware, sustainable practices, and the like. Businesses and organizations across various industries dedicate a specific arm to designing, facilitating, and carrying out such projects and engagements because there is a need to conduct extension work with a more effective system. In the end, librarians found themselves at the forefront of extension work by building relationships with the community and determining the needs of the community they wish to serve.

Hygiene kits, medicine, information packets, and other donations are prepared for the beneficiaries.

The University Library Extension Committee (LEC), realizing the social responsibility of extension work, travelled to Cavinti, Laguna, to conduct a program in the community’s best interests. To know more about the extension work conducted, we asked one of the members of the committee, Mr. Martian Jinio, to share his insights and recount what transpired during the event. He says, ‘“Phase III of the Librarian Empowerment Action of Diliman (LEAD) of the LEC aims to empower the information and personal health literacy skills of the poor rural folks of Brgy. Cansuso, Cavinti, Laguna. Furthermore, this project intends to increase the age-appropriate levels of awareness and foster socially-accepted behavior in environmental awareness, gender sensitivity, information literacy, and knowledge on establishing farm-to-market abilities as applied in their community.

Laguna Provincial Librarian, Ms. Justina P. Garcia, showcased the library’s services to the residents of Cavinti.

We asked Martian what topics the committee had chosen to discuss with the target community since information literacy has been the primary strategy for conducting the outreach. As mentioned in the objectives of this project, the committee prepared a wide range of topics related to information and personal health literacy skills for the members of the community in the following areas: promotion of love for reading; introduction to basic research and social media etiquette; gender sensitivity training that includes [ a discussion on] violence against women and children, women empowerment, understanding common medicines and their uses; instruction on basic management and care of vital documents; activities and instruction on disaster preparedness and response; and basic urban gardening and edible landscaping. “We invited the Laguna Provincial Librarian, an agriculturist, a registered nurse, and our very own college librarians from the University Library Diliman,” Martian added.

In addition to the LEC, other neighborhood institutions and organizations participated in this initiative, greatly enhancing the quality of life in the neighborhood.  In situations where the leading proponent is not present, at least a few other organizations will be able to handle issues that would arise from the community.  This emphasizes how crucial it is to build relationships between the lead proponent, the beneficiaries, and other organizations or groups.

After the successful work on the extension, members of the Library Extension Committee (LEC) pose for a picture.

According to Martian, the audience members engaged actively in the discussions and activities, indicating that the program was met with enthusiasm. Outreach programs not only get the word out about a library’s services. It also highlights the library as an essential part of any community.

The University Library Chapter in the UPD Covid-19 Stories

The University Library has a feature article in the ebook “Kapit, Yakap, Tindig: How UP Diliman Took on the Challenge of COVID-19”. The ebook was launched online in the opening of the Linggo ng Parangal events last 20 June 2022.

The ebook compiles the stories and experiences of the UP Diliman community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The University Library chapter titled “Lib in the Time of COVID-19” talks about the support for remote learning, the depth of COVID-19 response, projects undertaken, and awards received.

Please see below for the excerpt of the University Library chapter. The whole ebook is also posted in a blog post on UPDate Online website.

APA citation:
Abarabar, M. A., Esposo-Betan, S. S., Lagrama, E. C., & Lapuz, E. B. (2022, June 20). Lib in the Time of COVID-19. UPDate Online, Diliman Information Office. https://upd.edu.ph/kapit-yakap-tindig-how-up-diliman-took-on-the-challenge-of-covid-19/

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.