Saturday, January 17, 2009

Definitions of Filipiniana Materials

Point of view of Mr. David A. Cabonero

It is no doubt that Filipiniana Materials are an integral part of libraries in the Philippines because they are highly recognized by the Commission on Higher Education. This can be observed in the CHED standards that there should be 5% of Filipiniana materials from the overall library collection thus it is the practice of Filipino Librarians to have Filipiniana Section with a location symbol or placemark "F" OR "FIL."

Filipino librarians have various definitions. According to Isagani R. Medina, Filipiniana are books and non-book materials about the Philippines, produced in or outside the Philippines, by Filipinos or non-Filipinos, in any of the Philippine languages, or in a foreign language."

In a survey conducted by Prof. Rosa Vallejo (as cited by Vernon R. Totanes in his blog, Filipino Librarian), of the 14 academic libraries and the National Library, nine libraries consider Filipiniana based on Medina's definition; five libraries do not consider imprint as a criterion, and another two libraries do not consider author/writer as criterion for inclusion. If I may add, some libraries adhere to Retana's definition: all printed books in the Philippines, irrespective of subject matter.

De La Salle University Library has a unique definition. The scope of its Filipiniana collection covers all book publications about the Philippines, its peoples and culture, regardless of author, imprint and language; generally works written by Filipinos except works by De La Salle University faculty, administrators, and students/alumni, DLSU theses and dissertation, DLSU faculty or university publications, and La Salliana materials (because these materials form a major of the DLSU Archives collections); books written in Philippine languages; Philippine government publications and yearbooks, except publications by Philippine corporate bodies the subject matter of which does not have anything to do with the Philippines; publications containing substantial portions or chapters regarding the Philippines (publications with only a small portion or a chapter on the Philippines are not considered Filipiniana, but analytics are provided for that portion or chapter); and works dealing with the application of scientific thought and methodology to Philippine and local needs and circumstances. Works and other original research studies on universally accepted knowledge, such as chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology, etc. even if authored by Filipinos, are not included in the Filipiniana collection. These materials are found in the general circulation section. Also, Philippine periodicals are located in the Periodicals Section. Other types of non-book materials considered Filipiniana are separately maintained because these require special handling and storage (i.e. audio-visual materials).

The scope or characteristics of Filipiniana materials depends mainly on how you want to build your Filipiniana Section. In the above definitions of Filipiniana, there is no right or wrong definition as to the scope or characteristics of Filipiniana collections. It is a matter of collection development policy.

Moreover, other sections of the library like Accountancy Section, Law Section or Engineering Section may have a Filipiniana corner, Reference corner, home use and overnight use books corner. Some librarians do not consider the local books in the said sections (Accountancy, Law and Engineering) as Filipiniana. Going back to the CHED standards on Filipiniana, what then could be considered as Filipiniana in the said sections if we are not going to consider the books published in the Philippines. In this case, we will not be able to meet the requirements of the CHED standards (5% of the total collection should be Filipiniana) especially if we do not belong to the labeled "autonomous HEIs." It would be better to adopt the definition of Medina which is, "Filipiniana are books and non-book materials about the Philippines, produced in or outside the Philippines.

1 comment:

AL said...

I used this article for an assignment. Cited:

Cabonero, David (2009, January 17). Definitions of filipiniana materials. Retrieved June 7, 2012 from

Good blog.
-from an LIS student.