Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Grade School and High School Teachers Assigned as Librarians

A position paper passed to the Board for Librarians
by Dr. Enrique T. Cayaban

Hundreds, if not thousands, of teachers in the Grade and High schools in the country are assigned in school libraries. These teachers are not qualified as librarians according to R.A. 9246.

Cognizance of their presence in these schools, this paper takes the cudgel of bringing their pleas and prayers to the attention of the Board for Librarians to adopt proper measures to legitimize these teachers in their practice of librarianship and/or for said Board to request the proper government entities to make amendments to R.A. 9246 in consonance to the plight of these teachers.

It is to be noted that the undersigned, as a licensed librarian, a university director of libraries, and a professor of library science, has been invited by some schools, library and school associations as a resource person. The following are essentially observed:

  • That there are teachers assigned in school libraries but are not qualified under R.A. 9246.

  • These teachers assigned as librarians are, indeed, practicing librarians most of whom have not, in any way, taken up formal instruction or units in librarianship;

  • These teachers assigned as librarians have been assigned as librarians for quite a number of years usually five (5) or more years;

  • That many of these teachers are not aware of the presence of the law on the practice of librarianship in the Philippines;

  • These teachers assigned as librarians are eagerly interested to become licensed librarians.

Likewise, this paper recognizes the role of that these Grade School and High School teachers assigned as librarians in making their school libraries as essential and integral parts to the educational process.

Moreover, R.A. 9246 specifically provides that the Board for Librarians is mandated “To look into the conditions affecting the practice of librarianship, and when necessary, adopt such measures as may be deemed proper for the enhancement and maintenance of high ethical, moral and professional standards of librarianship” and “To adopt policies and set the standards for all types of libraries, librarians and the practice of librarianship”.

It is therefore prayed that the Board for Librarians look into the conditions of these teacher librarians who have been taking care of library resources upon the instructions of their school heads.

The following are the essential points for the Board for Librarians in either exercising their powers as provided by the Act and/or seek legal amendments:

· that teachers who have been assigned in the library for no less than ten years shall be exempted from taking the Licensure Examinations for Librarians;

· a teacher-librarian who has been assigned as a librarian who has completed at least a bachelor’s degree, eighteen (18) units in Library Science, five (5) years experience in librarianship, and a first grade eligible or its equivalent;

· that said teachers shall be considered as professionally Licensed Librarians upon exemption and “upon application and payment of the required fees, the Board shall issue a Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card” to qualified teacher applicant.

These teacher librarians, no doubt, when licensed shall be ensured of the high standard of personnel engaged in information provision and foster their professional interests and aspirations. As teacher librarians belonging to the broad fields of Education and Librarianship are valuable because they play a critical role in the development of information literate citizens who will become lifelong learners.

The valuable role of the teacher librarian focuses on (a) Learners and learning, (b) Teachers and teaching, (c) enhancing the curriculum and (d) Facilitating access to information


Professor, Library Science

Saint Mary’s University

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya

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