Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Acceptance of the PAARL Award

January 30, 2009
Ike T. Cayaban

I graciously accept this award. This early, it has given me and my family untold happiness. This award is primarily for them.

This national award is the first to be bestowed to a librarian in the province of Nueva Vizcaya and the Cagayan Valley Region. It is, therefore, a testimony that librarianship is thriving very well in the country side, in the provinces of our country. The libraries and the librarians in these places are painstakingly thriving in spite of their not being as blessed, as provided for and as valuable as those in Manila and the metropolis. I, therefore, dedicate this award to the librarians, teacher-librarians (licensed or not) and the libraries in the different regions of the country. important

Without the presence of PAARL, the pervading sense of inadequacy and insignificance among many Filipino librarians will go on unabated; without PAARL, the Filipino librarians’ self-images will persistently be negative and self-effacing; and, without PAARL their sense of insecurity will continue to persevere especially now that the world economy is turning for the worse in all walks of life. But because of the highly enriching and value-filled activities of PAARL, such as this, many of us, librarians, overwhelm these sense of insignificance and insecurity into a deep sense of fulfillment. This award, coming from fellow academic and research librarians becomes doubly meaningful.

I sincerely thank Mrs. Fe Verzosa who peered through my records and nominated me for this award. I thank you Madam Fe for seeing in my records that a librarian in the province, who is not as prominent as the others, have a heart of a committed librarian working hard in his humble and reticent way to making librarianship a respectable profession and the library as a dignified workplace.

I am sure, however, that Ms. Verzosa missed my name as an early member of PAARL. I became a member in the late ‘70’s. Unfortunately, my name was misspelled – the secretary’s favorite newscaster might have been KABAYAN Noli de Castro because the two/three newsletters I received then carried Cabayan as my family name. That’s the reason I never renewed my personal membership but resorted much later to institutional membership.

I thank the present Executive Board of PAARL, the awards committee headed by Sr. Ignatius Tal Placido, the officers, Ms. Loreto Garcia, the President, Ms. Elvie Lapuz, the Vice-President, Mr. Cris Paras, the Secretary and the other officers of PAARL for searching far and wide to bestow recognition to librarians who are committed, creative and real disciples of this discipline. I am deeply honored, thus, I also dedicate this award to all members of PAARL and to my school, St. Mary’s University, for providing an atmosphere for the librarians to exercise their profession; and the library staff whose enthusiasm and devotion have made our Library not only an enjoyable place but a good avenue for learning, and a place of knowing and valuing one another. By the way, most of the SMU library staff are with me today.

Without the lady, however, who brought me into the main stream of Philippine librarianship, without her coming all the way to Nueva Vizcaya to remind professional librarians to register; and, without doing the leg work, herself, at the PRC offices, I would not have been here today. I thank this lady, Mrs. Susima Gonzales.

When I have collected my mind on this award, I thought this would be the opportune time to relay to you the many thoughts, the questions and advocacies that I have firmed up. I wonder, for instance,
 While you are thinking about digital, virtual libraries and organizing the internet, many libraries and librarians are still in extreme poverty both in physical resources and human resources;
 why some of the best librarians, some of the best minds in the profession, some officers, the luminaries who are look up to in the field radiate lights that hurt us, the glow that they emit dampen and even downgrade us, librarians in the field?
 Why is there no specific law that should mandate grade & high schools in the country to have their own functional libraries;
 Why are we not doing anything in the charade of searching for functional school libraries when these are non existent?

But all this, my friends, my fellow librarians and workers in the profession, redound to what Ralph Waldo Emerson has said and I quote:
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies within us.

And what lies within us all are respectable librarians; bringing into our profession the unique combination of experiences, talents and insights. Let us therefore make the best of what we have and of what we are. Let us be a treasure to our profession and to one another.

In closing may I quote a poet who once said:
If I would have my name endure
I’ll write it in the hearts of men…

PAARL and the people who brought me here, you are written in my heart.

Thank you and good day.

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