Looking at us now, a community of librarians and archivists, it’s hard to believe that we came to SLIS via different paths. Some came eagerly, enthusiastically saying how much they love books; others, somewhat defeated. You can even say, for most of us, shift happened. Now here we are! Some people believe that the journey is more important than the destination, but you have to admit that we’ve been waiting to arrive for quite a while. It is with relief and excitement that we address this message to those we have met along the way.
Today it finally sinks in that classes are over, our theses are done, and board exam preparations must begin. We feel nervous about what the future hold. Some among us are delving right into work, some begin preparations for entering higher studies, while others, rightly so, take a well-deserved long vacation. First, let me paraphrase Michael Gorman’s fifth new law of librarianship, and let us honour the past just as we look towards creating the future.
To give thanks presents a real challenge, not because we are loath to give it, but because it would take ages to thank every single person that have helped to place us where we now are. We are shaped by every encounter; from our teachers in elementary and high school, the drivers of public transport vehicles we ride on the way to school, the people we pass when we decide to walk instead, the people in the coffee and tea shops we take refuge in as we study for exams, the professors in our GE courses that kept us well rounded, even the professors in our past lives! To thank all of them would be nice, but to do it here would devalue their contribution as I’m sure your minds will start to drift away while listening to my voice listing each name until everything fades into a monotonous drone. Maybe we can create a listing of names complete with annotations on their contribution.
Today, let us recognize the people who accepted us from our past lives and without whose guidance we would not have graduated in time to be here today. To the SLIS faculty, for their dedication to our education. We will remember with fondness the websites and statistical analyses we made for sir Dan, the case studies with ma’am Rhea, the abstracts and indexes for ma’am Sonia and ma’am Faderon, cataloging with ma’am Kate, evaluating reference sources for ma’am Yhna, the discussions on archives theory and practice with ma’am Iyra and sir Bono, and of course, beginning our thesis journey with sir Igor’s guidance. Those who have recently taken health electives would of course know sir Mark’s mastery of the topic. We are also grateful to all the part-time faculty who despite being busy with their work take time to go and teach in SLIS. Our discussions in and out of class shaped us as the scholars we are now. Special thanks of course to our respective thesis advisers, without whose guidance we would still be working on our proposals now. We know it is difficult to read all those pages, of tables in my case. Thanks for putting up with all of my tables sir Bono. Ma'am Kate, your task was even more challenging as you had to endure all of our theses. We are extremely thankful for your guidance and comments.
We are most grateful to the librarians of the SLIS Library: ma’ams Sol, Betty, Cora, and Geli; without whom we would be wanting for reference sources for our homework, reviews, and research. Thank you also for allowing the IT Buddies to experiment with implementing new software services in the library. We thank the SLIS administrative staff, ate Shelly, ate Josie, kuya Fred, kuya Michael for without them SLIS would stop operating. Having just finished our thesis, special thanks of course go to ate Rhina for helping us with our thesis drafts and layouts. It goes without saying that we are grateful for ate Del and her efforts to ensure that our records are in order. We also thank kuya Rommel, whose smile as we enter the main library never fails to bring cheer. I also feel compelled to thank the staff of the UARD and the Main Library, where some of us spent time learning valuable practical lessons during internship or in fulfilling requirements.<addressed directly to them>We are truly fortunate to have studied in SLIS under your tutelage.</addressed directly> Naturally, we must not fail to give thanks to our friends and family, without whose support we would have lost our way. Thank you for believing in us, for being our inspiration to continue our education, and for providing support both financial and emotional as we proceed with our studies. Our dear friends, thank you for the camaraderie, the sympathy, the shared highs and lows. On a personal note, I express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation to my late boss, mentor, mother figure, and friend; Ate Missy Olea. Her encouragement, energy, wisdom, and compassion served to fuel my passion for learning as well as teaching. May her lessons guide me always as I take my turn to mold young minds in our profession. Goddess bless her. Also with us today are two people very dear to me. Addie, Joby, thank you for the friendship. I treasure the conversation, the trips, the shared experiences. Thank you for being there when I needed talking to, for being understanding of my quirks, foibles, and idiosyncrasies (which are actually all mean the same), and for being bright beacons of hope and light in troubled waters. Also, to all my dear friends, thank you for every moment. Things would have been a lot more difficult without your encouragement. Of special note are Jorel and Terry, two friends who have graduated two years before, whose passion for learning and commitment to higher studies certainly inspired me to pursue excellence.
UP Diliman’s recurring theme for the year is “Pag-uugat, Pag-uugnay, Pagyabong”, or the less romantic sounding “Rootedness and Blossoming”. This sentiment is never more appropriate than here in the SLIS community. No, I’m not talking about the facebook group, but of the bond shared by everyone in the profession. Regardless of “past lives”, we have grown deep roots in the course of our stay, made friends, and share the love for the profession. I believe that we are well placed to usher a paradigm-shift in Archives and LIS theory and practice. In their 2014 JPL article entitled Beyond the Book Stacks: The Road Map to Philippine Librarianship, the Hon. Mila Ramos et. al. presented the various roles assumed by Librarians in the digital age; as policy maker, information broker, knowledge manager, social networker, digital repository creator and curator, and so on. They challenged librarians to overcome the challenge to improve the professional and technical competencies of the Librarian. Similarly, James O’Toole , in Curriculum Development in Archival Education, proposed the strengthening of the archives curriculum and a departure from a workshop mentality detrimental to development in archives theory. Terry Eastwood also emphasized the importance of responding to contemporary needs in a timely manner, in Reforming the Archival Curriculum to Meet Contemporary Needs.
My fellow graduates, this is not a call to arms, not by any definition, no. Librarians and Archivists will never be obsolete, only the roles change to fit evolving information needs. In fact, UP SLIS continue to be at the forefront of contemporary LIS and Archives education in the country. This is a plea, now that we start to take our place in the industry, to bring with us the values and principles imparted by our beloved School. We must not be complacent, but always strive to allow new ideas and theories to blossom. Let us serve humanity with dignity, honour, and excellence as we continue to facilitate access to information and memory. This is not a farewell, but the beginning of many more times we meet in seminars, conferences, workshops, and maybe even back in the classroom teaching more students eager to become librarians and archivists. I can only hope to inspire them the way our professors have. Of course, now more than ever, for those of us stepping into the archives profession, the words of John Fleckner in his letter to Mary Jane ring true; "If we are successful as archivists, the historical record will speak for this past in a full and truthful voice. And, as a society, we will be wiser for understanding who and where we have been... Well then, this is my joy in doing archives, to be, at once, a master practitioner-with esoteric knowledge and uncommon skills-and a participant in the most profoundly and universally human of undertakings: to understand and preserve the past on behalf of the future." Let’s all keep in touch, write a paper or two together, and maybe propose a new theory over tea. See you around!
Thank you very much, finally.
Crawford, W., & Gorman, M. (1995). Future libraries. Chicago: American Library Association.
Eastwood, T. (2015). Reforming the Archival Curriculum to Meet Contemporary Needs. Archivaria, 42, 80-88.
Fleckner, J. (1990). "Dear Mary Jane": Some Reflections on Being an Archivist. Speech, Seattle.
O'Toole, J. (1990). Curriculum Development in Archival Education: A Proposal. American Archivist, 53(Summer), 460-466.
Ramos, M., Ananoria, A., & Nera, C. (2014). Beyond the Book Stacks: The Road Map to Philippine Librarianship. Journal Of Philippine Librarianship, 34, 45-60. Retrieved from http://journals.upd.edu.ph/index.php/jpl/issue/view/488/
Please watch JK and the whole Men's Floorball Team play live on the 28th SEA Games TV app June 11 at 7pm vs Singapore. Also at these dates: