IN THE DOL­DRUMS, OR WHY MIN­DANAO LIBRARAINS SHOULD GO FED­ERAL

Bric­cio M. Merced, Jr.

PLAI Congress 2018 Program - - PARALLEL SESSION -

Uni­ver­sity of the Philip­pines Min­danao Email ad­dress: bric­[email protected] Ab­stract

Based on the lat­est up­date on the web­site of the Pro­fes­sional Reg­u­la­tion Com­mis­sion, there are a to­tal of 7,318 pro­fes­sional li­brar­i­ans, with Min­danao ac­count­ing for a high per­cent­age of li­brar­i­ans the Philip­pines has pro­duced over the years. If the plebiscite were to be held to­day, the fed­eral move­ment, which started to gain ground on the as­sump­tion into of­fice in June 2016 of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Roa Duterte, would cer­tainly win among Min­danao li­brar­i­ans, for a num­ber of rea­sons. Aside from be­ing ge­o­graph­i­cally dis­persed, Min­danao is far from Manila, the cap­i­tal city. Its land ter­rain is rugged, with seas con­nect­ing the is­lands treach­er­ous on most months of the year. Peace and or­der con­di­tion, tied to cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tives, could only be un­der­stood by some­body who had lived and worked in Min­danao. Min­danao li­braries are tech­no­log­i­cally-equipped and li­brar­i­ans pro­fes­sion­ally-com­pe­tent, with a good num­ber hav­ing ad­vanced de­grees and train­ing at both na­tional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els. The re­quire­ments, there­fore, for Min­danao li­braries and li­brar­i­ans to de­velop their fullest po­ten­tials through a fed­eral gov­ern­ment, are al­ready in place. Un­der a fed­eral set-up, Min­danao shall have its own: elec­tronic re­sources, which are indige­nous, hy­brid, and for­eign; an is­land-wide in­te­grated li­brary man­age­ment sys­tem (LMS) ac­ces­si­ble through one por­tal; a com­pre­hen­sive agenda for the devel­op­ment of li­braries and li­brar­i­ans; a fed­er­a­tion of li­brar­i­ans’ as­so­ci­a­tions that would rep­re­sent Min­danao in in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences such as those or­ga­nized by CONSAL and IFLA; es­tab­lish­ment of col­lab­o­ra­tion and part­ner­ships with li­braries and li­brar­i­ans in the BIMP-EAGA area; a li­brary-led re­search agenda for Min­danao’s ac­cel­er­ated growth and devel­op­ment, and; a pro­fes­sional reg­u­la­tory body.

Key­words: fed­eral gov­ern­ment; Min­danao; li­braries

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