In the recently concluded Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL XIV) held on 21-23 April 2009 at the Melia Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, I had the pleasure of bringing to an audience of library and information professionals in the region a home-grown practice on community/public librarianship that is grounded on the principles of libraries as promoters of literacy and more importantly, libraries as social institutions that are vital to building and promoting sustainable communities.
The case study on the Democratizing Reading Among Mindanaoan (DReAM) Children Project, piloted in Tampakan, South Cotabato, Philippines in 2006, was among the 42 papers selected out of the total 131 abstracts submitted to the CONSAL XIV Organizing Committee, along with five others from fellow Filipino librarians: Vernon Totanes, Elvira Lapuz, Mila Ramos, Beth Peralejo and Nhemi Pasamba.
The presentation zeroed in on the DReAM Children’s journey towards the advocacy of mainstreaming public libraries and how it is helping its pilot community comply with Republic Act 7743 which is a 15-year old mandate whose compliance remain relatively low across the country owing to limitations on resources and local capacities.
The paper not only brought an advocacy to a wider audience, but also surfaced good local practice which leverage on stakeholder involvement and partnership -- community-driven approaches which others countries faced with similar circumstances can possibly take after.
The full paper is available at the CONSAL website.