Thursday, December 7, 2017

Filipino Librarian of the Month: Neriza Delos Santos-Oraba (1 of 2)

The blog's Filipino Librarian of the Month is Mrs. Neriza Delos Santos-Oraba of the National Library. She is the project leader of the INELI-ASEAN Children's Literature Database. In this interview, she narrates the challenges she faces in the conduct of the project.


Briefly describe the objectives of INELI-ASEAN and the Children’s Literature Database and your role in the project.

International Network of Emerging Library Innovators-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (INELI-ASEAN) is a three (3)-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries (GL) initiative and implemented by the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) that involves ASEAN member countries to leverage appropriate solutions that will enable public library leaders who share a common vision for economic, political and socio-cultural development and integration particularly focusing and strengthening capacities of public libraries in the region.

The Collaborative Project’s general objective is to provide one gateway access to children's literature in ASEAN.  This is not only to bring the visibility of free online children and young adult literature from ASEAN to wider audiences and a way of meeting their needs, but also to promote better understanding between people of ASEAN through literature. Moreover, these resources can help instill multicultural understanding and appreciate the diversity of the ASEAN people. It also

I am the Team project leader.


How did you prepare for the project?


All of us are required to access the INELI-ASEAN online learning portal where we need to answer and complete the 10 modules that will help us to prepare and work towards the completion our project,  and be able to collaborate and communicate with the team members from different Asian countries.

The modules taught us on how to work on teams, develop innovation skills, manage team projects, develop communication skills, conflict management, time management, risk management, develop leadership skills, improve service quality and project completion.


What are the challenges you encounter and how do you overcome them?

The team encountered so many challenges that almost made the project unsuccessful. Pointing out  the major challenges below:

a. Copyright Issue
 - This is a major risk that challenged our team. Due to the Copyright Law, the team was not able to collect enough resources to be uploaded onto the database.

This resulted in the  shift, to create a resource list as part of the major content of the database.

b. Lack of concentration and focus towards the project - Submissions, targets, online meeting, and timelines were often neglected due to their full responsibility for the primary jobs that needs to prioritize and other concerns.

In spite of the problem with limited communication due to busy schedule, different time zones and unavailability of members, the team used and maximized communication tools available to communicate with available members, sending their concerns and queries at their most convenient time, responding with inputs or feedback as soon as matters/ideas/feedback were received/read.


c. Another challenge faced by the team was when Kolap, who was leading the team in the early stage, pulled out due to work commitments.

Through online discussions, the team  identified and selected a new leader. This was one of the tests of group dynamics amongst LIBRANOVATORS.

d. Inadequate skills for the project - A majority of the team lacked the knowledge and skills in information technology such as development, maintenance and troubleshooting of a database.

Creation of the ACL Database/Website was made possible with the assistance of professional IT personnel from Cambodia (Kolap's brother and colleague) who developed the ACL database/website for the team  free of charge. They also helped the team with the troubleshooting of any technical problems encountered during the test run.

e. Funding/Budgetary concerns
While the team was very lucky to get a temporary sponsor for the hosting of the database/website, however, the limited capacity/space available proved to be another challenge for LIBRANOVATORS.  Members were not able to upload all collected e-resources due to the limited capacity/space of the database.

The Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC) (Cambodia) temporarily hosts the database /website for the implementation and presentation of the project. We are hopeful that this challenge could be resolved if/when there is an institution that could fully host the database and provide sufficient space for the growing collection in the future. Currently, we are working out on a possible sponsorship for the hosting of the website/database

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IB Online Workshop: Reflections on the Extended Essay

Sharing with you, dear readers, the reflections I have on the IB online workshop I am participating in for the past two weeks. This workshop is about the Role of the Supervisor in the Extended Essay (EE). I am not supervising a student's EE, but in Beacon Academy, I am part of the coordinating team helping and supporting teachers in the EE journey. 

 Something new that I learned about the extended essay: 
 * I am not the only one concerned with students' imbibing the values and codes of conduct that are essential in writing the EE. This gives me comfort. :-) To be in the company peers, colleagues and professionals in the IB and interacting with them is a big support for a learner like myself. There is more reason to teach and learn collaboratively.  
 * The EE is a process oriented task and therefore, reflecting on the process leads to learning beyond the subject and the topic of choice for investigation.  
 * Reflection happens or occurs in all phases of the EE, from the initial check-in sessions to the interim and final stage of the EE. That is why, reflection skills and strategies in teaching need to be planned and implemented in the context of the learner at the forefront of instruction.  
 * Formative assessments are the built-in structures that can firm up reflection and metacogntion. Some of the things I need to think about again are the current library services and programs we offer to our teachers and students that contribute to the development and strengthening of ATLs, also known as life skills. The value of reflection is for the development of skills in lifelong learning.
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