April 17, 2009

DReAM Children Update: Advocacy for public libraries resumes

The DReAM Children project (see related posts) is resuming the advocacy for public libraries and reader development. The project hit a speed bump late last year when one of its main partners abruptly and inexplicably pulled out of the partnership. One partner's folly, however, cannot (and should not) stifle a good advocacy. So, after almost 7 months of laying low while regrouping, reflecting and re-prospecting, volunteers and other partners have picked up the pieces and are now taking steps, small as they are, to continue an endeavor that can help turn the tide for literacy in this region.

Lately, advocates began touring public libraries (including barangay reading centers) hoping to get a grounded glimpse of the latter's status in the Soccsksargen region, and arm themselves with telling information to help push for compliance of Republic Act 7743 (mandating establishment and support for public libraries). The visit to public libraries is being led by Mindanao Librarian who is about to deliver a case paper on the DReAM Children project at the CONSAL XIV General Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. The visit to two municipal public libraries so far have already provided inspiration for the rekindling of the advocacy.

These old and dilapidated books, found in one of Soccsksargen's
public libraries, represent how real and big the challenges are for
the mainstreaming of public libraries in the region

As I write this, partners in the community of Tampakan (CDIC, Municipal Library, and LGUs) are busying themselves preparing for a one-day Children's Summer Reading Festival which is set to happen late May 2009.

Other than this, advocates have sought audience with the South Cotabato Sangguniang Panlalawigan Education Committee chair Atty. Rene B. Jumilla in early May for an exploratory discussion about mainstreaming the public libraries in the province.

Elsewhere in the country, good stories [Iriga (more photos here), Cebu] have continued to come out, proving once again that a public library is still among the best options a community can have if it wants to free itself from the bondage of ignorance.

It is the hope and goal of the advocates who are behind DReAM Children that a similar good story will eventually come out from among the local communities of Soccsksargen.


  1. oH my... i never though that ancient books like that still exist in our public libraries! it's about time that they should be phased out. Grabeh.

  2. worse, these old superseded books are all what the public library has for its collection!.. thanks for the comment, Samara.

  3. i hope good end happens with the on-going programs. true, shocking nga naman ang picture. tsk..

  4. We certainly hope so. Thanks, Beans!