Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

How I Became a Librarian

How I Became a Librarian

While studying fisheries at the College of Fisheries, UP Diliman, Quezon City, I happened to see an announcement at the bulletin board at the Vinzons Hall. It said that the UP Main Library was in need of a Library Assistant.

I had no idea on what kind of work I would have since I did not have a background in librarianship. The only experience I had, if that could be called an experience, was my constant visit to the library.
When I had no class, I would frequent the library to read just anything. But I always looked for journals and magazines that featured poetry and short stories. I preferred literary criticisms.

When I approached the secretary, Beth, of the University Librarian, and told her that I was applying for the library assistant position, I was immediately accepted.

But I had to work for two months as an apprentice, without pay.

I accepted the offer. But I told her that I still had to continue my work at the Narra Residence Hall where I worked as a student assistant. I was allowed to continue my work at the residence hall.
At the residence hall, I had to work for three hours from 5:00 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, without monetary compensation. But I could have free three meals a day, Monday to Sunday.
My work there was to give rice to the buying students. After supper, I would mop the floor, then I could eat my supper and go home to my boarding house at the White House located at the back of the UP College of Fisheries Building. Or I could first take my supper then mop the floor.
At the UP Main Library, I would shelve the returned books, or locate the requested books at the Stack Area. I therefore worked as a shelver and Pager.

I must have been very effective in this work because I always got a salary increase.
But later on when I started to question the policies of the University Library, especially when I became the Editor in Chief of the Moog ng Aklatan, the official organ of the UP Main Library employees, Miss Marina Dayrit, the University Librarian freezed me. I was even transferred to the Institute of Mass Communication so I would be far from my close friends at the UP Main Library. Later, I was transferred to the UP Manila in Padre Faura. I do not know if Miss Teresita Ledesma had a hand on this. 

At that time she was the librarian in charge of the library at UP College Manila.
But I liked my works at these libraries because they gave me a chance to widen my knowledge in library works.

Immediately after I received my first salary at the UP Main Library, I told my supervisor at the UP Narra Residence Hall Cafeteria that I was resigning.

My supervisor at the UP Cafeteria offered me to live in their house, free of charge, but I turned it down. I did not know what kind of life I would have there. Anyway, I was already receiving a salary.
My salary? One hundred forty pesos a month! But then the jeepney fare then was only ten centavos, and my boarding house fee was only fifteen pesos a month. Coke or Pepsi cost only ten centavos.
I continued working at the UP Main Library.

In 1972, I got married.

At that time, I was assigned at the Technical Section of the UP Main Library.

At that time too, Ms. Teresita Ledesma, from Iloilo  was already working at the UP in Iloilo (UPIC).
One time, she came to the UP Main Library. I talked to her on the possibility of transferring to UPIC. She must have talked with Ms. Dayrit. Later Ms. Dayrit asked me if I wanted to transfer to Iloilo. And I immediately said yes.

By then, Bing was teaching at Raja Soliman High School as a mathematics teacher. I requested that she be given an appointment at UPIC Library. My request was granted

Later the UPIC Library became UP College Iloilo Library. When the University of the Philippines in the Visayas was created, the UPCI Library automatically became the UPV University Library, headed by a university librarian. Ms. Ledesma became the first University Librarian of the UP in the Visayas Library, now the UP Visayas University Library.

No comments: