By Marcial R. Batiancila, Chair, 2013 ReCALIS | PLAI-Southern Tagalog Region Librarians Council


Over the past decades, research congress in the field of librarianship is seldom held in the country.  Thus, the PLAI-Southern Tagalog Region Librarians Council took the lead on staging the  1st Research Congress for the Advancement of Libraries and Information Services known as ReCALIS on May 7-8, 2013 at Baden Powell International Hotel – Makiling, Brgy. Batong Malake, University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Laguna.  The goal of the congress was to build and further a vibrant library and information services by bringing together experts and researchers who have interest in the advancement of the field of library and information science.  Thus, this year’s congress theme was “Advancing Library and Information Services Through Research and Innovation”.

During this two-day congress, various researches have been presented on some of the realities and praxis in the field of Philippine librarianship.  Some experts have recognized the importance of research and on how it brings change and innovation in the workplace.  To recall, the Council started its research capability building workshop in 2007 at La Vista Resort in Pansol, Calamba City and the NOCEI Research Tools 2.0: Opportunities & Challenges in Library and Information Services on April 17, 2012 at Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Calamba City.  On the recently concluded research congress, it attempted to stir the consciousness of library and information professionals in the country on the importance of research and to instill the culture of research.

The program consisted of 13 short paper presentations and 2 plenary talks. These were selected from more than 30 submissions from different regions of the country. The congress presentation was divided into five sub-themes as follows:

  • Sub-theme 1: Library Cooperation/Networking and Knowledge Management
  • Sub-theme 2: Archives, Museums  Gallery Studies
  • Sub-theme 3: Library performance Measurement and Competitiveness
  • Sub-theme 4: Information Retrieval, Changes in Learning, Re4search and Information Needs and Behavior of Users
  • Sub-theme e 5: Libraries and Librarianship: Philosophical Construct, Ideation & Concepts

Dr. Lex Librero on his plenary talk has reiterated, the concept of going back to the basic and noted how advanced technology have changed the complexion of the entire librarianship sector forever. He also put emphasis on the emerging issues that directly affects the practice of librarianship in the country. Moreover, some paper presentations have also stirred the interest of the audience and lead to more intent discussion about the research being presented.  To cite some: 1) the effect of McDonaldization process to the reference services and how this model successfully embedded in library’s conceptualization of active reference service; and 2) an ethnographic study on the experiences of circulation staff of a selected university and on how they define their notions of the organization where they belong.

Moreover, the Congress successfully achieved its goal through a diverse array of high-quality contributions through the work submitted of many individuals.  Thus, the Council has provided an avenue for this type of scholarly endeavor aiming to increase visibility of the researches conducted in the country and facilitate the immediate transfer of technology. Organizing the congress has itself been an important community building process as we explore the fertile ground of research, practice, and innovation in the field of Philippine librarianship.  Though the work doesn’t end here, but we need to continue our quest – as a community of practitioners we should continue this culture of sharing that would lead us to regional collaboration and thereby brings forth innovation and development in the practice of our profession in Philippine context.   We also look forward for more paper submission on our 2015 Research Congress for the Advancement of Libraries and Information Services.

Acknowledgment:  The 2013 ReCALIS Organizing Committee would wish to the thanks the following: the plenary speakers, paper presenters, the participants, the sponsors, product presenters and book exhibitors, the members of the organizing committee, PLAI-STRLC Board of Trustees and the PLAI-NBOT for making the congress a great success.