Developing a Research Culture among LIS Professionals


Historical records have revealed that the librarians of lore have always been scholars dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. At present, librarians of the 21st century, have acted more as information managers and communicators. However, to function merely as such is to deny our history. Renewed emphasis has been given to the role of librarians as scholars, a select group of professionals dedicated to the creation of new knowledge. The phrase “knowledge creation” has often been linked to librarians as facilitators of such but should not be limited to it. This year, the Philippines Librarian Association Inc. (PLAI) Central Visayas Region Librarians Council (CeVRLC) has been instrumental in developing librarians from different parts of the Visayas and Mindanao as researchers and creators of new knowledge.

 In light of this mission, PLAI CeVRLC has organized a series of workshops with the title “Research Competency Building for Librarians”. This series of workshops aimed to appreciate the research culture in the field of librarianship; to understand the research process; to develop the research competencies among librarians/information professionals/graduate LIS students and; to conduct researches in the field of Library and Information Science.

On May 6, 2013, Series 1 entitled “Developing a Research Culture among LIS Professionals” was held at the University of San Carlos Moot Court of the School of Law and Governance, located in the Ernest Hoerdeman Building. It had an attendance of more than 62 professional librarians from different parts of the Visayas and Mindanao. The thrust of the seminar was highly appreciated by many of the librarians as was seen by their strong interest, participation and interaction during the different workshops. The first session, delivered by Mrs. Rianera C. Boholst, Vice-Chair of PLAI CeVRLC and the chief librarian of Cebu Institute of Technology-University, was an overview of the research culture in the LIS profession. The different barriers librarians encounter towards this reaching this culture and the different interventions they recommended were discussed at length. The second session, delivered by Dr. Marilou P. Tadlip, Board of Trustees of PLAI CeVRLC and Vice-Chair for NCCA-NCLIS, focused on exploring areas of research in the field of Library and Information Science. Dr. Tadlip guided the librarians through the skill of selecting good topics for study and research. Newer territories for exploration were outlined and discussed individually, creating fresh interest in research among the different participants. The workshop concluded with a third session delivered by Dr. Virgina Mollaneda, Board of Trustees of PLAI CeVRLC and Director of Libraries in Southwestern University, with the topic of formulating a research problem. A writing workshop was held after the discussion and the outputs were evaluated by the participants. The in-depth lectures and their corresponding workshops were most timely and relevant to the participants.

Developing a culture of research among LIS professionals will not be easy but we are thankful to PLAI CeVRLC for seeking to improve the foundational research skills and competencies of the librarians in the Visayas by organizing this series of workshops. Series 2 will be held on July 11-12, 2013.