Message: 29th Library Information Services Month

November 5, 2019

Keynote Speech of Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda

29th LIS Month

5 Nov 2019 | National Library of the Philippines


A pleasant morning to all of you.

I am honored to be invited as Keynote Speaker in today’s Opening Ceremonies for the 29th Library and Information Services, or LIS, Month. During the session break of Congress, I went to Germany along with officials from the National Book Development Board to lead the Philippine contingent in this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest and most important trade fair for the book publishing industry. An average of more than 7,000 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors visit the annual five-day trade fair. Fortunately for us, and through our hard work and sheer determination, the Philippines made its debut in 2015 after a 15-year absence from the book fair.

Seeing the importance of the FBF in stimulating the interest of the international community in our own literature, I supported the participants from the Philippine book publishing industry in 2018 by providing additional funds when I was Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.

This year, together with the NBDB, and with 19 co-exhibitors participating in the book fair, I proudly lobbied again for the Philippines to be chosen as the Guest of Honor – country during my meetings President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Juegen Boos and FBF Vice President Claudia Kaiser.

You will be pleased to learn that, during our most recent meeting, Dr Boos offered assistance in translating Filipino books to German. NBDB Board Governor Maria Karina Bolasco also noted that officers from the PEN Centre Germany have likewise expressed willingness to help in such endeavor.

Now that our presence is becoming more prominent in international culture-related fora such as the FBF, I am certain that the Philippines will make an excellent GOH country in the FBF.

Anyway, I thought that it would be worth sharing to a group of librarians, information professionals, library-in-charge, reading center staff, library associations, teachers, and students, who are surrounded by thousands of books and printed materials every day. Your skills and knowledge greatly contribute to the data and materials that we use to seek answers to our questions.


Albeit less than the ideal number of public libraries, over 1,455 public libraries in the country render library and information services, not only to school children, but to grown ups as well. These 1,455 libraries serve as home to thousands of, which are products of hardwork and imagination of talented and ingenious Filipino writers.


Our libraries are home to books that weave our stories and speak of our culture and tradition. They have witnessed more history than any other book or establishment can tell us. It is only right therefore that we promote their use and raise awareness on the different services that they offer by proclaiming November as the Library and Information Services Month. We continue to encourage people to participate in the LIS Month Celebration through various library activities such as interactive storytelling, outreach programs, social media contests, and many more, organized by the National Committee on Libraries and Information Services of the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA-NCLIS) in collaboration with the Philippine Librarians Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PLAI) and other stakeholders.


With this year’s theme for the LIS Month, “Inclusive, Innovative, Interconnected,” we advance our available practices of outreach services with the aid of technology to cater the preference of all generation. Although in this time, many of us, most especially the young ones, no longer know how to borrow a book from a library or use the card catalog because our computers have made it so easy for us to reach publications and discover text, this LIS Month Celebration, through its various activities, will introduce fun and innovative ways to enjoy reading and storytelling.


This is the reason why we celebrate the LIS Month: to show that our libraries are advancing, too. Our libraries are becoming more inclusive and more innovative. Our libraries are starting to adapt to technology to accommodate the needs of their visitors.


Through the help of our librarians, information professionals, library-in-charge, reading center staff, and teachers, we are able to utilize them efficiently and effectively. You make visiting a library a pleasurable experience. With that, our heartfelt gratitude to you.


Today, as we celebrate the opening of the 29th LIS Month, may your commitment as librarians, information professionals, library-in-charge, reading center staff, and teachers be renewed. May the activities and programs that have been prepared just for you continue to inspire you to pursue personal and professional growth.


Thank you and good day.