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ACTIVITY

: Philippine Group of Law Librarians Seminar on Information Power: Building Partnership

Venue

: Bohol Tropics Resort

Opening Program : 11:00 a.m. | April 3, 2012 (Wednesday)

KEYNOTE SPEECH
The President of the Philippine Group of Law Librarians, Madam Lilia F. Echiverri, PGLL Vice President and Conference Committee Chair Milagros Santos Ong, Honored Guests,

Delegates coming from all over the country;

Ladies and gentlemen, Welcome to Tagbilaran.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It is an honor and a privilege to greet the organizers, participants and guests to this three-day seminar on Information Power: Building Partnership organized by the Philippine Group of Law Librarians in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. It is easy to feel at home in this gathering. Seeing your composed and learned faces brings memories of my own law school days. I can still vividly recall how we scamper to the rows of books in the library and how we used to drown our days as law students assigned with voluminous readings. It was very hard then to get hold of research and reading materials unlike the present time when at the click of a mouse or a press at your tab, you may get all the information you need. Awash in technology and social communication gadgets, some people would argue that the library is an antiquated idea, a faraway place in a different time. But I am one person who still considers a library as a magical place, where reading and learning takes place along with the fun of meeting like-minded individuals. I still love the smell and the feel of leafing through the pages of a book. The library, for me, remains highly significant today as it was in the past; and I believe, it will continue to play countless roles as it is essential to the growth of persons and our society in general.

The emergence of new technologies surely changed the features of learning and libraries all over the world. With the availability of search engines via the Internet, it is now apparent that the best place to acquire information may no longer be within the four silent walls of the traditional library. But I believe, no matter where technological advancement will bring us, the librarians job cannot be simply deleted or relegated to the trash bin. The librarian has to evolve and become a specialist of sort. It amazes me and may I congratulate Philippine Group of Law Librarians for initiating measures to make library work exciting and relevant even in these modern times through seminars like this one. The theme you have chosen is not only relevant but is the call of the times. While it is a fact that information translates to power, it is no longer one hundred percent true today when almost everyone, even young learners, has easy access to information from around the world and costs of acquiring communication gadgets are going down. Information spreads too fast now that anybody can have it. Those who possess knowledge, even how specialized, is no longer a minority and this simply means they are no longer as powerful as they used to be. More people have developed specialized knowledge, thus power is also spread to so many. The real power in information, I believe, lies in our sharing it. It is in the building of partnerships and information-sharing that we gain more power knowing that collective efforts and collaboration can accomplish many things.

You are familiar with the lessons from the geese. It is said that when you see geese heading south for the winter, they fly in their familiar V formation. Science has learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately behind it. By flying in a V formation, the flock together gains over 70% more flying range than if each bird flew on its own. Like the geese, people who share the same direction, with a sense of community and who are sharing information can get where they are going quicker and easier. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing, and another goose takes over the point position in front. Information sharing can place any person in a position of power. When we collaborate, build partnerships, and join efforts together, we create a force that can make positive change and discover that possibilities in learning are, indeed, endless. Tagbilaran is fortunate to host a gathering of dedicated keepers of knowledge. We are a small city of about a hundred thousand people spread in 15 barangays. You will notice that here life moves a bit slower compared to the big cities. If you stroll through our streets you may chance upon people who literally have the time to smell the flowers. And yes, if you hang out in the afternoon at

the caf in this resort you may be treated to a nice view of the setting sun with Panglao island at the backdrop. You can hear the lapping of the sea waves carried by the soothing breeze. Our city and our island have a lot to offer but I believe that is secondary to the urgent task you have today of learning how information can be shared and how to build partnerships along the way. In behalf of the honourable Mayor Dan Neri Lim and the City of Tagbilaran accept my wishes for a wonderful stay and a meaningful conference. A pleasant day to all.