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Bachelor of Library and Information Science in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS) is a four year degree program designed to provide knowledge and skills in the management of library operations, the systematic organization, conservation, preservation and restoration of books, historical and cultural documents and other intellectual properties.

The BLIS program includes topics on the basic principles and fundamental laws of library science as well as the appropriate use of information resources. It also teaches essential skills in the integration of information technology and management information system for effective organization, use and delivery of learning resource and services.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the BS in Library and Information Science curriculum are divided into four categories:
  • General Education Courses:
    Language and Humanities Cluster, Mathematics, Computer and Natural Science Cluster, Social Sciences Cluster, Mandated Subjects
  • Basic Professional Courses:
    Introduction to Library and Information Science, Collection Management, Organization of Information Sources, Information Sources and Services, Library and Information Management, Indexing and Abstracting, Information Technology, Information Sources and Services, Research Methods in Library and Information Science, Special Materials, Library Literature for Children and Young Adults, School Library Media Centers, Academic Libraries, Special Libraries, Public Libraries, Archives Management, Library Practice
  • Specialization Courses:
    • Academic Librarianship: Collection Management in Academic Libraries, Organization of Information Sources in Academic Libraries, Information Sources and Services in Academic Libraries, Indexing and Abstracting in Academic Libraries, Information Technology in Academic Libraries
    • School Librarianship: Collection Management in School Libraries, Organization of Information Sources in School Libraries, Information Sources and Services in School Libraries, Indexing and Abstracting in School Libraries, Information Technology in School Libraries
    • Public Librarianship: Collection Management in Public Libraries, Organization of Information Sources in Public Libraries, Information Sources and Services in Public Libraries, Indexing and Abstracting in Public Libraries, Information Technology in Public Libraries
    • Law Librarianship: Collection Management in Law Libraries, Organization of Information Sources in Law Libraries, Information Sources and Services in Law Libraries, Indexing and Abstracting in Law Libraries, Information Technology in Law Libraries
    • Medical Librarianship: Collection Management in Medical Libraries, Organization of Information Sources in Medical Libraries, Information Sources and Services in Medical Libraries, Indexing and Abstracting in Medical Libraries, Information Technology in Medical Libraries
    • Government Agency Librarianship: Collection Management in Government Agency Libraries, Organization of Information Sources in Government Agency Libraries, Information Sources and Services in Government Agency Libraries, Indexing and Abstracting in Government Agency Libraries, Information Technology in Government Agency Libraries
  • Electives:
    Child and Adolescent Development, Facilitating Learning, Facilitating Learning, Social Dimensions of Education, Principles of Teaching, Assessment of Student Learning, Educational Technology
The BLIS program is taught to students through classroom lectures and practicum exercises, as well as tours of libraries to observe how libraries work and the different operations involved to keep it running.

At the end of the program, students need to complete a research project and a Library Practice practicum.

Is Librarianship a profession?

A career as a Librarian is considered a profession. A graduate of BLIS who passes the Librarian Licensure Examination is called a Licensed Librarian.

The responsibilities of a Librarian include:
  • Help the public access information within a library
  • Check out books, magazines, eReaders, and other materials for patrons
  • Search for, acquire, and provide information regarding various inquiries
  • Help users navigate the Internet, make copies using a copier, and check in books
  • Acquire, prepare, and classify materials
  • Write abstracts and summaries
  • Oversee the management and planning of libraries
  • Negotiate contracts for services, materials, and equipment
  • Supervise library employees
  • Select and purchase materials from publishers, wholesalers, and distributors
  • Enter classification information and descriptions of materials into electronic catalogs
  • Analyze collections and compile lists of books, periodicals, articles, audiovisual materials, and electronic resources on particular subjects
  • Collect and organize books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and other materials in a specific field, such as rare books, genealogy, or music
  • Develop and index databases and help train users to develop searching skills

What are the admission requirements for the Librarianship program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but generally they are the basic college admission requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers.
  • College entrance exam: in schools that have an entrance exam, you will need to pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college.
(See sources 1, 2)

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Organizational skills – the ability to multitask and juggle many different tasks and separate good and bad information from a database or online search in order to give library users the best answer possible
  • Good Research skills – through the entire course of the study, you will be faced with complex topics that will require you to use both traditional and modern ways of research
  • Administrative skills – aside from library work, you will also be responsible for administrative duties during your Library Practice therefore it’s important to have the ability to prepare comprehensive reports and present ideas clearly and concisely in written and oral form
  • Reading Comprehension – understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Knowledge of the internet – much of the work involved in the library today are done online, way beyond basic catalog and database searching you must be able to use search engines and use them well. You need to be able to find quality online resources.
  • Interpersonal skills – the ability to communicate with users who come in searching for information, as well as employers and coworkers
  • Communication skills – has excellent written and oral communication skills; a strong command of the English language is important because your work will involve dealing with different kinds of people.
  • Active Listening – giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Computer Literacy – knowledge of computer use and being able to understand application programs

How difficult is Bachelor of Library and Information Science?

Bachelor of Library and Information Science is not considered a difficult program. The BLIS program also has few projects since it is focused on exposing students to the real work environment. The most challenging parts of this program are usually the completion of the Research Project and the Library Practice.

How long does it take to complete the Bachelor of Librarianship program in the Philippines?

The Bachelor of Library and Information Science program takes four years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

Library Practice – the Practicum

A Library Practice is equivalent to an On the Job Training (OJT). The entire fourth year is spent doing Library Practice.
The Library Practice program is designed to expose the student to all the facets of Library and Information Science work in actual libraries and information centers in the public and private sectors. The student is expected to gain on-the-job experience in academic, government, school, public and special library environments.

There are two sets of Library Practice that a student needs to accomplish.
  • Library Practicum I: undertaken during the first semester of the fourth year, covers internship in academic and school libraries for a minimum of 200 hours.
  • Library Practicum II: undertaken during the second semester of the fourth year, covers immersion in public and special libraries for a minimum of 200 hours.

The Library Practice program is done under the supervision of a head librarian in the library which will evaluate the student periodically and submit the evaluation form to the assigned faculty member.(See source)

Areas of Specialization

The Bachelor of Library and Information Science program has seven areas of specialization. Students choose one of these specializations and complete 18 units of specialization subjects.
  • Academic Librarianship
  • School Librarianship
  • Public Librarianship
  • Corporate Librarianship
  • Law Librarianship
  • Medical Librarianship
  • Government Agency Librarianship
(See source)

Librarian Licensure Examination

To become a Licensed Librarian in the Philippines, a graduate of Bachelor of Library and Information Science needs to pass the Librarian Licensure Examination. The examination is conducted by the Board of Librarians under the supervision of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). It is a two day exam conducted once a year.

The licensure examination for librarianship consists of the following subjects:
  • Election and acquisition of multi-media sources of information
  • Cataloguing and classification
  • Indexing and abstracting
  • Reference, bibliography and information services
  • Organization, management and development and maintenance of multi-media based library or information service, laws, trends and practices affecting the profession
  • Information technology
In order to pass the examination, a candidate must obtain a weighted average of at least 75% with no rating below 50% in any subject. (See sources 1, 2)

Career opportunities for Library and Information Science graduates

  • Jobs for Licensed Librarians (board exam passers)

    • Entry Level and Mid-Level jobs

      • Library Technician – assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases, and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference.
      • School Librarian – works with teachers and other educators to build and strengthen connections between student information and research needs, curricular content, learning outcomes, and information resources.
      • Corporate Librarian – employed by corporations/big business companies to analyze, evaluate, and organize information as the company desires.
      • Cataloger – responsible for managing the catalog of materials at a library; inputs data about materials into electronic catalog to ensure users can locate books, serials, films, or other documents. Prepares bibliographic and item records for monographs, journals and other library material.
      • Indexer – review documents and compile indexes to make information searches easier.
      • Acquisitions Librarian – compiles and maintains purchase lists on vendor databases for books, DVDs, music CDs and downloadable media for the purpose of ensuring the goals of the work unit are met
      • Community Outreach Librarian – performs community outreach activities promoting library services, and performs reader guidance, reference services, and collection maintenance duties
      • Public Librarian – acquire, organize, promote and disseminate a wide range of resources to meet the diverse needs of the community. They support independent learning and encourage reader development.
      • Library Science Faculty/Educator – teaches library science in Colleges and Universities
      • Archivist – acquire, manage and maintain documents and other materials that have historical importance for individuals, organizations and nations.
      • Metadata Librarian – overall management of metadata in a library setting and could involve a wide range of different responsibilities.
      • Documentalist – a kind of librarian, trained in documentation science and specializing in assisting researchers in their search for scientific and technical documentation.
      • Information Scientist – responsible for managing the acquisition, supply and distribution of information within an organization or section of an organization and for making that information accessible to users
      • Medical Librarian – provide assistance in finding medical documents, clinical trials, medical treatments or procedures, as well as other pertinent information that applies to the medical industry
      • Document Control Specialist – compile and assist in the internal publication of many types of records and files for private organizations.
      • Digital Librarian – manage the digital library of many libraries and also private companies by handling content import, metadata management, virtual reference services, publisher communication and work closely with technology and sales staff.
      • Law Librarian – involves overseeing and managing libraries related to law. It may be a position that is offered by a specific legal firm, but could also be a government position.
    • Advanced Positions

      Require years of extensive experience and practice:
      • Information Specialist – direct, develop and distribute information within a business organization. They are subject-matter experts on effective and efficient information-retrieval methods.
      • Bibliographer – librarians who are specialists in certain subjects, such as a scientific discipline or the literature and history of an area of the world.
      • Records Manager – responsible for accurately, securely and effectively managing information received and produced by a wide range of public and private sector organizations.
      • Director/Head of Information Center – plans, develops, implements and supervises managing of information and its dissemination
      • Curator, Media Resource Center – develop and organize new collections to expand and improve educational and research facilities
      • Library Services Consultant – focus on providing their deep pool of knowledge and their skills to libraries around the country; focus on helping libraries meet different issues and challenges ranging from integrating digital archiving tools into their efforts to the use of social media for promoting the library, and much more.
      • Library Manager – oversee the entire operative side of the library; responsible for work schedules, evaluations of employees, managing budgets and training.
      • Integrated Library System Administrator – requires one to oversee the overall IT systems used in a library setting, responsibilities could include managing interactive features, website issues, internal server problems, and more.
      • Preservation librarian – in charge of planning and implementing the institution’s preservation program; this usually means managing several units including conservation, library binding and reformatting.
      • Librarian of Special Collections – many public and private libraries have special collections of historic documents that need the skills of a librarian with a great deal of expertise in archives and extensive historic materials.
      • Archival Consultant – in charge of managing special paper and digital libraries at both public and private libraries around the country
      • Director Of Content Acquisition – focuses on the purchasing and accumulation of resources and then the overall sharing of those resources. In short, those in this position are responsible for receiving, locating, and obtaining books, documents, and other pieces to add to a library and then overseeing the cataloging, archiving, and availability of those items.
      • Library Director – oversees and prepares the budget, develop policies for employment and service, make strategic plans and fund raise.
  • Jobs for Non Board Passers:

    Requirements are different from institution to institution and some are not strict when it comes to being licensed as a librarian. Some companies do not require an applicant to be a board exam passer, and will consider other credentials such as work experience and seminars or trainings attended.

    Non-board passers will be less likely be to be hired into advanced or managerial positions.
  • Salary Levels

    A Librarian in the Philippines with 1 to 4 years of experience can expect a monthly salary of P12,000 to P17,000. Those with an experience of 5 years or more, can expect to earn P 14,000 to P 22,000 per month (see source).

Find schools offering Bachelor of Library and Information Science:

Reviews of Bachelor of Library and Information Science graduates:

S. R.
◈ Studied B Library and Information Science
◈ At University of the Philippines Diliman
◈ Graduated 2012

list bulletAbout my college education: The first question we always get when asked about our course is "Ano yun?" and when we explain what it is, the next would be "ahhhh. may ganoon pala tayo". Library and Information Science has never been a separate course from the beginning of time. Sure, there have been librarians since libraries have been established (and surely, one or more of us have been telling the "kasingtanda na ni Ma'am ang library") but it has always been as a minor of some other field like education. With the introduction of LIS in the Philippines, I was more open-minded to the idea of male librarians (yes, there is now a Mr. Librarian) , the idea that not everything that can be searchable in Google or Wikipedia is reliable, and that digital media and traditional media need not overpower each other; they go hand-in-hand in providing good information.

While I cannot tell you what particular set of skills will make you succeed, one important thing about any education is to be open-minded to various ideas and opinions. Never go in a classroom full of ideas that you don't want to revise anymore or else you will never learn anything.

list bulletMy current job: I am currently a licensed librarian working in the National Library of the Philippines under the Office of the Director

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: More than the things they taught us back in college, I believe that we can never be truly prepared for the road ahead of us. But what I found useful is the way that they allowed us to have space to find out what we are capable of doing. And the added knowledge of accessing a lot of information sources for references to our papers, reports and projects really comes in handy when it comes to locating relevant information for work.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: I didn't need to find a job because the jobs came to us.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Library & Information Science: I would defintely recommend everyone to take the LIS course, and it doesn't matter if you don't love books. That is an old concept we have long thrown away. As long as you love learning about new things, and possibly the means to get them, this course is for you! There is always a huge demand for librarians all over the world that instead of worrying that we don't have a job, we have the oppurtunity to select which job we like best. Also, the old notion that teachers and librarians don't get paid enough has long been abolished as well.
Was this review useful to you? Usefull Not usefull
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