Thursday, September 20, 2007

Comments on Use of RL

Thank you very much for taking trouble to send your comments/ideas on this "RL" issue. All comments received will be aggregated/collated in the PLAI-STRLC weblog where this article was originally posted for complete reading of anyone for the pros/cons of this issue. We are very sorry if we offended anyone in one way or another by our "aggressiveness" in pursuing this issue, please accept our sincerest apology.

During the brainstorming, co-officers shared that as part back as 1998, the need for initials for the profession have been discussed during open forum in various seminar-workshop, conferences, etc. but no concrete or definitive output was realized. Hence, we are glad that colleagues (outside STRLC) are sharing/discussing this issue so that in the end (after 5 more years of waiting perhaps), if majority of us feels that no initials is needed, then, SO BE IT. At least all stakeholders in our profession heard the pros/cons of this issue.

Whether it will be RL (Registered Librarian), LL (Licensed Librarian), RIP (Registered Information Professional) or whatever initials will be adopted later by PLAI or BFL, we will be open to that. We are only biased for "RL" simply because the PLAI-STRLC General Assembly approved this initiative last year and we are pursuing it to its logical conclusion before our term as officers end. The term 'registered librarian' was used several times in pertinent documents of the profession as argued in that article/posting. (i.e. Code of Ethics, RA 9246). That one common initial is preferred than a myriad one as practice in other profession (e.g. Veterinary medicine)

"A person shall be regarded as practicing veterinary medicine and surgery who shall append or cause to be appended to his name the letters V.S., D.V.M., V.M.D., M.D.C., D.V.S., or the words "Veterinary," "Veterinarian," "Veterinary surgeon," "Veterinary dentist," or any other initials or title implying qualifications to so practice"

Likewise, as a result of this article, we heard from colleagues (here & abroad) from all types of libraries and tentatively could summarized all the comments as:

"this initiative if approve by BFL/PLAI will be more of immediate benefit to PUBLIC than to PRIVATE sector employed librarian who 'suffer some sort of discrimination' in the workplace from other professions. We view it more as career confidence/competence building measure to NEW COLLEAGUES than to OLDER COLLEAGUES who have by now already established their professional reputation"

Having a professional title or initial (whatever it is) is a collective image/recognition/brand of our profession that if reinforced by individual efforts as described by Mam Mila Ramos & Mam Donabella Marilag (see email thread) will surely uplift 'the status of the profession'. The collective & individual image then can complement each other.

This is really a good start that colleagues now are more open in sharing their point of views whether pros/cons so that "at the end of the day" we can draw a collaborative, collegial and "win-win" approach regarding this matter. At least we can look back after old age, we left a "collective legacy", an initiative we leave as our own little way of uplifting the profession.

NOTE: Send earlier as email acknowledgment of received comments from PAARL yahoogroups & FilipinoLibrarians googlegroups and for clarifying some of the issues raised in the comments.


Igor said...

Igor Cabbab, RIP

RIP (Registered Information Professional)?

Parang ayaw ko nun.


(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Thursday, September 20, 2007 3:27:14 PM PM where this article was also cross-posted).

Anonymous said...

"Whether it will be RL (Registered Librarian), LL (Licensed Librarian), RIP (Registered Information Professional) or whatever initials ..."

Not RIP! It stands for Rest In Peace.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Thursday, September 20, 2007 5:13:31 PM where this article was also cross-posted).

Ani Trina said...

Kudos to you and fellow librarians for your efforts and advocacy to uplift the status of our profession.

I believe that if we're really passionate about our profession, we should not hesitate to use the word Librarian after our names. Initials are convenient but they tend to leave other people guessing on what they stand for.

The word Librarian is straighforward. For me, it’s the ONE word that we should use as our professional title no matter where we are (whether in a public library or a corporate library, etc.), what we are (in our organization, whether librarian, information manager/ specialist/consultant, knowledge manager/specialist/consultant, resource coordinator, etc.), and how evolved we have become through the years in terms of providing services to our clients.

Now, the challenge really is on how to change 1) how we look at ourselves as librarians, and 2) how people look at us, librarians.
I suggest if we really want to promote our profession, let us start practicing the following:

1. Introduce yourself as a librarian not any other title. Be casual about it as if it was the most natural thing to say.
2. When you say you’re a librarian, please don’t show your insecurity (or arrogance?) by saying you’re doing something else, you’re not practicing it, or that you’re not working in a library. Even if these are true, it would still be better if you’d give the credit to the profession because it has opened many opportunities for you.
3. For shiftees, please stop sounding bored and unhappy when telling people that library science was not your original course, that you never dreamed of being a librarian, and that you never like library work.
4. For bloggers or others who get to publish their articles in the net or elsewhere, it would be helpful for the profession if you write the word Librarian after your name. That way people would be aware that librarians are versatile, talented, and not confined to the four corners of their libraries.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Friday, September 21, 2007 2:25:33 AM where this article was also cross-posted).

Denise Marie F. Cruz said...

Oo nga Sir. Para bang pinangungunahan natin ang tadhana. Hehe!

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Thursday, September 20, 2007 6:00:48 PM where this article was also cross-posted).

rose allayban said...

gud am po, m just curious whats the difference between a RL & LL... thnx in advance...

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Thursday, September 20, 2007 6:51:55 PM where this article was also cross-posted).

Donabella Marilag said...

Hi Ms. Rose,

I think if I'm not mistaken, RL is for Registered Librarian, which means you are a licensed and at the same time you are registered in the Professional Regulation Commission to practice librarianship. LL is for Licensed Librarian which means you are a licensed but you failed to register your license in the PRC.. Hope this may help you.. Good luck :) ...

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Friday, September 21, 2007 9:39:01 PM where this article was also cross-posted).

reman said...

Hi Ms Rose,

so sorry for the late reply. Been busy lately with office related reports.

This is the first time I heard about Ma'am Donabella explanation for the difference of RL vs LL. I'm positive it is incorrect, at any rate we will double check on that and will let you know.

As far as we are concerned, RL (Registered Librarian) or LL (Licensed Librarian) or any initial for that matter is amenable to us. We "prefer" RL because of reasons enumerated in earlier email to this issue. (pls see thread).

Likewise, as per Ma'am Donabella & Sir Ding Agustin opined in earlier emails that right now "it is ok to affix RL and any other earned credentials" (e.g. Master) so as long you legally earned that title. If you don't affix it after your surname (not comfortable?), it is also okey. No one is watching/forcing you to do so.

Why then push for this "very minor & inconsequential" issue of using RL? For one, if we cannot agree to a common stand to this "very minor & inconsequential" issue, how can we then be able to agree to more complex and complicated issues hounding our beloved profession/association?

Secondly, you may have heard of this already or a similar version to this, "libraries are not needed anymore because everything you need for reading/research is already available in the internet, just google it". Do you agree? Commonly we heard it from students, but lately also from our decision makers (admin people and some literate individuals in our community). How do we effectively address this issue of perception in the eyes of our users/stakeholders? By our own individual efforts or a collective stand as a profession/association?

There are no short/long answers ... but if we continuously brainstorm, hopefully something positive will come out of it. As the saying goes, more heads are better than one ;-).

PS ... to our other colleagues in this egroup, let your opinion be heard and counted even if your "opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular", the most important thing is you are exercising your "freedom to express one?s opinion". keep your comments/opinion coming!!!

(NOTE: Email sent to;;; and dated Tuesday, September 25, 2007 2:14:43 AM)

vic jayson cruz said...

Greetings to all!

I agree with you Mr. Manlangit. We have to be in one tune in deciding what is the best in our profession/association even in this petty/little things. For others this "RL" issue is not a "BIG DEAL" anymore, but iknow and i believe that with this "RL" thing WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! boosting up our moral and letting the public know that we are Registered/Licensed Professionals and for this reason we will not be underestimated by other profession/people.

With regards to "Libraries are not needed anymore because all you need for reading/research is already available in the Internet, Just Google it"
That's very alarming, we have to brainstorm and think more for the answers we need to give in defense to that argument and that's why we need to be united.

Count me in MR. MANLANGIT! Let's Stand on the GAP, Uplift our Profession/Association, Let's work hand-in-hand, be united in all the issues concerned to our Profession! Mabuhay ang mga LIBRARIANS!!!

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Tuesday, September 25, 2007 3:42:06 AM where this article was also cross-posted).

Rose Villamater said...

I agree with Ms Donna's concept on RL and LL. Registered Librarian being licensed and registered with PRC while LL is just licensed and unregistered. Will you consider a librarian a professional if she is delinquent in renewing her license? Isn't it a responsibility or an obligation of a librarian to renew her license most especially if she is practicing the profession? Using the initial after one's name connotes that you are proud of your profession and that you are a practicing professional.Are we going to use RL (meaning registered and licensed) or LL ( licensed but delinquent to renew the license to be unregistered)? Will there be any other reason why a librarian can be licensed but not registered other than being delinquent? Professions are registered with PRC to provide a legitimate/legal titles to be called professionals. Nutritionist-Dietitian like me, will be RND and Nurses are RN.
Hope this can also help our e-brainstorming.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email dated Tuesday, September 25, 2007 5:48:21 PM).

Mark Christian A. Juan said...

Fellow professionals, good evening! Sorry if I can’t help but comment on this issue. It’s my first time to hear (or read) about the RL tag in our name. I, for one, am FOR it. Why? Well, for one, we are professionals: we have undergone “mentally-draining” professional board examinations, which other professions still haven’t. It won’t be JUST a title for us. What’s important is the truth that is behind the title, the fact that we are professionals. We have uplifted our images from the stereotypical librarian who watches every library counter, holding only red ballpen and a stamp. We are now information
professionals, who treat information the way that it should be.

I believe the title will be beneficial for starting licensed librarians like me. A moral booster, if you must. Of course, for our pioneers, they have built
their images in this field. They have created their names and legacies, and they are in their pedestals in their very own institutions. Pano naman kaming
nagsisimula pa? Where can you see professionals na binabarat or tinatawaran during job interviews when it comes to compensation? minor and insignificant as it is, it'll still help, for "little guys" like us.

Well, if this advocacy will not be pushed through, for those officials and those belonging to the higher
authorities, have the initiative to “police” our profession. Di po ba, librarians are supposed to be
registered/licensed? There are still institutions that have unlicensed librarians working for them, just because these people are clinging themselves to the
administrators. They even push little guys like us, kahit na we’re more “librarian/professional” than they are. (well, I’m not speaking just for myself, but for others too).

well as for sir rene's post re: internet as against to the library, we really cannot compete with the
billions of records in the Internet. Do not think of internet as a competition, justify it as a tool for information. Just as Marylaine Block quote

"Librarians are not just good at internet searching because we understand how to play word games. We're good because we know where we need to go and the quickest routes for getting there; we are equipped not just with compasses but with mental maps of the information landscape." We know the quickest way to search for the relevant information in the internet, thats what we have to offer to our institution.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email dated Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:02:5 PM).

Igor Cabbab said...

Almighty google does not churn out "deep web" results (eg. opac listings). Hence, "googling' only scratches the surface when it comes to research. Maybe pointing that out will help. Tell them to read up... Or google it. Hehehehe. :D

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:07:25 PM where this article was also cross-posted).

Coreen said...

Sir, I just want to ask regarding the use of Initial RL, is it official now to use it? because I saw that our University Librarian used it and I wonder why others dont use it yet. thank you.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply post at forum dated October 25, 2007 14:02:12 where this "use RL initial" was also posted).

wrathful_dr said...

I'm glad that there are many individuals who exert so much effort to uphold our profession. I have a split opinion on this, I'm proud of my profession and having RL affixed with my name would make me even more proud but the other side of me goes out to those unlicensed librarian who tried so much to pass the board exam but did'nt make it, would they be more devasted and make their spirits down? Just sharing my sentiments...

(NOTE: Taken from a reply post at forum dated October 4, 2007 16:50:54 PM where this "use of RL initial" was also cross-posted).

reman said...

so far wala pang "official" policy or regulation ipinapalabas na puede maglagay ng RL as suffix sa name ng isang licensed librarian, at wala din naman policy/laws nagbababawal na wag mag-lagay ang isang licensed librarian whether it is RL or LL or RIP (Registered Information Professional) or PL (Professional Librarian) ... in the case of PLAI-STRLC librarians, we encourage our colleagues in the region on a voluntary basis initially to use RL as a suffix after their surname only after this proposal was duly approved by the PLAI-STRLC General Assembly last Sept 2006 as a "community of practice" to promote our profession.

in the heated virtual discussion about use of RL, it is gathered that other librarians also affix their earned master degree(e.g. MLIS, MBA) provided it is legally earned and there is nothing wrong with that practice. Others are also not yet comfortable using RL (or other initial for that matter) and no one is forcing you to use it.

we have forwarded this RL thing to the attention of the BFL, and hopefully Ma'am Nera, from her last email communication, that they will discuss it during their next board meeting.

actually any laws/regulations or guidelines could either be promulgated before or after to regulate certain activity ... in the case of use of RL, if majority of our colleagues are already practicing this use even without this "official" laws .... then any future laws promulgated will be merely to formalized this "community of practice" and maybe add some penalty provision for misuse or misrepresentation.

kudos to your boss for using it.

(NOTE: My reply to Coreen post taken from talakayan forum dated October 25, 2007 16:21:43).