Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Use of RL as Initial for Registered Librarian

Last October 20, 2006 we posted this article RL - Registered Librarian wherein we advocated the use of affixing RL after surname of registered librarian. This advocacy was the result of the approval of said proposal during the PLAI-STRLC General Assembly held last September 26 2006.

In the monthly meeting held at Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, Inc. last October 25 2006, during a further brainstorming on how best implement the GA-approved proposal use of RL, a co-officer cautioned us to thread carefully on this initiative on "legality aspect". It was also resolved during that meeting that the approved GA resolution must be submitted to the PLAI-National & HOD for their appropriate action before the scheduled November General Assembly of the PLAI-National.

The rationale for this RL as stated in the previous post:
"the proposal of using RL after the name of licensed librarian (e.g. Rene Manlangit, RL) to 'level-up' so to speak the professionalism of licensed librarian. The GA viewed this initiative as a form of "community of practice" within Region IV (composed of 11 provinces) and hopefully to be adopted by other librarians in other provinces. Further, it was agreed to be on voluntary basis initially as some are not yet sold to the idea of using the initials".

During the January 2007 monthly meeting and the succeeding monthly meetings, the consensus of the majority (or silence of the majority of co-officers), the new PLAI-STRLC chair instructed everyone to "wait for the action of the PLAI-National as they are already studying it" and to refrained from further action/activities regarding the RL initiative. I inquired until "when we are going to wait for the PLAI-National action" but got no definitive response.

Not letting our initiative die a natural death while waiting for the PLAI-National "action", we posted a Survey Questionnaire on the use of RL sometime April 2007 as data collection activity to augment our available facts/information that could be handy later later in defending our position:

"[We] would like to conduct a survey of your preception, views, comments and suggestion regarding the issue on the use of the initials RL (registered librarian) by accomplishing some questions. I together with 3 other fellow librarians would like to make a paper on promoting the librarianship as a profession and thus building a larger community of librarians in the Philippines. This is a preliminary survey and may contact you again as the paper is also part of my research output".

Last April 19, 2007, we posted this article Code of Ethics for Registered Librarians after receiving a printed copy from Ma'am Nera as an off-shoot of her talk at our Batangas Forum. Due to some other urgent concerns/tasks at that time, I was not able to read (scrutinize) it carefully until today. A printed copy of this librarian COE was included as part of Dean Rosa Vallejo seminar kit during her MIBF forum.

We have been researching (not diligently of course :=) i guess) for the legal justification on the use of RL and also as part of the arguments for the position paper to be submitted to PLAI-National. What a surprise indeed that belatedly (better late than never), that document is the librarian COE as promulgated last September 13, 2006. A few days ahead of the September 26, 2006 PLAI-STRLC General Assembly.

In this BFL resolution no. 6 series of 2006, especially paragraph 4 and disciplinary action of the COE, which we are not aware even existed/drafted before we independently arrived through a series of brainstorming session several months away before the GA to the term "registered librarian" or "RL" in lieu of "licensed librarian", the term currently in use then to distinguished from those without PRC license, for its initial could be LL (or loko-loko as a Batangas colleague jokingly shared at that time).

WHEREAS, any Registered Librarian who violates the said Code, after due hearing in an administrative case conducted by the Board against him/her, shall be subject to the disciplinary action of either the revocation of his/her certificate of registration or suspension thereof (Sec. 11 (i), Art. II; Sec. 23, Art. III of R.A. 9246; and Sec. II (i) and (m) of Rule II and Sec. 23, Rule III of Res. No. 05, Series of 2003);



A Registered Librarian who is found guilty for violation of any provision in this Code by the Board after his/her investigation shall be subject to a disciplinary action of either revocation of his/her Certificate of Registration or suspension thereof which the Board shall impose thereto after his/her due investigation.

Even more revealing is the earlier PRC-BFL Resolution no. 2 series of 1992 entitled "Code of Ethics for Registered Librarians". The term registered librarians was used in the title of this pioneering code of ethics for Filipino librarians wherein in the latest PRC-BFL Resolution no. 6 series of 2006 it was simply titled "Code of Ethics for Librarians"

In this merely a coincidence? I remember then Ma'am Nera who was one of the resource speaker for the IL Conference was going to be inducted in the next 2 days as the new BFL chair, the same day the current BFL chair was our resource speaker. We briefed her about the use of RL and "apologized" that the proposal is still to be submitted to the GA but we already use it in the "certificate of appreciation" to be given to her later. She seemed enthusiastic about this proactivity and could not recall now if she mentioned the new librarian COE wherein the term "registered librarian" was also used/preferred.

Encourage by this belated findings, we also peruse RA 9246 for the occurrence of the term "registered librarian" in the law to bolster our claim for the initial use of RL. I found out the term "certificate of registration" mentioned in several sections but only in Section 30 of Article IV wherein the term "registered librarian" was mentioned:

SECTION 30. Integrated and Accredited National Organization of Librarians. - All registered librarians shall be integrated under a single organization recognized and accredited by the Board and approved by the Commission.

In view of this finding, it is our position that the BFL could resolve this his simple "controversy" if you could call it that way, once and for all and release the PLAI-National from coming up a decision by invoking its vested powers in RA 9246, to wit:

SEC. 8. Powers, Functions and Duties of the Board. — The Board shall exercise executive; administrative, rule making and quasi-judicial powers in carrying out the provisions of this Act. It shall be vested with the following specific powers, functions, duties and responsibilities:


e. To look into the conditions affecting the practice of librarianship, and when necessary, adopt such measures as may be deemed proper for the enhancement and maintenance of high ethical, moral and professional standards of librarianship;

Resolution/Position paper still needed be submitted to PRC-BFL or moto propio the Board could already act on this issue? Please let us know. Thanks.


Ma'am Rose Villamater, RL, RND said...

The real problem is what initials to use for our profession. Since you have references that supports your claim "RL for Registered Librarians" as repeatedly written in the Code of Ethics, then, we use RL. The usage of RL to be placed after our names will provide professional identity and boost our morale as librarians. Other professionals are using initials of their professions freely placed after their names. Personally, I say, we can do it too!

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email dated Friday, September 14, 2007 9:50:54 PM when this article was routed for her peer-review prior to posting).

Ma'am Cora Nera said...

"We will take note of your proposal for the next board meeting"

(Note: Reply email dated Friday, September 14, 2007 5:56:29 PM when the latest draft copy of the article was emailed to her for information/comment prior to posting).

Ma'am Lou David said...

"At present, although we are licensed, cityhall is not yet asking us to pay for our annual licenses to practice in the city we are stationed. Once we licensed professionals like doctors, we might be required to do that. Indeed, we must do some more study before we embark on this "RL" after our name. In the first place is it necessary?"

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Saturday, September 15, 2007 8:03:24 PM where this article was also cross-posted).

Ma'am Belen Vibar said...

"In one of the Board meetings of PLAI, this issue was taken up. It was decided that the President will look into the RN of Nurses as it is only the nurses that have initial after their names. She will discuss the issue with the APO for teachers and will work jointly with them to get clearance from PRC."

(NOTE: Reply email dated Monday, September 17, 2007 5:26:51 PM to the article cross-posted at

Jhoy:-)! said...

I hope that the use of initial RL for registered librarian will be approved so that our profession would be recognize and know that the librarian has a board exam and registered like the teachers!!!! We will be glad if you inform us that the said issue are approved!!!

Thank you & God Bless!!!!

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Tuesday, September 18, 2007 9:28:12 AM where this article was also cross-posted).

Vicky Dionio said...

Well, the initial should be checked with other References on the given initial for other profession, before having such. Presently, nobody would question us if you use the fully spelled "Registered Librarian" in your official documents.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Wednesday, September 19, 2007 7:10:24 PM where this article was also cross-posted).

Ding San Agustin said...

I guess, its alright ok to use "RL" for registered librarians parang automatic ito. MLIS for librarians with masteral degree, MAEd for those with master in Education, MD for the doctors, RN for the nurses e.g. Rodolfo J. San Agustin, RL, MLIS, MAED but I must confess hindi ko nilalagay sa name ko "RL".

(NOTE: Reply email dated Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:47:16 AM to the article cross-posted at

Donabella Marilag said...

In my personal point of view, there's nothing wrong in affixing the initials "RL" (registered librarian) after your surname. Actually, it help you boost your confidence and integrity in your profession. I am also practicing that concern, affixing "RL" after my surname. You can also affix your master's degree initials if you want. Affixing such title after your surname is not a big deal, the question here is how effective, efficient librarian we are. Are we practicing our profession based from our ethical standards and the best that we could be to uplift our profession? There's no need to use such "legal aspect" as long as you are really a registered librarian or a master's degree holder. Ashame on our part & on our profession if we are affixing such titles if we are really not the one.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at ...
AddThursday, September 20, 2007 9:11:24 AM where this article was also cross-posted).

Mila M. Ramos said...

Very well said, Donabelle. It is really no big deal. Our image or status as librarians is not created by the initials after our names but by how we perform on the job. With or without the initials, if we can
deliver, then we create a good impression on others and eventually uplift the status of the profession.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at Thursday, September 20, 2007 9:25:16 AM where this article was also cross-posted).

jane bebeng said...

Amen to that Ma'am Mila and Ms. Donabelle. Having an RL after our names is not really a big factor to promote the better the image of librarians. It is how we promote ourselves thru good values and proper work attitude, how we behave, how to act as professionals, how we commit to our responsibilities and accountabilities whether at work or in the association we are involved in and not giving problems to others or to our association. Of course, to realize what is right and wrong, to defend the truth and not tolerate or cover up the misdeeds of others. GOD bless us all, GOD bless the profession.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Thursday, September 20, 2007 1:18:28 PM where this article was also cross-posted).

Jhoy said...

Sana nga ganun lang 'yun, paano ung mga naka experience ng masama sa other people who work on the library for many years and yet your new to that school pero ikaw na registered librarian pa ang naaapi or let say kinakawawa!! !! How about them who suffered on that experience?? ??? I know in many libraries eh meron ganyan, lalo na ung mga fresh grad at nakapasa agad, hindi naman siguro nila kasalanan un!! na bago lang sila sa school na 'yon pero sila ang "LIBRARIAN". ..... ANO BA ANG DAPAT AT SINO BA ANG DAPAT PROTEKTAHAN NG PLAI/BFL????

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Friday, September 21, 2007 8:28:14 AM where this article was also cross-posted).

Donabella Marilag said...

Dear Ms. Jhoy,

We don't need to expose our titles just for the sake of gaining respect from others, or for letting others that we are the licensed, though new in the organization. Just be assertive and do what the things you think is best applied to our profession, and does not sacrifice the ethical standards of our profession. We cannot control those pessimistic people, those who are close-minded with our profession, what we can do is do our best to exemplify our profession, our individuality. Title is only a title, what is important is our dignity and integrity as an individual. I understand your sentiments, but don't let that negative experience ruin your individuality, your profession, instead aim high, reach for your goal as a licensed and professional librarian.

Good luck in your endeavor.

(NOTE: Taken from a reply email at dated Thursday, September 20, 2007 7:34:50 PM where this article was also cross-posted).

Anonymous said...

Kailangan ba talaga initials? Why not Librarian? Para saan ba yung initials kung tayo tayo lang din ang nakakaalam kung ano yan. Pag buong word na librarian ang ginamit, ang sarap mabasa at marinig lalo na kung ito ay kadugtong ng mga pangalang pinagpipitagan sa propesyon natin o kaya ng mga librarians na nakagawa ng sariling pangalan sa volunteerism, blogging, public service, corporate world, information technology, etc.
Opinyon ko lang po.