Other participants or teacher-librarian present during that forum shared a similar insight when it was their turn to introduce themselves. They too used the term "accidental librarian" when they shared their own stories. Another teacher-librarian recalled that she was not initially assigned in the library. She comes to the library daily because the only available office table/space is near the library. Occasionally, she helped her teacher-librarian colleague in running the affairs of the school library. Later on, students and other members of the teaching faculty started calling her librarian. Tired of correcting them, she ended accepting the additional position when it was offered to her by her superior. She too learned to love librarianship and became proud to be addressed as librarian.
Rizal Province is adjacent to Metro Manila and some of its original territories are now part of the Greater Metro Manila area and part of PLAI-NCRLC. From that simple introduction and sharing of experiences, we gathered the following: a) there is a shortage of qualified librarian in the country b) that employment of not qualified librarian is not only true in rural schools but also in urban or city schools c) although private school/institution can afford to pay for a librarian item, the shortage of qualified (or license) librarians force school administrators to assigned it to non-qualified staff or teacher-librarian d) No distance education program for MLIS is currently being offered in the country which could be a good alternative to increase the number of registered librarians.
The passage of RA 6966 and later amended by RA 9246 clearly defines who can be librarian and practice the profession in the Philippines. Almost 18 years has passed since the passage of RA 6966 but the "problem" with teacher-librarian has not be adequately addressed. Dr. Cayaban position paper therefore is a timely calls to PRC-BFL attention to make the necessary intervention to address this issue.