DLSU and UPD Librarians join Australasian International Conference

Four Filipino librarians from De La Salle University and University of the Philippines Diliman presented their collaborative research papers at the Australasian Information Educators’ Symposium (AEIS) / Research Applications in Information and Library Studies (RAILS) Conference, with the theme, “Creating and Learning Together: Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research” held on 28-30 November 2017 at the University of South Australia (UniSA)– City West Campus, Adelaide, South Australia.

(L-R) M. Vinzon (DLSU), R. Janio (UP Diliman), R. Maestro (DLSU), J. Fredeluces (UP Diliman) at the Conference venue

RAILS is an international conference that brings together educators, researchers and practitioners within the information profession in the Australasia region. Since its establishment in 2004, RAILS has been building partnerships among educators, researchers and practitioners to ensure that a culture of informed and innovative practice is nurtured in the provision of library and information services (LIS). This year, the RAILS conference was hosted by the School of Information Technology and Mathematics Science of the UniSA. The three-day event is composed of a symposium, doctoral workshop, and conference.

The Australasian Information Educators’ Symposium (AIES) was the first event. Since the main target audience of this learning activity are professors and educators of library and information studies (LIS), only six papers dealing with LIS and archives education, curriculum, programs, and teaching strategies were accepted and presented. The first paper presenters  were Ms. Roselle S. Maestro (Archivist, DLSU) and Mr. John Christopherson Fredeluces (Reference Librarian, UP Diliman). Their paper entitled, “Teaching Diversity, Becoming Inclusive: Perspectives and Possibilities in ASEAN Library and Information Science Schools” which was co-authored with Ms. Marian S. Ramos-Eclevia (Assistant Director for Operations, DLSU) and Mr. Carlos L. Eclevia, Jr. (Business Manager, Emerald Publishing), was well-received by the audience. To show their interest, the participants raised questions and offered suggestions during the open forum right after the presentation. Surprisingly, one of the participants who gave suggestions was an author cited by the researchers in their paper.

R. Maestro presenting the introduction and methodologies of their research

R. Maestro and co-author J. Fredeluces with Dr. Michael Olsson (far right) and colleagues from the University of Technology Sydney

All Conference participants gathered in one venue for the keynote address

The two-day RAILS Conference officially commenced  the following day with a keynote address entitled, “We are all Researchers” by Dr. Liz Walkley-Hall of Flinders University. She explored how practitioner research is a core function for libraries at every professional level and at every library. This has set the tone of the conference with librarian-participants getting hooked with hashtags: #librariansasresearchers and #weareallresearchers.

In the evening, a cocktail party was hosted by the RAILS Program Committee, giving participants more opportunities to build partnerships with one another, possibly leading to research collaborations of authors from different countries and regions.

During the Cocktail Dinner with fellow Filipino participants

A total of 40 research papers were presented during the 20 parallel sessions of the two-day conference. On the last day of the conference, the presentation of the collaborative research of Ms. Minette R. Vinzon (Systems Services Librarian, DLSU), Ms. Rizalyn V. Janio (Information Services and Instruction Section Head Librarian, UP Diliman), Ms. Marian S. Ramos-Eclevia (Assistant Director for Operations, DLSU), Mr. Carlos L. Eclevia, Jr. (Business Manager, Emerald Publishing), and Ms. Rhea Rowena U. Apolinario (Professor, UP School of Library and Information Studies) entitled, “Research together: exploring research productivity and collaboration of librarians in ASEAN countries” was well-attended. During the question and answer portion, participants showed interest on the findings of the study. This gave the author-presenters the opportunity to invite the participants for possible international research collaborations.

M. Vinzon presenting the findings of their study