Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Vernon R. Totanes: the Filipino Blograrian


Melchor F. Cichon
July 27, 2006

He must have been influenced by his Ateneo elementary librarian for his decision to pursue a librarian profession.

Or it could be his real love for books and service to his fellowmen like his retired parents that he sticks to librarianship.

His mother, Mrs. Florentina Totanes, a retired public school teacher, taught him his ABCs and 123s, and his father, Major General Virgilio Totanes, who taught him how to read—with intelligence. He was born in Quezon City, 18 August 1973.

Whatever it is, Von, as he is fondly called by his friends, has elevated further the library profession in the Philippines by bringing closer the Filipino librarians to the world of the internet.

Or spefically, "it has brought Filipino librarians and libraries into the consciousness of people who just assumed that what they knew about us (librarians) was all they needed to know."

His website, Filipino Librarian ( ) and his blogging activities were given an international exposure when he delivered a paper, Blogging 101, in the General Conference of the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (Manila, Philippines, March 25-30, 2006).

In this paper, he expounded, among other things, the importance of blogging.

And it was through his blog that his name has become famous among bloggers, and his writing skill has improved.

Von is now in America on his way to Canada for his PhD degree at the University of Toronto this August.

Hopefully, he will be the next Filipino librarian with a PhD degree, although he said: "i haven't really been officially a librarian since i graduated and got my license in 2004... except on the blog. it's really ironic".

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