PAARL 2018 Summer Conference

The yearly awaited summer conference of the Philippine Association of Academic/Research Librarians, Inc. (PAARL) was held on 25-27 April 2018 at Fersal Hotel, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

With the theme “User Experience (UX Matters)! : Looking at Library Services from a User Perspective”, the resource speakers of the conference presented their papers on how library users perceive library services, collections, facilities, and spaces. Insights which came directly from the library users, academic and research librarians provided a better understanding of actual user needs and demands, thus, enabling librarians to craft highly responsive and effective strategies and plans.

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The conference started with the welcome remarks and keynote address by the PAARL President, Mr. Chito N. Angeles. In his presentation, he explained how valuable user experiences are in the development of libraries.

There were a total of seven accepted papers. The paper entitled Keeping Users in Focus: A Longitudinal Literature Review on Library UX in Practice by Ms. Marian R. Eclevia, Mr. Robert Vallente, and Mr. Jorge Bundalian of the De La Salle University Libraries was the first to be presented.

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The objectives of this paper are: 1) to explore and analyze the articles that discuss the library user experience; 2) identify the methodologies used in library UX research; and 3) identify and analyze the key findings of library UX research.

Ms. Rochelle S. Silverio of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela Library presented her paper on the experience of library clientele as volunteers.

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Her paper entitled When Visitors Turn to Volunteers: Exploring the Connection of User Experience and Volunteerism in a Local University was able to identify the characteristics and views of library users who turned out to be volunteers. More importantly, the study was able to determine the factors why library users want to be involved and be part of the library team as a volunteer.

Before day one ended, Ms. Rosario C. Camarines of the Jose Rizal University (JRU) shared the results of her study on the library experiences of the JRU High School Students.

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In this study conducted by Ms. Camarines, she explored the experiences of students in library services and its influence on their personal reading inclination. It was perceived in the study that the various services offered by the library greatly influenced the book usage and reading habits of the students.

The second day of the conference started with a paper presentation entitled an introduction to augmented reality (AR). Ms. Sharon Maria S. Esposo-Betan and Mr. Jonathan F. Santos of the University of the Philippines Diliman, College of Engineering Libraries gave examples of how AR can be implemented in libraries specifically in the areas of information literacy.

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This session enabled the participants to get to experience how AR works. The presenters provided a step by step guide on how to adapt and implement AR in their respective libraries.

A usability study of the EBSCOHost Discovery Service (EDS) was conducted at Asian Institute of Management (AIM). Dr. Fernan R. Dizon, Mr. Ronald A. Mañucat, and Ms. Delia V. Razon presented the results of this study. The study aimed to answer the following questions: 1) How frequently do AIM students access EDS?; 2) How usable is EDS for AIM students?; and 3) Are the EDS features and functionalities useful to AIM students?

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The conference participants were able to know the experiences of AIM students in using the EDS platform which gave them the idea how this discovery tool can benefit their library patrons.

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Dr. Vernon D. Totanes of the Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University informed the participants how to manage patron perceptions in his paper entitled First Impressions: The Importance of Managing How the Library is Perceived.

Meanwhile, a librarian from the University Library, University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) presented their paper on the perceptions of library users who visited the Main Library beyond the regular working hours.

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As the last presenter for the second day of the conference, Mr. Arthur Bryan C. Mariano informed the participants of the outcome of the study, whom he co-authored with Ms. Rizalyn V. Janio. It was concluded in their study that electronic resources have not diminished the need for library spaces during extended library hours. Also, it was determined that even though there is a high desire to open the library 24/7, there was no data to support it.

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The second day of the conference ended with a fellowship dinner. Various parlor games were participated in by the attendees where winners got the chance to take home prizes courtesy of the sponsors: MegaTexts; ACMISGroup; LJ Adventours and Travel; Taylor and Francis; EBSCO; CELogic; and WiSerf.

The paper entitled Reinventing Philippine Academic Libraries: The Users’ Perspective by Ms. Ana Maria B. Fresnido, Ms. Elizabeth B. Padilla, and Ms. Vivian C. Soriente of De La Salle University Libraries dealt with the status of academic libraries in Metro-Manila to ascertain how well they are supporting the constructivist learning theory as well as new and emerging trends in libraries.

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The study also solicited feedback from library users regarding areas for improvement particularly in terms of facilities (physical and virtual commons) and programs (cultural commons). Apart from that, the research aims to steer consciousness among academic libraries as to the actual needs/requirements of their patrons so they can be better aided in advancing Philippine academic libraries.

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Mr. Melquiades I. Alipo-on of Olivarez College in Paranaque City studied on the information seeking behavior and information needs of their faculty. He presented the result of this study which will be used as basis for the enhancement of the library collection.

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The conference ended with a closing remarks delivered by PAARL’s Vice-President, Dr. Fernan Dizon.

Our deepest gratitude to all the participants and our sponsors. See you again in our next activities! 🙂



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