City's outstanding librarian retires-A A +A
Saturday, January 19, 2013
AFTER four fruitful decades of serving the city government of Davao City, librarian Nora Fe V. Alajar retires from service on her natal day on January 24.
"The City Government has been a good help for me. It has been part of my entire career," 64-year-old Alajar said.
Alajar has been with the Davao City Public Library, starting as a library assistant, in 1973.
She was a product of Daliaon Central Elementary School and Davao City National High School. She completed Bachelor of Arts major in Natural Science and minor in Social Science at the University of Mindanao in 1969.
As a child, Nora dreamed of becoming a nurse, but as she grew up her peers pushed her to take Bachelor of Arts, instead.
After she graduated from college, she first worked as a contract clerk in Rice and Corn Authority (now National Food Authority) in Davao City in October 1969. She even recalled that her salary then was P8 a day.
She also worked as an election registrar at Commission of Elections (Comelec) in South Cotabato.
The doors of the Davao City Public Library opened for Alajar in August 1973, and became the city library head in 1997.
"I love to be with people. I saw, as a person, na ang akong gusto mahitabo naa ra sa library. It opened doors and opportunities when I started to become a librarian," she said.
Alajar did not stop the flow of luck in her career while being employed with the government; hence she took up AB major in Library Science at UM in 1985 to fully grasp the life of a librarian.
With her dreams of wanting the city library as the best among all the libraries, Alajar grabbed chances of joining international conventions, two of these are the 2nd Down syndrome convention in Taiwan in 2007 and the Local Alternative for Global Development in Washington, D.C last year.
"Wala ko na-limit lang sa pag serve sa city government of Davao (I did not limit myself from serving City Government of Davao alone)," she said.
She has been an active officer and member of the different prestigious organizations for Filipino librarians such as the Philippine Librarians Association of the Philippines, Public Librarians Association of the Philippines, Philippine Government Employees Association and National Commission Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
A page of paper is not enough to write all her awards and recognitions region-wide and nationwide.
Some of the major honors are the Outstanding City Library and Alab ng Haraya (The Flame of Imagination) awards given by the NCCA -- the overall policy making body, coordinating, and grants giving agency for the preservation, development and promotion of Philippine arts and culture; and the Gawad Parangal from the Department of Interior and Local Government 11.
Her various affiliations as a leader in the local, regional and national levels brought her at the limelight when she received one of the highest recognition internationally.
"I always believe that when you do right, it always comes back right to you," she said.
Just recently, Alajar was able to receive a certificate of merit from the Beyond Access -- a worldwide project based in Washington, D.C that promotes public libraries as a 21st century institution supporting an information society -- for initiative and innovation.
This writer could even recall Ari Katz, director of International Research Exchange (Irex) -- an international non-profit organization leading the Beyond Access, saying: "Miss Nora is a perfect example of how library works with government, civil society, and communities."
True enough, Alajar has contributed much to the development and success of the city's public library for 16 years.
"Everybody in the city government is an asset, since you cannot do things alone all by yourself," she said.
Alajar recognized having difficulties in her job at times, but these never brought her down. In fact, it encouraged her to do better. She said that is the secret of looking at things positively.
"I did not take it as a hindrance in what I wanted to do. I looked at it as a strength and it made me a strong and better person," she said.
"I will not stop myself from helping city government of Davao. I will miss everything but I will still extend help to everybody. My vision for the city library will continue as I am still a member of a national association of librarians," Alajar said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 19, 2013.