#Humans of the Library: Christian George F. Acevedo, the all-around librarian

Mr. Christian George Francisco Acevedo in Sydney Opera House, Australia (2019)
Today's guest in #Humans of the Library is very special and a good friend of mine. If you're a librarian in Western Visayas, you must know him: Christian George F. Acevedo, RL, MLIS. He is the current Head Librarian of Capiz State University. Though he also wears many other hats than his work as a librarian. As he describes himself, he is also a "college instructor, cultural worker, heritage advocate, museum volunteer, writer, and blogger."

Christian has been my classmate in some of my LIS subjects when I was taking my Bachelor's degree. He was studying his Master's degree in Library and Information Science then and had to take a few undergraduate classes as a requirement for those who have no educational background in LIS. I can't recall how exactly we became friends, but his magnetic and happy personality can draw anyone in. Class reports and presentations can be boring and dull, but when it's his turn to speak, everyone listens and the class becomes alive. Aside from being a fun person to be around, he is also very smart and can speak his ideas well.

In 2015, I took the Librarian's Licensure Examination with my batchmates and Christian, as well. We reviewed in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. There was no board exam in Iloilo City at that time, so we really had to go to Manila. I have so many good memories of that time, and though preparing for the board exam was a difficult time, Christian was always there to lighten the mood and motivate us to review.

In 2016-2018, he was also the elected President of PLAI-WVRLC (Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. - Western Visayas Regional Librarians Council). I was also an elected officer that time as Iloilo Province representative and acting Secretary. Working for the Council can be busy with the events and seminars we have to organize, but he is a great leader and we accomplished many things at that time.

He is now the Head Librarian of Capiz State University. Aside from working as a librarian, he is also a college instructor in the university's College of Education. He also didn't stop at MLIS, his most recent degree is Master of Arts in Teaching from Filamer Christian University, Roxas City. He studied Bachelor of Secondary Education major in Physical Science for his undergraduate course from Capiz State University.

Aside from librarianship, he has many other interests and hobbies. He is also a writer and blogger. His blog on the Royal Families of Europe, Royal Splendor, has a big worldwide following with over 70,000 followers on his blog's Facebook page. In fact, his first book will be out soon. Panaysayon: Tales from Panay Island is a collection of local folk tales. Of course, I will review it on this blog once I get my hands on it. We also frequently talk about mutual interests like art, literature, and travel.

I think I've said more than enough, let's get to know more about him:

Why and how did you become a librarian? 
I was fascinated with books since I was in Elementary. I remember my grandfather gave me my first-ever book and I was so elated to have it. Then, whenever I would get high grades, he would reward me with a trip to a local bookstore. My hang-out place in high school was the library and I would pour myself on encyclopedias and dusty old history books.

I became friends with the librarian and her staff and she noticed I religiously entered the library on my vacant period. When there was a slot for a student assistant position, she asked me if I'd be interested to work and I willingly accepted. I was only 4th-year high school then. If I remember it right, I was the only high school student ever allowed to work as a working student. I fell in love with the clerical work, so I thought, why not become a librarian? There was no school here in Roxas City that offered Library Science. I opted to take up Education instead. Years later, in the midst of my quarter-life crisis, I enrolled at Central Philippine University for Masters in Library and Information Science and there, the rest was history.

What is your present work in the library field? 
I am the Head Librarian of Capiz State University. I am also a  college instructor, where I teach at the College of Education. I am also a cultural worker, heritage advocate, museum volunteer, writer, and blogger. I have recently finished compiling and editing a book about folk stories of Panay Island. I have previously worked with a team in documenting traditional fishing methods in Northern Panay Island. I am not that busy, right?

What makes librarianship special, unique, or different from other professions?
I think what makes it so special is that we know how to access and to handle information, which is really important in research. Many of the information that I included in my book were culled from old books from the turn of the 20th century, some from unpublished manuscripts that were banished to oblivion. It matters a lot that you know if the information is accurate or not. You know what I mean, so many fake news proliferate because the purveyors know that there are a lot of people who would easily believe what they see online.

You also blog. Can you tell us more about your blogs and writing?
I actually have two blogs. The first is about travel, history, and culture. It's Christian's Chronicles: living life one day at a time. I'm trying to update this at least once a month. The other one, which I update at least two to three times a week is about European Royal families, Royal Splendor: everything you need to know about the world of Royalty. I've been working on this since 2010 and it has a steady following from around the world already.

Who are your inspirations in writing?
Right now, I'm following Felice Sta. Maria and Gemma Cruz Araneta. Felice is a food historian and Gemma is a history writer, both friends of the library and both are passionate at writing about our country's history and culture.

Aside from librarianship, what else are your interests and hobbies?
I read a good book at night before I sleep. But it's also my hobby to read really old books. I'm now reading at least one page a day of Fr. Alonso de Mentrida's 1637 dictionary. I'm looking into Hiligaynon words related to traditional healing, fishing, and cooking. I also garden on holidays and weekends.

Is there anything else you would like to share about librarianship?
When you open a book, you never know what you'll stumble upon.

Tell us about your upcoming book!
It's called Panaysayon: Tales from Panay Island. It's just a slim collection of folk narratives from Panay Island, written in English and Hiligaynon. It's my first attempt to put a book together but it's fun and thrilling. I'm giving it away for free to libraries in different public schools and SUCs in Panay Island.

Mr. Acevedo with his book!
* * *

I've learned a lot so far from the featured people here in #Humans of the Library! Also, thank you to my readers. This series is getting a lot of hits, a lot of people are interested in reading about librarians and what we do.

I'm looking for other librarians or people who work in the library field who can be featured in this blog. I'd like to interview librarians but this is also open to library work students, LIS teachers, library personnel, and para-professionals. Anyone, really, with an interest in books, literature, and libraries.

If you would like to be featured in this series or know someone interessted, don't hesitate to drop a comment or message me on the Malditang Librarian Facebook page.

Post a Comment