14 March 2007 – In honor of Gabriel A. Bernardo, the UP School of Library and Information Studies (formerly the Institute of Library and Information Science) dedicated this year’s GAB Lecture to the man who lent his name to this annual lecture. This year’s theme was Rediscovering the Past: the Man Behind the History: a tribute to Prof. Gabriel A. Bernardo, the father of Philippine Librarianship. The guest speaker this year was Dean ROSA M. VALLEJO, former Dean and faculty member of the SLIS.

Dean Vallejo talked extensively about GAB’s unrelenting efforts to reconstruct the National Library and ask for donations from the US government after the Siege of Manila in 1944. He was instrumental in the rebuilding not just of the library structure but also of the entire library system in the Philippines after WWII, including the rebuilding of the library collection of the University of the Philippines which was still in Padre Faura at that time. He also lobbied for the creation of the Library Science Program in the University of the Philippines and was active in the development of the library collection of the University Library when UP transferred from Manila to Diliman after the war, under UP President Bienvenido Gonzalez. The University Library building is named Gonzalez Hall after him. As a former student of GAB, Dean Vallejo was able to give a rare first-hand glimpse of the man who helped establish library science the profession that it is today.

The UP Staff Chorale regaled the audience with their lively (and lovely) song numbers.

In addition to the talk, there was also an exhibit about GAB recollecting his life, profession and invaluable contribution to the Library Science and Philippine education in general. The exhibit ran from 14 to 27 March 2007 at the Special Collections Section of the University Library, the same venue where this year’s Lecture was held.

It is hoped that this is just a prelude to more studies regarding Philippine library history as there is a dearth of information and documentation in this area of study. –ECLagrama

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