Fe Angela M. Verzosa

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Fe Angela Manansala-Verzosa is a multi-awarded professional librarian-archivist, lecturer in the field of library science and archival studies, and a recognized leader-advocate dedicated to the cause of Philippine academic librarianship.

Present-day librarians explore many ways to respond to the changes in the environment as they are affecting the perceptions and expectations of library users. This is especially truer in the academic environment where college and university librarians serve as catalysts of change.

One such academic librarian-archivist is Fe Angela M. Verzosa, who spent nearly forty years as organizer of special library collections and archival materials, such as the Presidential Papers in the National Library of the Philippines (1967-1969), the manuscript collections at the University of the Philippines, Diliman/Main Library (1969-1971) and at the Rizal Library of Ateneo de Manila University (1974-1975), the presidential library-archives-museum of the Jose P. Laurel Memorial Foundation (1975-1987), and the institutional archives of De La Salle University (1988- 2006), where she has contributed to effecting changes, not only in providing better access to these library resources, but more importantly, in preserving materials of enduring value for the sake of our cultural heritage.

Contents

Education and Early Career

Fe Angela Manansala graduated from the University of the Philippines in Diliman with an A.B. degree major in History in 1966. In 1978, she earned her Master's degree in Library Science from the same institution. She began her career in library service in 1967 when she was asked by then National Library Director, Dr. Serafin D. Quiason, to work on the joint project of the University of Michigan and the National Library on the organization and microfilming of the Presidential Papers of Manuel L. Quezon under the direction of Dr. Isagani R. Medina.

After the completion of the project in 1969, she moved on to the University of the Philippines Main Library, on the invitation of then University Librarian, Marina G. Dayrit, to set up the Microfilm Section and organize the papers of UP President Carlos P. Romulo. Within a two-year span, she was able to organize the section, train her staff on microfilming, microfilm rare books and special manuscript collections, including the Hukbalahap records, the court records of Amado Hernandez et al, and completed the processing of the Romulo Papers. In 1971, she was commissioned by the Carlos P. Garcia Memorial Society to organize the presidential papers of Carlos P. Garcia at his Bohol, Quezon City residence.

In 1974, Ms. Verzosa joined the Rizal Library of Ateneo de Manila University as microfilm librarian on a part-time arrangement, which she requested from Fr. Robert Suchan, to give her more time for her two growing sons. In her new assignment, she expanded the Theses Project in Microfiche to include foreign university libraries as subscribers. A year later, she took a full-time job as chief archivist and librarian of the Jose P. Laurel Memorial Foundation, where she set up the presidential archives - museum and library of the late President. In 1979, she was promoted to the position of Foundation Administrator and Secretary to its Board of Trustees, which she held until 1987.

As University Archivist and Library Director

In February 1988, she joined De La Salle University (DLSU) Library as its first University Archivist. In less than a year, Verzosa drew up and implemented an institutional archival program for the University, and established a separate Special Collections under the management of the University Archives. During her first three-year term, she succeeded in strengthening the Library’s Special Collections with donations from several well-known faculty members and alumni such as Lorenzo Tanada, Francisco Ortigas Jr., and Jose W. Diokno. Its Memorabilia and Museum collections expanded to include not only the University's realia, but also the numismatic collection of Felipe Liao and the earthenware collections of Daniel Tantoco and Dr.Jaime Laya. She succeeded in acquiring donated materials for a Local and Oral History Collection, and encouraged the DLSU Faculty to donate their book collections to the Library, following the initiative of the late Dr. Aurelio Calderon, resulting in the establishment of the Faculty Collections of Isagani R. Cruz, Emerita Quito, Wilfrido Villacorta, Andrew Gonzalez, FSC, Marcelino A. Foronda, Efren R. Abueg, Clodualdo del Mundo, Roberto Salazar, and Tereso Tullao, Jr. She also served as Consultant to the Provincialate Archives of the De La Salle Brothers in the Philippines at Greenhills, Mandaluyong City, and supervised the organization of its archival collections.

Between 1994 and 1998, she served the De La Salle University - Manila Library as its Library Director, while holding on to the position of the University Archivist in a concurrent capacity. Among her notable accomplishments as Library Director were the implementation of the DOST-ESEP Project on networking, the long-ranged collection development plan of the library, and the library's full automation program. She also embarked on a long-range CD conversion (digital imaging) project on the library's rare Filipiniana books, theses and Special Collections. She also spearheaded a collection evaluation survey resulting in intensive collection buildup to bring the Library to world-class standards. With her aggressive program to improve the library, she was able to source additional funding for the library’s development projects (such as upgrading of computers and AV equipment, acquisition of reference and periodical materials in electronic and multimedia format, installation of an electronic security surveillance system and glass enclosures on stairway landings, computer furniture, and renovation of the Faculty Corner). She introduced new ideas, products and services to improve library operation and keep up with technological developments. As a library leader, she improved the staff development and job training program of her library personnel (about 70 total) resulting in a highly professionalized staff.

The Library’s automation project highlighted her achievement as an academic library director. In 1995, De La Salle University - Manila Library became the first academic library to go public with its online catalog via the Internet’s World Wide Web. In the same year, the DOST-ESEP Library Network was launched with DLSU Library as one of the flag institutions. In the words of a foreign library consultant who was tasked to assess the ESEP library network, “Mrs. Verzosa possessed the aggressive leadership and is committed to electronic technology. She sees great value in promoting her library, its services, collections and human resources.” In the same year, DOST awarded her with a fellowship grant to pursue an overseas summer study-training course at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth on Library and Information Studies.

As an Organizational Leader in Librarianship

Since 1995, she has served in various capacities in two important library associations in the country, the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (as President 2000), the umbrella organization of professional (licensed) librarians, and the Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians (PAARL)as President in 2000 and 2004. In June 2001 she was elected head of the Executive Committee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts-National Committee on Libraries and Information Services (NCCA-NCLIS), a position she held until January 2004. Among the important projects of her committee under her stewardship were:

  • A Union Catalog of Local History Materials on Region 1;
  • A Libraries Enrichment Project (Acquisition of Tañada CD for distribution to public libraries);
  • The Publication of the Catalog of Rare Books of the University of Santo Tomas;
  • The National Congress of Librarians (held in 2002 and 2003);
  • An International Training Course on Knowledge Management and Metadata conducted in 2002;
  • The Publication of library surveys (an ongoing project);
  • Training Modules on the Teaching of Library Science (another ongoing project);
  • Technical Assistance Program (given to Sigma Public Library);
  • A Summer Conference on the Role of Libraries in the Promotion of Culture and the Arts in celebration of NCCA’s Cultural Heritage Month (undertaken by PAARL); and,
  • A Library Heritage Tour

As President of both organizations (PLAI and PAARL) in the year 2000 and as member of the Executive Board of the 11th Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL), she represented the country and headed a delegation of more than thirty (30) librarians to the 11th CONSAL held in Singapore. The following year, she received the ASEAN Training Grant, sponsored by the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which enabled her at the same time to attend the CONSAL-sponsored E-TLAS Conference 2001 on the Emerging Trends in Library and Archival Services. For the 12th CONSAL held in Brunei in October 2003, she was invited to deliver a plenary paper on Copyright Protection for Philippine Publications. In the same year, she attended the International Council on Archives – Section on Universities and Research Institutions (ICA-SUV) conference in Poland. In August 2004, she presented a paper to the pre-Congress seminar held by ICA-SUV at Vienna, Austria. Her paper was on “Increasing Access to Archival Knowledge”. In November of the same year, she delivered a plenary paper to the Asian Library Conference in Bangkok, Thailand on “The future of Library Cooperation in Southeast Asia.” In March 2006, she served as Conference Program Chairperson for the 13th CONSAL, hosted by the Philippines and held in Makati City.

In recognition of her tireless efforts as an acknowledged leader in Philippine librarianship, she was awarded by the Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians as the “Academic Librarian of the Year for 1996.” This award is given to an academic librarian with demonstrated achievements in the following areas:

  • Planning and implementing an innovative or a high-impact library program for an academic/research library
  • Significant and influential research on academic or research library service
  • Service to the organized profession through PAARL and other related organizations

In 1998, she received the Cirilo B. Perez Award given by the Philippine Librarians Association as Over-all Chairman of the National Book Week celebration in 1997. On June 4, 1999, she received a Centennial Award given by the National Centennial Commission-Women Sector as “Tagahabi ng Kasaysayan” in recognition of her contribution in the writing of women’s herstories. And on November 30, 1999, she received the Severino Velasco Award from PLAI for her outstanding contribution as Conference organizer. On 30 November 2001, she received the prestigious Gabriel A. Bernardo Award, given in recognition of her exemplary leadership in steering the Association to greater success, by the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. during the PLAI Fellowship Luncheon held at Manila Midtown Hotel. In January of 2002, she was honored by the Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians with the prestigious 2001 Professional Service Award in recognition of her “wholehearted dedication to the cause of librarianship” in the Philippines. On November 29, 2002 she was presented with the Service Award by the Philippine Librarians Association Inc. She was again presented by PAARL her second Professional Service Award last January 2006 for her service as President of the organization for the second time in 2004.

Finally, her lifetime achievements were recognized in June 2006 by the Professional Regulation Commission when she was awarded the Outstanding Professional Librarian of the year, a month after her retirement from De La Salle University. The 2006 PRC Award was given "for her unparalleled achievements shown by her vast experiences as organizer of heritage collections here and abroad, sharing her expertise in the twin areas of librarianship and archival science, effecting strategic changes, providing better access to library sources and preserving materials of enduring value for the sake of national heritage; for her competence and outstanding leadership, having served as President of the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI), in 2000, ... for her unmatched contributions as a globally-recognized speaker and trainor, and for her exemplary achievements in the advancement of her profession as an active member of the De La Salle University ranked faculty." On 25 January 2008, PAARL presented her with its Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest recognition given to an academic/research librarian as a hallmark of professional excellence.

On 27 November 2009, PLAI conferred the Hall of Fame Award as its own hallmark of professional excellence for having been consistently recognized for professionalism, leadership and service by the Association and/or Professional Regulation Commission, during its Annual Convention and Awarding Ceremonies held at Heritage Hotel, Pasay City.

Verzosa is listed among the Top 10 Philippine Librarians by WikiPilipinas.

Career as a lecturer, researcher and writer

She has served on numerous occasions as conference organizer, resource speaker, and lecturer, in both local, regional, and national conferences, seminars, and training programs to share her knowledge, skill or expertise in the field of library and archival management, and in information technology and its application to library and archival functions.

As a researcher and writer, Ms. Verzosa has contributed to the literature on Philippine librarianship with her publications and researches on the presidential archives system, archival administration, library collection development, and library automation. Ms. Verzosa has written articles on the presidential papers of Manuel L. Quezon, Carlos P. Garcia, Elpidio Quirino, and Jose P. Laurel. Her thesis on the Status of the Papers of Eight Philippine Presidents was submitted in 1978 in fulfillment of her master’s degree in Library Science. Among her published articles are: “The Japanese Reparation Papers on Microfilm,” (in Southeast Asia Microfilms Newsletter 17: 1-8, July 1979), “Archiving the Presidents’ Papers,” (in Philippine Panorama 22, no. 37: 7, 26, Sept. 12, 1993), “Developing an Archival Curriculum,” (in Tanglaw 2, no. 2: 51-56, January 1994), and “Building environments for library and archival collections,” (PAARL Bulletin 1, no. 1: 27-35, 1997). Among the in-house publications and books she has authored/co-edited/compiled are the following: Filipiniana on Microfilms (1971), Andrew B. Gonzalez, FSC: a Bibliography of his Writings, 1960-1990 (1990), As Others Saw Us: a Chronicle of the Works of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (1990), Faculty Publicatiions and Other Writings (1991), and DLSU Chronicle, 1993-1994 (1994). Her recent paper on “Library Automation And Its Impact On Strategic Planning For Academic Libraries” appeared as an electronic publication of Asian Libraries, a quarterly publication of MCB University Press (1997). Other articles appeared in the Asia Library News, namely: Occupational Safety and Health Concerns in Library Work Places, and The State of the Filipiniana Collections at DLSU Library. Many of her lecture presentations appear in SlideShare.com and some of her articles are published by Eprints

After her retirement, Verzosa continues to lecture on her favorite subject areas of expertise in between her travels. Her travelogues are documented at YouTube. She also spends more time now moderating the PAARL Yahoogroup site which she created in May 2005. In February 2007, she created the first-of-its-kind Wiki for PAARL. PAARLWikiis a Library 2.0 Initiative for Academic Libraries, intended to become a hybrid book and wiki by presenting research articles, case studies, conference papers, lecture presentations, technical and country reports, and profiles on Philippine Librarianship, Libraries in the Philippines, Library Standards for Philippine Libraries, Outstanding Filipino Librarians, Library Organizations in the Philippines, and related subjects. This wiki eventually will serve not only as a sourcebook and pathfinder to the rich resources available locally and through the Internet, but also as a tool to enable the Philippine library community to share new information and resources on Philippine Librarianship. She created also a PAARL page at Facebook.

Affiliations

As a member of the DLSU ranked faculty (ASF III-5, equivalent to Associate Professor), she was active as an Officer (Secretary) and Director of the Faculty Association’s Board, contributing her skill and expertise in negotiating for a new Faculty Manual (1993 and 2002) as a member of the Technical Panel for its Revision representing the Academic Service (Non-Teaching) Faculty. Outside the academe, Ms. Verzosa is well-known for her community service, having served as a former Barangay councilwoman in Molino, Bacoor, Cavite, representing her subdivision, Bahayang Pag-Asa, where she served for several terms as its Homeowners association’s president, and president of the League of Homeowners Associations in Molino 5.

She was married to Candelario Lahoz Verzosa, former Executive Director of the Cooperative Development Authority, and together raised two sons, Atty. Carlos Voltaire Verzosa and Dr. Mario Candelario Verzosa III.

References


Citation

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