Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Do you have a privilege card, ma'am?

Women’s rights have come a long way from its beginnings and struggles at the start of the 19th century. Yet a large population of women is still struggling for their rights and privileges. While those who have come to their own rights and privileges through the efforts and sacrifices of the pioneers do not appreciate and can not seem to understand what they have.

I know of librarians who do not attend council meetings because they think they do not get anything from these meetings. They call these meetings a waste of time and financial resources. They do not know or choose to forget perhaps that had it not been for these seemingly wasteful meetings, librarians nowadays would not have enjoyed the privileges of being a “professional librarian”. Someone even went so far as to say she won’t attend meetings anymore because she is no longer an officer.

Far worse than these kinds of librarians is the librarian who thinks her co-librarian is wasting company time and resources when and if that fellow librarian is performing council officer’s tasks, duties and responsibilities during work hour.

I ask then, when is the proper time to be president, secretary, treasurer or even a mere member of one’s council? After 5 p.m. and before 8 a.m., when offices are closed for the evening? Had the librarians’ early movements been successful because their supervisors and employers forbid them to use typewriters, telephones, fax machines, etc. during office hours?

Maybe I am just an ignorant fool who does not know the ways of the world. Maybe PLAI is what it is today because the pioneer Filipino librarians did what had to be done for the profession and the association after 5 p.m. only; diligently, conscientiously never using company time and resources for personal gain such as pushing for the professionalization of librarianship, and working for the establishment of the PLAI and its regional councils.

The fight for our rights does not end. We have to be always vigilant because there are those who wish to bring us down and sometimes they are our own kind.