Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI) in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) through the National Committee on Libraries and Information Services (NCLIS) and the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) conducted their 2019 national congress carrying the theme “Inclusive, Innovative, Interconnected” held at Tagaytay International Convention Center on November 19 – 22, 2019. More than 800 participants comprised of registered librarians and students of Library and Information Science attended the congress which aimed to examine the role of libraries, information centers, archives, and other cultural heritage partners and institutions, to recognize its efforts, advocacies, initiatives, programs, projects, and services, and to determine the roles of librarians and library associations as key players for societal improvements and change through capacity building and professional agenda.

The event was formally opened by Ms. Emma M. Rey, RL, PLAI President who underscored that inclusive, innovative and interconnected should be the characteristics of the libraries in today’s society.  Tagaytay City Vice Mayor Reymond Ambion warmly welcomed all the participants to the city on behalf of Mayor Agnes Tolentino and Congressman Abraham Tolentino. He also thanked PLAI for choosing Tagaytay as the venue of the annual congress. Likewise, other guests delivered their message of support to the association and its undertakings including Mr. Cesar Gilbert Adriano, Director-NLP, Ms. Prudenciana C. Cruz, RL, Head-NCCA Committee on Libraries and Information Services, Ms. Yolanda C. Granda, RL, Chair-Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians, and Mr. Michael A. Pinto, RL, Ex-Officio, PLAI.

Ms. Emily Drabinski, Associate Professor in The Graduate Center, Cuny, New York was the keynote speaker for this year’s congress. She discussed The Library as a Connection Machine and Critical Librarianship in Global Perspective which examines how critical librarianship would look different if it took American imperial and colonial legacies and contemporary practices as a site of struggle.

Several paper presentations, international forum, parallel sessions facilitated by various associations and professional groups from the academe made up the 3-day congress. Furthermore, PLAI’s General Assembly was also conducted on the last day of event. Some concerns and suggestions about the association were raised and given reasonable response from the officers and the board of trustees in an open forum.