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Graffiti Wall at the Main Library?! Plus “Gift a Plant”

“Graffiti (plural of graffito: “a graffito”, but “these graffiti”) are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface, often within public view” (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graffiti). Although, the practice of doing graffiti throughout its history has been marred by notoriety, one of the advantages of doing graffiti is that “it can help us to increase our creativity. It means that graffiti is the right place to express our creativity” (http://arnasmusers.blogspot.com/2010/02/advantages-of-graffiti.html). So, why not have a graffiti wall at the Library?

Last June 28, 2016, we launched our very own “Graffiti Wall” located at the far end of the Main Library just along the hallway. This concept along with the “Gift a Plant”, which yours truly came up with, spawned from the very practical suggestion of Elma T. Tribunsay (In-charge of the Circulation Section) of beautifying the rear part of the main library (the end of the hallway in between the Multimedia and Filipiniana sections) and making use of the available space. After a brief brainstorming, the two of us came up with the idea of placing ornamental plants at the vacant spot for not just beautification but also for relaxation purposes as well (“[Studies] showed us that [by] looking at an image of nature for less than a minute was all it took to help people perform better on our task [be it either studying or working]” (http://www.hngn.com/articles/95892/20150527/looking-at-nature-scenic-views-can-help-your-brain-function-better-at-work-study-says.htm). In line with this and our on-going beautification of our main library, we are accepting additional plants (preferably potted already), as our “Gift a Plant” drive, from anyone who is willing to donate their extra plants at home. Through everyone’s help, we would contribute to the “improved cognitive development [of all of the IDC community] with more greenness [that] could result in an advantage in mental capital, which, in turn, would have lasting effects through [our] life-course” (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/study-finds-that-exposure-to-green-spaces-improves-the-cognitive-abilities-of-children-10324001.html). For donations and/or queries, kindly look for Nestor or Elma.). Available plants, which have been purchased by the library staff from their own pockets, are already placed together with the message board a.k.a. “Graffiti Wall”. The makeshift bookshelf on the left side of the message board houses numerous fiction books (novels) of which library users can leisurely read during their free time on a provided bench while relaxing in front of the greenery. Readily available sticky notes which comes in different colors and shapes (an acknowledgement of thanks is due to both Melinda F. Dueñas, our OIC-Library Services, and Agnes T. Tionko, Assistant Cataloger, as the major sponsors of such) are placed on top of the bookshelf just as well as a pair of black pen and a tape dispenser to be used by those who want to post graffiti on the board. There is a “Dedication Guidelines” posted on its top middle portion which states the following instructions:

1. Focus on warm greetings and/or well-wishes. You may also dedicate enlightening quotations/quotes.
2. Your messages may include not only words but drawings as well just like as any graffiti. Yet, if you would be needing larger space than what our supplied sticky note provides, then you have the option to provide your own paper as long as it is not larger than a letter-sized bond paper.
3. Remember that messages will not be kept permanently. Since, this “Graffiti Wall” will be used for different occasions the whole year round, outdated messages will be discarded.
4. Avoid writing foul messages (i.e., gossips, negative comments, grudges, swearing, etc.). Notes with such will be automatically removed.
5. Refrain from indicating personal information like your contact numbers. If you want to, then do it at your own risk. The Library would not be liable to any mishap that may occur due to your action for providing such.
6. Do not forget to invite the recipient of your dedication to come to the Library to personally read your message/s for him/her. He/she has the option then to get the note and keep it as a souvenir/remembrance.

As a general rule, we can just follow what King Solomon — The Wisest Man Who Ever Lived, had written in Proverbs 16:24 which says, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones“.

Every month, there would be a different poster to be placed beside the guidelines to inform users of the message board of the current occasion that is being celebrated for that particular month so that they can tailor their messages/graffiti accordingly.

Services such as this one, are being conceived and provided by the library so as to encourage the IDC academic community, especially the students who comprises the largest part, to regularly make use of the library and its diverse resources. We ask everyone to dedicate messages or/and graffiti as well as donated plants to other members of the academe such as your classmates and teachers/instructors/professors (or if your part of the workforce, your colleagues or/and supervisors at your department) so that they would have another reason to visit our Main Library and be acquainted again or for the first time with the heart of any educational institution which is the Library. Tara na sa Lib!

Nestor D. Mores, Jr., RL, Periodicals Librarian