Short Reflections and Photo Blog on the Panel Discussion for the AFCC from Gathering Books

Via Gathering Books

Finally! The event that we have arduously prepared for in the last several weeks is now past and gone. As part of the pre-AFCC (Asian Festival of Children’s Content) festivities, we have just done a panel discussion on “Building a Nation of Readers via Web 2.0″ featuring yours truly from GatheringBooks, Corinne from Paper Tigers, and Tarie from Asia in the Heart World on the Mind.

We started promptly at 5:30 and ended around 7pm. We had quite a good turnout, nearly around 40 individuals including ourselves (and my daughter and husband, of course). Here are some photos taken from the event:


(L-R): Tarie from Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind; Myra from GatheringBooks, Corinne from Paper Tigers

I was giving the introduction here, I believe


Talking about the History of our Blogs

Essentially, the flow of the discussion centered on several themes/key issues:

The history of our blog: what is the story behind our websites?
What is the kidlitosphere and the YA Blogosphere?
Networking and Collaboration: How we establish links and networking with authors, publishers, book bloggers, fellow bibliophiles, educators
How do we build a nation of readers via Web 2.0: What is the future of book blogging? How has it evolved through the years, and how do you think it would evolve in the next coming years?


The exchange was truly dynamic, animated, and interactive. We were fortunate to have an audience who was keen to find out more about Web 2.0, blogging, and were sharp enough to point out issues and concerns such as safety on the internet, reviews of e-books, and how exactly can a nation of readers be built through the internet. There was a question raised as to whether we are preaching to the converted, since we essentially build a network of fellow bibliophiles who are connected on the net, anyway. Does it translate to those who may not be within the virtual world?

It is only now, upon reflection, that I realize that there may have been several points that I could have shared which might have escaped me earlier. Regarding the building of a nation of readers, we have pointed out that our websites can be used as a medium through which we can reach more marginalized children coming from disadvantaged communities through outreach programs such as the the one being initiated by PaperTigers and our 1:4:1000 Book Drive where we hope to donate 1000 books to 4 public schools in Samar for our 1st Year Anniversary this June/July.


Over and above the outreach programs we do, I think we may have failed to emphasize that prior to knowing about the kidlitosphere and the YA blogosphere, we were clueless Facebook netizens and Twitter enthusiasts and internet-aficionados who have zero awareness that such a world (kidlitosphere, etc) exist! My own personal take on this is that discovering this world as a bibliophile may be one of my greatest highs in years! Just the knowledge that I can be part of this nation of readers: avid readers, angry readers, animated readers, insightful readers, critical readers [and that there is a platform for a celebration of this sheer geekiness] – is truly a gift – and brings about its own positive vibe and weaves this beautiful synergy among like-minded individuals with similar interests and passion.

Thank you to everyone who attended and dropped by. And to Book Council for organizing everything so seamlessly and beautifully. It is exciting to have Tarie and Corinne here in Singapore. The knowledge that I have several more days to enjoy their vibrant presence (along with so many others who are attending the AFCC) is simply astounding. Looking forward to this day and the next (and the next).

3 Responses to “Short Reflections and Photo Blog on the Panel Discussion for the AFCC from Gathering Books”

  1. Sally Says:

    Looks like a great conference, Corinne!