It is with mixed emotions that I announce the retirement of Ms. Nanette Abas the Head of the Manila Office. Her retirement will mean more time with her family and no longer facing the infamous traffic jams in Manila. Everyone in the office miss her ever cheerful voice in our weekly meetings.
Ms. Nanette has been a part of the Library of Congress for twenty-six years. Like me, some of you can recall meeting her in the Makati office where she began her career with the Library in 1991 with a desk and fax machine in a corner of the American Historical Collection library. This location proved fortuitous because she was instrumental in ensuring titles in the collection that were missing from the Library of Congress were filmed. The titles included records of internment camps in Baguio and Santo Tomas. Ms. Nanette also turned her attention to a more recent past making sure the Library documented the martial law period. Significant among the many resources she collected was the recording of the 1984 trial of Niall O’Brien and the Negros nine.
In 1996, Ms. Nanette began collecting for the Philippines for the participant program helping libraries acquire current resources. The move to the Seafront Compound at the US Embassy in 2004 added challenges to acquisition never stopped seeking out partnerships including all of us who have worked with her as participant libraries. A significant recent partnership with the Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran Heritage Foundation resulted in thirty-one microfilm reels of clan association documents.
Those of us who have had an opportunity to work with Ms. Nanette appreciate her deep knowledge of the government and NGO sector. We all can attest to her going out of her way to provide Filipino hospitality during a visit.
I thank her for her service to the Library and the CAPSEA program. Under her guidance, the Philippine program grew from a few books for the Library of Congress into a participant program. Over the years she contributed to documenting the politics, history and culture of the Philippines through her acquisition of maps, journals, books, and more. More importantly she has shared news and information about the program with others in the Philippines through visits, articles in local papers, and talks at conferences.
I will be traveling to the Philippines to thank her for her service and work with Brin and Dexter on how best to maintain our active acquisitions program for the coming months. Ms. Brin Alejandrino will head up the office until a new person is hired for the position.
Please join me in congratulating Ms. Nanette on her service. She has spoken with enthusiasm and passion about her local community literacy and library work. They will benefit from her rich experiences and enthusiasm.
Carol L. Mitchell, M.L.S., Ph.D.
Southeast Asia Regional Office
Library of Congress