Spotlight on Catherine Ceniza Choy

by Peter Spyers-Duran

Image of Catherine Ceniza ChoyOne of the featured panelists in the APALA President’s Program in San Francisco, entitled Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy is Catherine Ceniza Choy, Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to coming to Berkeley, she was an assistant professor of American Studies and a cofounding member of the Asian American Studies Initiative at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  Choy received her Ph.D. in History from UCLA and her B.A. in History from Pomona College.  The daughter of Filipino immigrants, she was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and their two children.

Choy is the author of the award-winning book Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History, which explored how and why the Philippines became the leading exporter of professional nurses to the United States.  Choy’s new book Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America unearths the little-known historical origins of Asian international adoption in the United States beginning with the post-World War II presence of the U.S. military in Asia.

In the last fifty years, transnational adoption—specifically, the adoption of Asian children—has exploded in popularity as an alternative path to family-making. Despite the cultural acceptance of this practice, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the factors that allowed Asian international adoption to flourish. In Global Families, Choy unearths the little-known historical origins of Asian international adoption in the United States. Beginning with the post-World War II presence of the U.S. military in Asia, she reveals how mixed-race children born of Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese women and U.S. servicemen comprised one of the earliest groups of adoptive children.
Based on extensive archival research, Global Families moves beyond one-dimensional portrayals of Asian international adoption as either a progressive form of U.S. multiculturalism or as an exploitative form of cultural and economic imperialism. Rather, Choy acknowledges the complexity of the phenomenon, illuminating both its radical possibilities of a world united across national, cultural, and racial divides through family formation and its strong potential for reinforcing the very racial and cultural hierarchies it sought to challenge.

 

Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy

Co-sponsored by Video Round Table
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 4:30-5:30 PM
Moscone Convention Center, 236-238 (S)

Description: APALA President’s Program will feature a dynamic discussion between Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of Ethnic Studies at UC-Berkeley and Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter, the City Librarian of the Santa Monica Public Library System. They will examine the issues raised by Geographies of Kinship: International Asian Adoption, a new film by award-winning Berkeley-based filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, in the larger context of international adoption and reflect on universal questions of identity, assimilation, family, community, and advocacy. Excerpts from the film and a personal introduction especially produced for this program by Deann will be shown. The APALA President’s Program is co-sponsored by APALA and VRT.

We hope to see everyone there!

Spotlight on Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter

by Brian Leaf

Image of Maria Teasil Hudson CarpenterOne of the featured guests in the APALA President’s Program in San Francisco, entitled Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy is Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter, the Director of Libraries for the City of Santa Monica, CA. She has long been involved on the Korean adoptee scene, and we are proud to be able to highlight her accomplishments as we lead up to this must-see event.

As the Director of Libraries, Maria oversees a $12 million budget, 210 employees, and five libraries. Formerly, Maria was Director of Libraries for the City of Somerville, MA and Director of Advancement, Marketing, and Communications for Northeastern University Libraries.

She completed her Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh and received her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan U. She is a member of Phi Beta Delta, the honor society for International scholars and an American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar. She studies leadership and libraries in a doctoral program at Simmons College and is writing her dissertation on community leadership. Additionally, she is an elected ALA Councilor-At-Large and has served on committees for Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, Academic Library Advancement Development Network, Association of College and Research Libraries, and ALA. Her research has been published in College & Research Libraries, Library Management and portal.

Maria was as a long-standing member of Boston Korean Adoptees (BKA) and continues her involvement now as the Vice President of the Association of Korean Adoptees of Southern California (AKASoCal), a Southern California organization for Korean adoptees. She has visited South Korea three times, attended the 2010 Korean adoption conference, got involved with Global Oversees Adoptees Link, or G.O.A.L., and stayed at KoRoot guesthouse for adoptees.

Since my first trip back I searched for my birth family including going on television on KBS and other news outlets with no success but I have met amazing adoptee friends along the way and learned a bit more about my homeland.

In addition to her library and adoptee activities, she is also a 200-hour registered Yoga teacher and is a second degree Reiki practitioner in the Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition. In the past, she has also served on Boston’s Asian American Resource Workshop, a pan-Asian advocacy group that works for the empowerment of local Asian Pacific-American community to achieve its full participation in national society.  Maria has two brothers adopted from Nicaragua and a Swedish-American sister adopted from Minnesota.

Maria believes in living a life of abundant joy and love.

 

Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy

Co-sponsored by Video Round Table
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 4:30-5:30 PM
Moscone Convention Center, 236-238 (S)

Description: APALA President’s Program will feature a dynamic discussion between Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of Ethnic Studies at UC-Berkeley and Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter, the City Librarian of the Santa Monica Public Library System. They will examine the issues raised by Geographies of Kinship: International Asian Adoption, a new film by award-winning Berkeley-based filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, in the larger context of international adoption and reflect on universal questions of identity, assimilation, family, community, and advocacy. Excerpts from the film and a personal introduction especially produced for this program by Deann will be shown. The APALA President’s Program is co-sponsored by APALA and VRT.

We hope to see everyone there!

 

The 2014 Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians: Personal Vision

by Annie Pho, Rose Love Chou and Karen Gau

The Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians (MIECL) is an intensive, one-week professional development program intended for librarians from underrepresented groups in the first three years of their professional careers. Several APALA members attended the 2014 Institute last July and offered to share some of their takeaways in a series of web articles. In this last of three article installments, Annie Pho (University of Illinois at Chicago), Rose Love Chou (American University), and Karen Gau (Virginia Commonwealth University) reflect on MIECL’s discussions on personal vision.

image of the members of the Residency Interest group of the Association of Research & College Libraries

Some participants of MIECL 2014. Photo credit: DeEtta Jones

When we attended MIECL, the moderators DeEtta Jones and Kathryn Deiss introduced the idea of crafting a personal vision. They described it as being analogous to a horizon — compelling, inspiring, yet unreachable. It should provide you with a directional force that takes into account all aspects of your life, including your career, health, family and finances.

Why are you interested in crafting a personal vision?

Annie Pho (AP): Crafting a personal vision is really useful because I see it as my guiding philosophy. It guides me in terms of how I approach my career and life choices. Upon listening to DeEtta and Kathryn talk about crafting their own personal vision, I realized just how important it is for an individual to do because it helps you stay on course with what you are doing in your life. At the same time, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach because I realized I had never thought to craft my own personal vision before. I left MIECL with more questions than answers. I am still trying to craft my personal vision, but I know that it’s there. It’s up to me to articulate it.

Rose Love Chou (RLC):  Learning about the concept of a personal vision was very helpful to me. I think the question of “where do you want to be in five years” is used too often, even if it’s just rhetorical. I’m not really a binary thinker and tend not to see things in black and white. I really live in the grey area, so the concept of a personal vision that serves as a compass, rather than a checklist, really resonated with me. Instead of only creating goals to reach, a personal vision helps me develop and express my purpose.

Karen Gau (KG): The question “where do you want to be in five years?” hasn’t been particularly helpful for me either. Just over five years ago when I was an office manager for a manufacturing company, I didn’t imagine that being a health sciences librarian was in my future. Having a personal vision can help me focus on the impact I want to have and guide me with making good, forward-moving choices, even when unexpected career and personal obstacles present themselves. So if I end up on a very different path from where I thought I’d be, my personal vision can still act as a compass to help me achieve a meaningful purpose that I’ve defined for myself.

 

What is a meaningful vision and how do you craft one?

AP: When you are thinking about vision, you have to think big. If your vision is “be a library director, or move up in management,” then it’s not big enough. Your vision should be so big, that it’s unattainable. Like the horizon, it should move away from you as you walk toward it. Life can be pretty unpredictable, so a meaningful vision shouldn’t be shaken if something happens that you had not planned. I see a meaningful vision as something that influences not only my professional career, but also my personal life. In terms of how to craft your own vision, I started asking myself why I do what I do. Why am I a librarian? What do I want to contribute to not only the workplace, but society? What would make me happy in my life?

RLC: For me, a meaningful vision has to help me figure out how I want to be a leader and what I want to do as a leader. It has to help me turn my aspirations into action. One of the things that stuck with me from MIECL is the idea that the intention to lead, rather than just drifting into a leadership role, is important. Some questions to consider to help discover your purpose and voice: What are your personal values? What do you think and why?

KG: These are all great points. Touching on what Rose said, MIECL made it clear that knowing yourself is key to crafting a meaningful vision, too. For example, what are your strengths and weaknesses? How do they affect your way of making an impact?

 

How does one manage the gap between your Ideal and your Actual self?

AP: This can be a really tough thing to do. I know many librarians who hold themselves to a really high standard, but sometimes it’s just not sustainable to be going at full-speed 100 percent of the time. You’ll never be your own ideal, but that’s why crafting a personal vision is so important. You work toward your ideal self, but you also have to be OK with failing sometimes. That’s how we move forward in life.

RLC: Managing the gap is another concept I learned from DeEtta that was incredibly helpful.  The gap is the space between your Ideal and your Actual. Use the tension between these two to create goals. Do not measure yourself by comparing your Actual to your Ideal. Measure your progress by comparing your Actual to where you were previously.

KG: I think managing this gap between your Ideal and Actual self is key to having a good work/life balance, which is very important to me. I wonder if, on the flip side, integrating work/life balance into your vision as a value could help with managing this gap.

Image with "dream big" written in the sand.

When you are thinking about vision, you have to think big. If your vision is “be a library director, or move up in management,” then it’s not big enough.

Have you created a vision for yourself since MIECL?

AP: Ever since I returned from MIECL, I’ve been thinking about how to articulate my personal vision. It’s really hard to really know what you’re working toward. For me, I tend to make my progress by trying to deal with what is directly in front of me, and I don’t always take the time to look up and ask myself what is on the horizon.

KG: I’m working on mine, too. I’ve been talking about it with my MIECL mentor, whom I continue to meet with every month.

RLC: I feel like I am perpetually thinking about my vision. While I have some aspects of it down (mainly when it comes to family and personal life), I’m still working on the vision related to my career.

 

Editing assistance provided by Jaena Rae Cabrera and Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow.

APA Library Leader Interview — Daniel Tsang, Distinguished Librarian and Data Librarian, University of California, Irvine

by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow

A leader in librarianship need not be in administration or management. This feature essay on an Asian/Pacific American library leader focuses on Daniel C. Tsang, currently Distinguished Librarian and Data Librarian at University of California, Irvine, where he is also Bibliographer of Asian American Studies, Political Science, Economics, French & Italian, and the Orange County Documents.  I met Dan a few years back. Recently, he visited my current place of work, University of California, Riverside, where he gave a series of talks on data librarianship and union work as a librarian at a public university. I was very inspired by his body of work and message.

Following his presentations and several  brief, inperson discussions with him in mid-March 2015, I initiated an email conversation with Dan in mid-April 2015. I sent Dan the questions we send to all our library leader interviewees, which focus on his background and his thoughts on library leadership and diversity. This article provides an edited, perhaps too brief, version of Dan’s responses.

~ Melissa Cardenas-Dow, Web Content Subcommittee Chair

 

Melissa Cardenas-Dow (MICD): Tell us a little bit about yourself, your career to-date?

Daniel Tsang (DT): I grew up in Hong Kong and I came to the U.S. in the 1960s. My mom was born in the U.S. but went to Hong Kong after university. Then, being the period of turmoil with the sexual revolution and the Vietnam War, I became an activist when I became a librarian. I started working at Temple University’s Contemporary Culture Collection in 1978. I was totally immersed in the alternative press as a contributor, editor, and collector, both personally and professionally.  I have been a bibliographer at the University of California Irvine Libraries for almost 30 years.

 

MICD: What ways do you see yourself as a diverse professional?

DT:  I am immersed both professionally and personally in documenting social change.

 

MICD: Please describe an instance in which diversity played a beneficial role in your library work.

DT: Our newspaper collection at University of California, Irvine was very Euro-centric and I managed to get involved in a newspaper committee that changed the policy so that we collected more broadly.  Earlier, at the Philadelphia Free Library, I raised a question why they weren’t preserving the Philadelphia Gay News. After that, the library administration began microfilming it.

 

MICD: Has it been challenging to move up the leadership ladder?  How did you make the move from middle to upper management?

DT: I’m not in upper management, actually. Just a senior line librarian.

 

MICD: How does diversity influence your leadership style?

DT: I think I am more aware of how people get excluded and how certain cues from people of color are misread as concurrence. So I try to be more open to nonverbal cues.

 

MICD: What attributes do you look for in future leaders?

DT: Non-rigid styles and willingness to listen.

 

MICD: Are these the same skills, talents and qualities you recommend diverse professionals develop as they seek new leadership positions? Please explain further.

DT: Definitely, one can learn from anyone.

 

MICD: What advice would you give to young professionals, especially those from diverse backgrounds?

DT: Be passionate about what you believe in. Speak out, but be strategic in what you say and do.  Find someone who can be a mentor in the library.

 

MICD: How about advice for midcareer professionals, especially those who are interested in moving into higher management?

DT: Do not forget your roots or the union!  Don’t turn anti-union.

 

MICD: What message would you give to library administrators regarding the value of diverse leaders and how they might grow under those leaders within their organizations?

DT: Try not to find token leaders but value each worker as an individual.  Offer praise not just criticism.

 

Editing assistance provided by Molly Higgins.

05/28/2015: This piece was edited to indicate the correct names of library locations where Dan made change efforts. Many thanks to Dan for pointing out our errors. ~Melissa

2015 Asian/Pacific American Librarians (APALA) Election Results

Dear APALA colleagues,

Congratulations to our incoming Executive Board members, who will be serving under the leadership of incoming President Janet Clarke, and thank you to all of the candidates who ran for office! All terms will begin after the 2015 ALA Annual Conference.

Vice-President/President-Elect: Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada
Secretary:  Anna Coats
Member-at-Large (2015-2017):  Ariana Hussain
Member-at-Large (2015-2017):  Brian Leaf

 

Continuing Terms

President: Janet Clarke
Treasurer :  Dora Ho
Member-at-Large (2014-2016): Melissa Cardenas-Dow
Member-at-Large (2014-2016):  Paolo Guxilde
Immediate Past-President:  Eileen Bosch

Executive Director: Ven Basco
Best,Nominating Committee,
Eugenia Beh (Chair)
Jade Alburo
Ven Basco

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