APALA is on the lookout for fabulously talented individuals to participate in a T-shirt Logo Contest!
Are you a creative individual with a knack for creating eye-catching designs? Can you develop a clever library tagline? Would you like to see your design modeled by APALA members and supporters nationwide? Take a chance and show off your creative side! The winning design will receive a $100 gift card and one-year APALA membership.
The designer of the winning logo receives a $100 gift card and a one-year APALA membership. Sales from the winning T-shirt help support APALA scholarships and grants.
April 15, 2013
APALA Fundraising Committee
Download: PDF of APALA 2013 T-shirt Design Contest Flyer
Tiffany Chow has been a member of APALA for a year and a half and is currently part of the Literature Awards Committee for the Adult Fiction category. She is a student of Drexel University’s iSchool, in their dual degree program, earning a M.S. degree in Library and Information Science and a M.S. in Information Systems (MSIS), with concentrations in digital libraries and youth services. Tiffany lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area of Southern California.
Tiffany is also a reference and instruction intern at University of California, Riverside’s Tomas Rivera Library. She is also an intern at UCR’s Water Resources and Collection Archives (WRCA), where she works on editing online finding aids. In addition, Tiffany volunteers at San Gabriel Library, which is part of the County of Los Angeles Public Library system, assisting with programs for children and with organizing materials for the initial stages of a digitization project.
When asked about her involvement with APALA, Tiffany reflects:
I first learned about APALA after doing research on a few professional library organizations for a homework assignment. I Googled most of APALA’s executive board and found that most of them were very distinguished in the field and reading all of their accomplishments made me aspire to be like them. As such, I joined APALA in order to network with other Asian/Pacific American librarians. I figured that if I wanted to contribute to the field, I should try to surround myself with those who were already doing a great job at it and learn from them.
An interesting fact about Tiffany’s personal background is her parents’ immigration history.
My parents immigrated to Nicaragua from China in the 1960s and lived there for about 15 years before moving to Los Angeles in 1979. I grew up speaking Spanish and Taishanese (Chinese dialect).
Tiffany is interested in working in the digital archives area of librarianship but would also like to gain experience in reference work in an academic or public library setting.
APALA provides Tiffany with a wonderful base of involvement within the library profession. She asserts, “Once I tell an APALA member I’m also in APALA, there’s this instant connection and friendship.”
Tiffany is also a fellow of the IE LEADS program (Inland Empire Librarians Educated to Advance Diversity and Service), a professional development and career support program funded through a generous grant from IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program and administered by the UCR Libraries. She received the fellowship in September 2011 and is continuing with the program until she completes her degrees. Tiffany credits her involvement with the IE LEADS program in her continuing education and development as a professional librarian.
During her spare time, Tiffany enjoys “eating nachos, drinking icees, going to Disneyland, watching musical theater, and taking [her] parents (both retired) on field trips.”
We are happy to have you among us, Tiffany!
Application deadlines for the APALA Scholarship and Travel Grant are approaching. Don’t delay!
Travel Grant — Application deadline: March 31, 2013
The APALA Travel Award provides $500 to an APALA member for registration and travel expenses to the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference.
For further details: http://www.apalaweb.org/awards/travel-grant/
Scholarship — Application deadline: April 26, 2013
The APALA Scholarship provides $1000 to an APALA member of Asian or Pacific background who is enrolled, or has been accepted into, a master’s or doctoral degree program in library and/or information science at a school accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).
For further details: http://www.apalaweb.org/awards/apala-scholarship/
When I was asked to write this article, I had no clue what to write about. My everyday life is just like everyone else’s. I go to work, eat, exercise, read, watch some television. The problem is “normal” simply exists. My normal is an unhealthy obsession with Hello Kitty and Doctor Who (separately, not together), but who doesn’t have at least one unhealthy obsession? I was about to say that these obsessions have nothing to do with my racial background–the subject of this essay–but maybe, in a way, they do. I’m mixed-race–Half White and Half Hawaiian-Filipino-Portuguese-with a smidge of Chinese. Maybe my love of Hello Kitty comes from my Asian-Pacific-Islander side and my love of Doctor Who comes from my mixed-European side. Whether my obsessions are racially based or not, you’re the weirdo for not sharing them. (Remember, this is about my normal, not yours.) But maybe I’m just like everyone else who loves disparate things in America. Either way, I grew up as a whole rather than two halves. Society, however, has made those two halves a much bigger deal than I ever could.
Growing up multi-racial was a non-issue for me as a child. In Torrance, California and its surrounding cities, the population, as well as most of my friends, was multi-racial. Within my family, racial differences came up between my two halves, but rarely was a big deal made about it. When on St. Patrick’s Day I was decked out in green and I pinched my grandmother because she didn’t have any green on, she let me know that pinching her wasn’t okay. Not because she was Tutu, but because she wasn’t Irish. Only I was. When my mom got a sunburn and I got a tan on the same afternoon, I noticed differences in our skin color. But everyone in our family had varying skin colors–the blessing and the curse of being a mixed-race family. Our differences, like “normal,” simply exist. Tan-ability or burn-ability is as normal as being tall or short.
My parents never encouraged or discouraged either race. I could dance hula if I wanted because few things are more Hawaiian than that. I could play the flute if I wanted because few things are more European than that. My dad’s side of the family could trace our ancestry back to the time of the Hawaiian kings, so we had a desire to live with cultural knowledge. My mom’s side of the family had been in America since the American Revolution, so we didn’t have any particularly European traditions that stood the test of time. For vacations, my family took long road trips because that’s what American families do, mixed-race or otherwise. In first grade, we drove from California to Maine and visited my mother’s family all along the way. My mom is a genealogist, so we met living and dead family members. We visited graves on family farms and met cousins so far removed I couldn’t tell you how we were related. But blood isn’t a race; it’s a bond. These predominantly white relatives brought us into their homes and told us stories of our mutual ancestors and their lives. My dad’s family is big, too. Since we were on the Continent, our cousins, uncles, and aunts came to visit us. We opened our doors and told each other stories of our mutual ancestors and their lives. Normal.
Being mixed-race in my family was easy as a young child. Fast forward a few years and racial differences started to become more apparent in my life, especially when I stepped out of my front door. As I grew older, people on the street would stop and ask me “What are you?” and I would answer with pride. Usually, my answer was never sufficient for them because they wanted to place me in their own category–mostly because I look racially ambiguous. Sometimes that included greetings in languages not my own. I lived in Southern California, so looking mixed race often meant “Hispanic or Latino” in many people’s minds. Sometimes it also meant invasive questions.
I learned that when you tell people what race you are, they expect certain things of you. Because I said I was Hawaiian, they assumed that I was born there. Because I didn’t have a working knowledge of the history of Native Hawaiians, I couldn’t explain to them how I was born and raised in Los Angeles and still maintain a Native Hawaiian identity. Blood is a hard thing to explain. Another expectation people have of Hawaiians is that they can dance hula. Or communicate with the land. Or have hair down to the waist. There is no hula or ancient Hawaiian proverb for: I’m from Torrance, so I can instinctually tell you where the 405 is.
Like any other normal teen, I took these expectations to heart. The question of my “Hawaiianness” came under the spotlight in high school, when I questioned and started to change my sense of “normal.” The first major thing that happened was my brother and cousins started to learn more about our Hawaiian side. They spent a week at the Kamehameha Schools Explorations Series camps for children from 5th to 6th grades. My dad and older cousins had gone as well, but due to some confusion and miscommunication, one cousin and I were unable to go the year we turned 11. Back then, they didn’t offer multiple years to attend like they do now. Back then, it was a one-shot, now-or-never situation. For me, it turned into never. Since I never went, I never knew what I missed. That is, until my brother and cousins came back with songs and skills I knew nothing about. I realized, as a teenager, that I knew next to nothing about what it meant to be Hawaiian. The situation became even more apparent to me when I met another Native Hawaiian in high school who would test me on what I didn’t know and then make fun of me. In my yearbook he wrote, “I hope you enjoy your poi with sugar.” Apparently, it was not the correct way to eat poi, even though that was the way my Hawaiian grandmother always prepared it for me. Being the tita I am (before I really knew what a tita was), I told this guy off and tried to pretend that it didn’t bother me. But it got me thinking that I was a fake. That I shouldn’t tell people I was Hawaiian because what about me, other than the blood that ran through my veins, was Hawaiian? Without the shared experience of Kamehameha Schools Exploration Series, I stopped being a normal Hawaiian, according to others. And the sad thing is–my lack of knowledge of Hawaiian culture made me a very normal American.
I wondered if “normal” was out of reach, if I was already too white-washed, too mainland, too pale to learn about this part of my culture. I was angry because I had always been confident. I had never had a problem with who I was. My whole existence was then called into question because of a few curious people and one mean kid at school. During my last two years of high school, after all of this questioning began, I started to explore Hawaiianness, what it meant to me and to others to have Hawaiian blood. I learned a hula from my grandmother (who chastised my skills at first, telling me I danced like a tourist) and taught it to my theater arts class. I tried to learn how to make a haku lei, but my grandmother’s patience and my stubbornness got in the way. During that first year of college I stuck to trying Hawaiian foods since that seemed easy enough. After being uncomfortable in my Hawaiianness, I tried to create a new sense of “normal,” taking comfort in the universal language of food.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2004, however, when I went to my first Hawaiian family reunion that everything changed for me. I got to see the land that my ancestors lived on, just like I got to see the lands of my ancestors on my mom’s side when I was a young child. I got to experience the weather and beaches that I had only seen in pictures. I got to see the hardship that many Hawaiians live with first hand. The traditions that they keep alive and those they’ve modified. I realized that I didn’t know who I was or what Hawaiianness meant until I learned where I came from. It wasn’t until I could breathe the air and taste the fruits of the land without the aftertaste of import that I understood what my “normal” was. Normal is a lived experience. I am Hawaiian but I am very much more. I feel comfortable on the Continent because I am steeped in this place’s tastes and smells, but Hawaii’s are familiar, too.
When I got back from Hawai’i, my school focuses shifted. I did more research on Hawaiians past and present. I learned about the politics that surround having Native, indigenous blood. And I learned that in many ways, many people would never see me as Hawaiian enough because of my mixed heritage. I belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution and was a Kau Inoa card holder. I am more than a Native Hawaiian. I saw both sides of the problems and solutions, and I decided that my focus would become Hawaiians on the Continent. The Hawaiians that left the islands, who shaped my future, the Hawaiians who are questioned about their “-nesses.” Hawaiian-ness, White-ness, whatever-ness are part of my life experience, too. While we are asked what we are too regularly for the question to not be accusatory, I learned that our experience is enough. Like any lesson about learning who you are and where you’re going, all you have to be is enough of yourself, enough for those who love you, enough to make your ancestors proud. All the different parts of me make one whole, and that whole wants to be the best possible representative of all the different parts. I am proud of my ancestors who sailed across the Atlantic and the Pacific into the great unknown and all I can hope is that I make them proud too.
Resources on being Mixed-Race and “Ness”
Resources on/for Continental Hawaiians
Hawai’i & Race
Dear APALA members,
The 2013 APALA Executive Board election will open on Monday, March 18 at 12am PT. The ballot will be open through Friday, April 12 at 11:59pm PT.
Online voting is open to dues-paying and lifetime APALA members who are members in good standing as of March 1. For your membership to be processed in time, please renew no later than February 22. Please contact APALA membership coordinator Maria Pontillas (email@example.com) if you have any questions about your membership status.
If you have any questions about the election, feel free to contact me or another member of the Nominating Committee.
Sandy Wee, chair
Winners of the 2013 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature, which promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and are awarded based on literary and artistic merit, have been selected by APALA.
The Awards are given in five categories, with Winner and Honor books selected in each category. The winners of the 2013 awards are:
The Picture Book Category:
Winner: “Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth” written by Joan Schoettler and illustrated by Jessica Lanan, published by Shen’s Books.
Honor: “A Path of Stars” written by Anne Sibley O’Brien, published by Charlesbridge.
Children’s Literature Category:
Winner: “Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan” written by Hildi Kang and published by Tanglewood Publishing.
Honor: “The Shark King” written by Kikuo Johnson and published by Toon Books.
The Young Adult Literature Category:
Winner: “Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary” written by Keshni Kashyap and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Honor: “Ichiro” written by Ryan Inzana and published Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The Adult Fiction Category:
Winner: “The Collective” written by Don Lee and published by W. W. Norton & Company.
Honor: “Drifting House” written by Kris Lee and published by Viking Penguin.
The Adult Non-Fiction Category:
Winner: “Third Asiatic Invasion” written by Rick Baldoz and published by New York Univeristy Press.
Honor: “Forbidden Citizens” by Martin Gold and published by the Capitol Net.
Winner and Honor books were chosen from titles published from October 2010 – September 2012. The winners will each receive an award plaque at the APALA Award Ceremony on Sunday, June 30, 2013 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.
For complete press release, see page 11 of ALA Cognotes, January 26, 2013: http://alamw13manual.heiexhibitors.com/sites/all/themes/alamw13manual/resources/ALA_Cognotes_Jan2013_02_Sat.pdf
To read the poem “The Oscars of the Library World (2013)” by Janet Wong in tribute to this year’s award winners: http://www.apalaweb.org/the-oscars-of-the-library-world-2013/