Member Highlights Showcase — Miriam Tuliao

Miriam Tuliao is currently the Assistant Director of Selection at BookOps, the shared technical services organization for The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library.  She received her Master’s in Library Science degree from Pratt Institute.

Miriam joined APALA in 2010 and is a member of the Publications/Newsletter and Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature committees.

Of her cultural heritage and background, she writes:

I am Filipino. I was born in the United States and lived in Manila for eight years as a child.

When asked about the satisfaction she derives from her professional position as a librarian, Miriam said she is invested in her work and in honoring mentors who help others in their library careers.

I am privileged to currently work on a team that helps develop collections for 150 neighborhood libraries across the four boroughs of New York City: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. The group is deeply committed to supporting the mission and enjoys the daily challenge of meeting library users’ diverse needs.

I’ve been fortunate to have several mentors throughout my library career. A few years back, I set a personal goal of honoring and publicly thanking at least one mentor every year through a fundraiser swim for ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship. Training for the annual swim is both my “utang ng loob” and raison d’être.

Thank you for all you do for APALA, Miriam!


Article written by Jaena Rae Cabrera, with editing assistance by Jeremiah Paschke-Wood.

Member Highlights Showcase — Annie Pho

Annie Pho is currently the Resident Librarian in the Research Services and Resources department at University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Master’s in Library Science at Indiana University’s School of Library and Information Science at the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis, IN.

Annie recently joined APALA a few months ago!

I joined because I was inspired by the tight-knit community that APALA seems to have. I was the only Asian American student in my library school program, and I wish I had joined APALA when I was still in school. I also attended JCLC (Joint Conference of Librarians of Color) and got to meet so many APALA members there. I just joined the Web Committee and look forward to working with them in the upcoming year.

When we asked about her about her cultural heritage and background, she shared a lesson she’s learned from living around the country:

I’m a first generation Vietnamese-American. My family moved around a bit when I was growing up, which gave me this sense of always trying to live in new places. I spent most of my childhood in Orlando, FL, which was a pretty diverse place. Then we moved to the Bay Area in CA where I have lived most of my life, although now I live in Chicago. All this moving taught me to be open to new experiences and to give everything a chance. I would say that having this approach to life has helped me get to where I am in my career.

Annie and librarianship seem to be a perfect fit:

The fundamental aspect of librarianship that satisfies me is the ability to help people. Ultimately, this is all I ever wanted out of a career. I just wanted to do something with my life that would have a positive impact on society, and I think helping people connect to information is very important. Some of my professional interests lie in library instruction and technology. I’m interested to see how technology can help students develop research skills, especially in this increasingly digital age. I’m also interested in learning more about critical pedagogy and want to try to incorporate that into my own library instruction sessions. Overall, I’m a really curious person, and I love learning new things– which is why I love being a librarian.

Annie stays active on her bike and in social media and  is a self-professed cat lady. She says:

In my spare time I like hanging out with my two kitties and riding my bike. After participating in Cycling For Libraries in 2013, I have become more interested in international librarianship. Find me on Twitter as @catladylib or on my blog (

Welcome to the APALA community, Annie!


Article written by Alyssa Jocson, with editing assistance by Jeremiah Paschke-Wood.

Member Highlights Showcase — Frans Albarillo

Frans Albarillo joined APALA in 2008 and currently serves as a member of the Finance and Fundraising Committee. He was recently recognized by ACRL as their Member of the Week for April 1, 2013. Frans earned his MLIS from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2009, where he enjoyed working with supportive faculty and students from various parts of Asia and Oceania. He currently works as the Reference Librarian for Business and Sociology at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Frans identifies himself as an immigrant Filipino and describes his background:

I became a naturalized citizen in my 20s. My parents are professors, so I grew up moving around every four years until they received tenure in Illinois. Hawai’i was the longest place I’ve ever lived (six years) besides the Philippines (twelve years). For my undergraduate and first M.A. I studied linguistics and French. I am also a heritage speaker of Tagalog and eventually studied it formally at UH Manoa. I’ve also traveled, lived, and worked for several years in Europe, mostly in France, Morocco, and the French West Indies. French and Francophone culture plays a deep influence in my life since I’ve spent almost four years studying, working, and traveling in these areas.

After moving from Hawai’i to Flatbush, Brooklyn, which is a Caribbean neighborhood with Dominicans, Trinidadians, Jamaicans, and Haitians, I feel like I’ve come full circle, back to the smells, tastes, and sounds of the Caribbean. I like it here very much. I self-identify in Brooklyn as coming from Hawai’i because the island identity seems the most salient in my neighborhood. When I meet local Hawaiians from Hawai’i (one of our librarians is from Maui) she tends to think of me as local Hawaii-Filipino. To most Asians I am a Filipino-American or Pinoy, and most Filipinos call me Francis, not Frans. There’s also a definite island vibe in Flatbush: street merchants selling all sorts of wares and food on the sidewalk, jerk chicken barbecue places, Rastafarian vegetarian restaurants, West Indian roti shops, Haitian jazz restaurants, informal van services (Dollar Vans) that are quite popular in the Caribbean, and drum circles in the park. It’s a great place to live if you enjoy Caribbean culture.

His personal background lends to his work with immigrant students.

I really value working with immigrant students and immigrant experiences. That’s why I love working in New York City. My university serves many foreign-born and first-generation college students. I also enjoy the diversity that the city offers, not to mention the diversity of food choices!

Frans recently participated in ALA’s Emerging Leaders program in the 2012-2013 year. Of his ALA-EL experience, he writes:

I really enjoyed Kathryn Deiss’s Emerging Leader workshop at ALA this year, and I thought it was immensely useful to hear from the other Emerging Leaders about their projects, experiences, and outcomes. It was great to be able to have these conversations about the association, and I am excited to continue the discussion with the Emerging Leaders Interest Group, chaired by Angelica G. Fortin. I’d like to thank APALA for sponsoring my application to the program, and my teammates, Susie Judd and Susan Hoang, for being such great collaborators.

We are very happy to get to know you better, Frans!

Member Highlights Showcase — Charlotte Roh

My name is Charlotte Roh and I matriculate from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign in July 2013.

I am currently an Association of Research Libraries Career Enhancement Program (ARL CEP) Fellow at the University of Arizona, Tucson. I am investigating collaborative opportunities for the University of Arizona Press and Library. It is similar to the work I did last semester with Illinois Business Consulting, and I really enjoy it because I get to put my academic publishing experience with Taylor & Francis and Oxford University Press to work in a library setting. I am currently interviewing leaders in scholarly communications and library publishing, which is just amazing.

I joined APALA in January 2012, right when I first started library school, on the advice of Jina Park (also an APALA member and scholarship recipient). I am so glad that I did, because it was through fellow members such as Charlene Hsu Gross and Michelle Baildon that I learned about opportunities like the Spectrum Scholar Program and the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC). I was also a little isolated in the Midwest, so I really enjoyed all the listserv emails from members around the country. It made me feel so connected and encouraged! I haven’t been a member that long, but APALA has already been a community for me and made an impact on my library career. I am glad to give back as the layout editor for the APALA newsletter.

I am Korean American, and was born and raised in Southern California, in an area that has a dense population of Korean Americans. So I grew up very privileged in terms of identity, very sheltered. Moving to New York in my 20s and then Illinois for library school were both difficult transitions for me. Half of New York is from somewhere else, so there is a constant clash of cultures. However, in Illinois that clash is more subtle. For example, the University of Illinois has an undergraduate population that is 19% Asian American, but there were only two Asian Americans in my cohort at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS). Fortunately I arrived at a time when the program was actively pursuing inclusion, so I was able to participate in founding the GSLIS Students of Color student group and co-chair the Inclusions and Exclusions Reading Group.

My three career priorities are education, research, and making a holistic impact on a community. Ideally these priorities are interrelated and can really happen in any kind of librarianship, which is something I love about the profession. In my library work, I have found real satisfaction building relationships in the course of solving a research problem or participating in a teaching/learning moment. I want to continue to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and hope to make a positive impact in librarianship as a field.

I am so grateful for the APALA community. You have really made a difference in my life, thank you!

Charlotte’s photo credit goes to Molly Magee.

Member Highlights Showcase — Heawon Paik

Heawon Paick is a lifetime member of APALA. Those of us who are recent members would benefit greatly from getting to know such a distinguished member of our association.

Heawon has been an APALA member since 1998 (or 1999). She served as APALA president in 2004-2005. Since then, she has been part of APALA’s Scholarship Awards Committee, as both member and chair, and the Mentoring Committee as a mentor. Heawon currently serves as the chair of the APALA Publicity Committee.

Since 2004, Heawon has been the branch manager of John Muir Branch, then of Junipero Serra Branch Library of the Los Angeles Public Library, a public library system in Southern California that is 72-branches large. Heawon’s branch, Junipero Serra, is in South Central Los Angeles, which is only a short distance south of downtown Los Angeles.

Of her MLIS education, Heawon writes:

I studied at Maryville College for one and a half years then was going to go back to Korea, but decided against it.  Then I went to University of Tennessee, Knoxville for my MLIS degree.

When asked about the satisfaction she derives from her professional position as a librarian, Heawon asserts getting great satisfaction in guiding and supporting her professional and paraprofessional staff to excellence. It is little wonder that Heawon states mentoring as among her greatest professional interests.

I want to see future potential leaders succeed in their career path… push them and guide them into that direction.

Someday, Heawon would like to work as the director of a library system, in which she can make a greater difference in the lives of library patrons and staff members.

Heawon is an avid reader and movie viewer, especially of British mysteries. She has an extensive personal collection of novels and DVDs. Though Heawon enjoys company over a nice meal or afternoon tea, she admits to also enjoying quiet time at home. Driving long distances is one of the things she avoids when she can. However, the prospect of being with valued friends and colleagues makes such effort worthwhile to her.

Heawon is definitely among the most approachable, interesting and engaging members of APALA. Be sure to say hello when you see her in library conferences, meetings, and social gatherings.

Member Highlights Showcase — Alyssa Jocson

Name: Alyssa Mendoza Jocson

Hometown: Fremont, CA–but I currently call Seattle my home!

Education: I am a full-time MLIS student at University of Washington’s iSchool where I am focusing on reference services and community programs. Before coming to the UW, I graduated from Seattle University with a BA in English/Creative Writing (with a second major in Spanish) and spent two years as a Literacy*AmeriCorps member teaching ESL and GED students at Seattle Central Community College (SCCC).

Current job: My time as a Literacy*AmeriCorps member at SCCC has led me to two part-time positions in other departments. First, I became a Fiscal Assistant for Workforce, which has given me valuable skills in budget management. And second, I was hired as a Reference Assistant at the SCCC Library, where I get to spend whole shifts at the reference desk helping students with their research assignments and computer skills.

Ideal job: I graduate in June! As I start my job search, I’m looking for a librarian position in a community college or public library where I can serve diverse populations.

APALA: I’ve been an APALA member since spring 2012 and soon volunteered to be on the Newsletter Committee and its Web Content Sub-Committee. When I first started my MLIS program in which I’m one of the only Asian Americans, I struggled with finding a sense of belonging within my future profession as a librarian–joining APALA helped me find community and grow professionally. I appreciate this group of people so much!

Other extracurriculars: To supplement my MLIS curriculum, I joined and became a core organizer of iEracism, a student group designed as a safe space to discuss issues of race/ethnicity and social justice. It is also important to me to to make time to volunteer. I’m currently volunteering at the Wing Luke Museum’s Gov. Gary Locke Library; I completed a guide for Asian/Pacific American genealogy resources and have started working on a “wish list” for the library’s collection. Also, this quarter I have a Directed Fieldwork at Seattle Public Library’s Ballard branch. My learning objectives include reference services, collection development, and one-on-one technology instruction. Ballard is one of the system’s busiest branches, and I am learning a lot!

Currently reading: America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration by Meg Keene.

Twitter: @itsuhLEEsuh

Professional Portfolio:

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