by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow
Jeremiah Paschke-Wood joined APALA in 2013 and is currently the Head of Instruction at the Edith Garland Dupré Library at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He attended library school at University of Arizona’s School of Information Resources and Library Science.
Asked about his reasons for joining APALA, Jeremiah writes:
I thought APALA presented a nice opportunity to do what I could to advocate for librarians of Asian American heritage (as well as other less-represented backgrounds) as well as interact/network with and get to know some other cool librarians that could appreciate good home-cooked Filipino and Chinese food.
Jeremiah is of mixed heritage. Regarding his ethnic background, he states:
So, contrary to how it probably appears via my picture (or name), I’m ¼ Filipino on my mother’s side. She was born in Hawaii to a Filipino mother and a very-white service member father. My dad’s side is very Scandinavian as well. So the end result is a 6-foot-tall, red-bearded white guy with a lot of extended family with names like Corazon and Bonifacio who only looks Filipino when he shaves everything but the moustache off. Best of both worlds, I guess, right? My wife and I also shared names when we got married, taking my family name even further away from the Asian side of the family. I’ve always been very proud to grow up in a very diverse and inclusive family and culture, and I can honestly say that I feel as in touch with the “minority” side of my upbringing as the white one.
Jeremiah’s professional role as an instruction librarian has required him to invest time and effort on the ACRL standards and teaching methods. We asked him about his current professional outlook, goals and interests:
I think one thing that we have to do as librarians moving forward, particularly with issues with funding and technological changes, is find ways to be more proactive in both dealing with students and faculty. I’ve tried to be more involved with outreach and “hitting the streets” to create those relationships with the university community that might not have existed before. I think it’s also important, particularly with demand for library instruction increasing, to find new ways to provide library instruction that is actually relevant and useful for students–and doesn’t take 40 hours a week to do so. In terms of other professional goals and interests, I’d like to continue to meet and work with lots of librarians from different backgrounds and upbringings–particularly since so many of the students we work with are from different communities and cultures.
Jeremiah is an eloquent writer and blogger. He had worked with APALA’s Newsletter & Publications Committee and the Web Content Subcommittee on many tasks and authored a number of articles.
Interview conducted by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow. Editing and writing support provided by Alyssa Jocson Porter.
by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow
While Roberto C. Delgadillo has only been a member of APALA since December 2012, he has been a significant friend to many APALA members and a stalwart ally of our organization, before and since this time. Roberto joined APALA after the 2nd Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC), held in Kansas City, Missouri in September 2012. He was inspired to join our ranks because
I came away very impressed at the work of a number of high energy, committed and solid APALA members that really walked the line and addressed issues faced by all POC in the library profession.
Roberto says that he has yet to become more involved in APALA’s work, but he has already made some astounding contributions to the librarian profession and ALA. The latest was his participation as a panelist for the 2014 APALA President’s program “Immigration Reform, Asian Americans, and Librarianship” during ALA Annual in Las Vegas, NV.
Roberto shares his cultural heritage and background:
I am Nicaraguan by birth and traveled with my family to the United States in the spring of 1975. We came to Los Angeles to take advantage of an offer by Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children to have corrective surgical operations performed on my left leg and right knee as a result of a bout of childhood polio. That disease and a number of others broke out following the earthquake that occurred at 12:29 a.m. on Saturday, December 23, 1972 near Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. Needless to say, it was not the Christmas many Nicas expected!
By the time the aforementioned operations were completed in 1978, my family knew we would not return and so remained undocumented for a decade until our citizenship status could be resolved. Unlike many Nicaraguans at that time, we were raised as Baptists and not Catholic. I mention this because I recall many instances where others assumed otherwise or, because of the variety of Spanish I was raised with, thought we were of Mexican origin. More than once I had to remind to some, jokingly, that Nicas do not celebrate Cinco de Mayo and had we been there more than likely fought alongside the French during the Battle of Puebla.
As a Research Support Services Librarian at University of California, Davis, Roberto is the subject liaison to many disciplines and research areas: Chicana/o Studies, Disability Studies, Latin American Studies, Literatures in English, Military Science, Physical Education, Religious Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures.
Roberto mentions that one of his main goals in his professional work is outreach so that students, especially those from historically underrepresented backgrounds, understand the role of the library in their research and education. He actively tries to remind these students that “they have services they pay for all too often go unused or that others before them paid for in unmeasurable and unacknowledged ways.”
In addition to his commitment to outreach to students, Roberto also finds enjoyment and fulfillment in being a mentor to other librarians, saying,
My mentorship activities attune me to the ever changing landscape of librarianship and the need to serve and be there for others when they leave the confines of the university or consider career choices. I’ve been fortunate in my career to have had a number of mentors that freely gave me their patient counsel, support and kindness in the choices I’ve made. In turn, I feel the need to share and or empathize with others what I have learned not only as a librarian, but as an immigrant to this country, as a disabled person, and finally as the first in my family to earn a Master’s and subsequently a doctorate degree. I feel energized whenever I find someone willing to listen to what I have to say or, conversely, when they seek me out! I don’t want, in my career, to be known as what I refer to as a “Lord Poopington”: one who never goes beyond the library desk or is willing to share what life lessons informed them.
Perhaps Roberto’s proactive attitude is led by his desire to live by the last stanzas of Mary Oliver’s poem “When Death Comes”:
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Interview conducted by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow. Editing and writing support provided by Alyssa Jocson Porter.
Tricia Sung is a new APALA member and has only been part of our association for about a year. She currently works as a research analyst at the office of institutional research in the state of Georgia. She has done considerable work in civil rights, voting rights, immigrant rights, and civic engagement and advocacy in the Deep South with the OCA-Georgia (Organization of Chinese Americans-Georgia Chapter), League of Women Voters of Georgia, and the Asian American Peace Officers of Georgia (AAPOG), organizations in which she has held (or continues to hold) upper administrative and leadership positions.
Tricia’s background is in psychology and oral history research. In addition to her institutional research duties, she works as the executive director of the Asian Pacific American Historical Society (APAHS). Of APAHS, Tricia writes:
[APAHS was] founded in 2010 with the mission of documenting, preserving and educating the public about Asian Pacific American history and heritage in the U.S. South. Since 2010, we have been holding an annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Symposium at the National Archives in Atlanta and working with StoryCorps to document over 100 diverse APA life experiences which are archived at the U.S. Library of Congress. This past year, we began working with APALA on heritage programs with an APALA member chairing a session on APA LGBTQ stories at the 2014 May APA Heritage Month Symposium. APAHS is also very pleased to be a recipient of the APALA Talk Story Grant that will allow us to present an Autumn Moon Festival celebration in partnership with the Chamblee Library, part of the Dekalb County Public Library system. APAHS has worked in partnership with local, state, and federal agencies to celebrate APA heritage in the South.
At the time of this writing, Tricia does not work as a librarian nor has a degree in librarianship. However, she wants to support our efforts, the continuing outreach to increase APA representation in the library and information professions, and the advocacy and educational work we do through ALA and APALA. Of becoming a librarian, she states:
This year, I attended an ALA Knowledge Alliance program in Atlanta (http://knowledgealliance.org), an initiative to diversify the library profession. After learning at the ALA Knowledge Alliance workshop about the broad range of careers in libraries, research and knowledge management, and meeting so many supportive professionals, I’ve decided to pursue my lifelong dream of working in the library profession and will be applying for programs specializing in digital archives & media and the Asian Pacific American experience. Suggestions for programs are welcomed & appreciated! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
As we do of all of our MHS participants, we asked Tricia about her own ethnic and racial background. She told us her immigrant journey story that is both intensely familiar and personal:
I am Taiwanese American and my family lived in South America before coming to the U.S., so I like to embrace my Latina roots as well. I grew up, like many other kids, going to the public library after school to do homework and have a safe place to be while my parents were working. I remember reading so many books, and being so thankful for the opportunity to be transported to different lands and experiences through the books I was able to read. And since it was New York, they had so many books in Chinese, so that I borrowed a whole bunch for my grandmother. As a youngster, I promised myself that if I ever made a million dollars, that I would donate it to the public library in appreciation for the love of reading they instilled in me. Being a parent myself now, I am always looking for library materials that reflect the multicultural realities of children today and work through the Asian Pacific American Historical Society in partnership with local public libraries and APA cultural organizations to hold programs which highlight APA heritage and culture.
Tricia dreams of one day establishing a museum in Atlanta, Ga., one dedicated to the diversity of APA lived experiences in the U.S. South.
Please give Tricia a warm welcome to the APALA fold. Tricia, we are very fortunate to have you as a fellow APALA member, ally, and colleague.
Article written by Melissa Cardenas-Dow, with editing assistance by Raymond Wang.
Katie Seitz is a new APALA member. She is currently getting her MSLS at Simmons College GSLIS with a concentration in archives and expects to graduate in August 2015. Through the Simmons chapter of the Progressive Librarian Guild, Katie curates a lecture series for the Simmons Anti-Racism Working Group. This project features various LIS professionals invited to Simmons College to speak about race and racism in the field. Additionally, she is an intern at the Massachusetts State House Special Collections department, Roxbury Community College Archives and has an upcoming archives assistantship with Tufts University’s Digital Collections and Archives.
Katie is working hard towards her goal of being a public librarian and archivist:
I enjoy the service and community aspects of library work and the chance to publicize history that comes with archives work. I have welcomed the opportunity to grow in different ways at my various internships, whether that’s learning how to put together a MARC record or writing a blog post about a Civil War-era collection of papers. Some days I still can’t believe that I will soon get to do this work professionally.
She identifies as a multiracial Korean American. She writes,
My mother is Korean and my father is white of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. Though I was raised in a predominantly white town, my mother sent me and my sister to Korean school every Saturday and we got to spend time with Korean American family and friends. I am so grateful for her hard work in helping us maintain a connection to Korean language and culture.
Having joined APALA just a few months ago, Katie looks forward to becoming more active with APALA in the future:
I was so glad to connect with other A/PI people in the LIS world. This profession is not diverse, and we must advocate for our own concerns because no one else is going to do it for us…. I have only been a member for a few months, but I have been so impressed already by the way that APALA works to promote A/PI visibility, supports and celebrates its members, and is responsive to member voices. I have a deep commitment to promoting social justice and I am excited to be part of a group that has an active, conscious membership and engagement with social issues. Of course, I’m also looking forward to meeting people at conferences and in the Boston area!
Welcome to APALA, Katie!
Edited by Alyssa Jocson and Raymond Wang
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.
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 (http://catladylibrarian.wordpress.com/).
Welcome to the APALA community, Annie!
Article written by Alyssa Jocson, with editing assistance by Jeremiah Paschke-Wood.