Continuing the tradition of sending Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) members to the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC), the APALA Scholarships and Awards Committee is excited to announce that Eric Leong, Sarah Park, Laksamee Putnam, and Rebecca Martin are the recipients of the 2012 APALA JCLC Award. This award will help them attend JCLC in Kansas City, Missouri in September 19-23.

Eric Leong is the Information Literacy Librarian at Wartburg College. Eric joined the Vogel Library faculty in October 2010. Before starting at Wartburg College, he was the technical services librarian and liaison librarian to the Professional Studies and Behavioral Sciences divisions at Chaminade University of Honolulu. His additional library experience includes reference and special collections work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hamilton Library, reference services at the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center, and technical services work at the University of Oklahoma’s Bizzell Memorial Library. His current research interests include government information policy, library services to unique communities, and library outreach.

Sarah Park is an Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She teaches courses in library materials for children and young adults, youth services, storytelling, social justice, and introduction to library and information science. Her research interests include representations of the Korean Diaspora in children’s literature, children’s librarianship, transracial adoption, social justice, and Korean diasporic history. Her book, Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors through Reading (co-edited with Dr. Jamie Naidoo), will be published in September 2012 by ALA Editions.

Laksamee Putnam completed her MLIS in 2010 from the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign. She currently works at Towson University, Albert S. Cook Library in the Research & Instruction department. Her primary liaison role is to the Fisher College of Science & Mathematics. Her research focus is on use of emerging technologies and social media to increase science education on all levels, to the public, between scientists and beyond. She was a 2008 recipient of the Spectrum Scholarship and part of the 2010 cohort for the Association of Research Libraries Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce. You can view her online profile here:

Rebecca Martin recently completed her MLIS with a focus on Digital Librarianship at Rutgers University. She currently splits her time between working in the access services department at the Boston University Pappas Law Library, volunteering as the library coordinator for the Yvonne Pappenheim Library on Anti-Racism at Community Change, Inc., and organizing with the Boston collective of Radical Reference. Prior to undertaking her MLIS, Rebecca worked in communications and community organizing with stints at organizations including Amnesty International USA, Boston Mobilization and ACCION International. Her interests lay at the intersection of libraries, race, racism and diversity and social aspects of communication technologies. Currently, through her work at Community Change, Inc., she is researching racism and its manifestations on the Internet. With her colleagues in the Boston Radical Reference Collective, Rebecca is planning a forum on critical practice and activism in librarianship.

In 2006, with the ALA Office of Diversity and the National Library of Medicine, APALA selected the following members to send to the very first Joint Conference of Librarians of Color: Michelle Baildon, Suhasini L. Kumar, Florante Peter Ibanez, Laura Park, and Rukshana Singh.

APALA provides a forum for discussing problems of APA librarians and for the exchange of ideas between APA librarians and other librarians, supports and encourages library services to APA communities, recruits and mentors APA librarians in the library/information science professions, seeks funding for scholarships in library/information science master’s programs, and provides a vehicle enabling APA librarians to cooperate with other associations and organizations with similar or allied interests. To become an APALA member, visit our website

The selection committee includes Shalini Channapatna, Tassanee Chitcharoen, Valeria E. Molteni, Jina Park, Safi Safiullah , Gayatri Singh, and Michelle Wu.

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