APALA President’s Program 2014: Immigration Reform, Asian Americans and Librarianship

APALA and Eugenia Beh, APALA President 2013-2014, will be hosting the APALA President’s Program on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, N258. 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Asian Americans are the second fastest growing immigrant population in the US, yet little attention has been paid to their role in the debate over immigration reform. This program will focus on the impact of immigration reform to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and how libraries and librarians can help Asian immigrants navigate the immigration system.

Please join us for a stimulating panel discussion, featuring the following presenters:

Image of Evan Louie.Evan Louie is a local Las Vegas, Nevada business owner and one of the original founders of the first Pacific Islander Fraternity, Tau Omega Alpha. He was a spokesperson for the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, advocated the FDA to approve new cancer treatments, and helped create the first NHPI (Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander) disaggregated national demographic report in history. Evan also helped organize local and national groups to support immigration reform for AAPIs (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders). In October 2013, he was appointed by the Nevada state legislative committee to be the Nevada State Commissioner of Minority Affairs. Some of the awards Evan has received include the National Parent of the Year Award, Unsung Hero of Las Vegas Valley from Greenspun Media, Clark County School District and Nevada PTA award, accommodation awards from US Congress and US Senate, and several local community awards.


Image of Jade Alburo.Jade Alburo is the Librarian for Southeast Asian Studies, Pacific Islands Studies, and Religion at the Charles E. Young Research Library at UCLA. She is currently APALA’s Immediate Past President and Co-Chair of its 35th Anniversary & Symposium Steering Committee. Born and raised in the Philippines, Jade immigrated to the US with her family when she was a teenager. She has a BA in English and Religious Studies from UC Berkeley, an MA in Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and an MLS from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to UCLA, she was a Reference Librarian in the Humanities & Social Sciences Division of the Library of Congress and a CIRLA Fellow with the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Her research interests include: Filipino/Filipino-American culture & diaspora, folklore/ethnography, and social media and fandoms.


Image of Loida Garcia-Febo.Loida Garcia-Febo is an international librarian, consultant, author, speaker, researcher and writer of topics such as human rights, advocacy and services to multicultural populations. Loida is President of Information New Wave, an international non-profit seeking to enhance the education of ethnically diverse communities in the USA and in developing countries. She collaborates with worldwide organizations to help diverse populations internationally. Loida also frequently speaks to the media including ABC, CNN, NPR, Univision, Telemundo and New York Times. She has taught in 19 countries in five continents and has spoken at United Nations events and others coordinated by the US Embassies in Spain, Mexico and Tokyo. Loida is a member of the Governing Board of IFLA and the Council of the American Library Association. She was born, raised and educated in Puerto Rico.


Rex Velasquez is from Velasquez Immigration Law Group.


Image of Roberto Delgadillo.Roberto C. Delgadillo is a Humanities, Social Sciences and Government Information Services Librarian at the Peter J. Shields Library at the University of California, Davis. His areas of responsibility include: Literatures in English, Education, Chicana/o Studies, Religious Studies, Disability Studies, and Military Science. Born in Managua, Nicaragua, Roberto’s family moved to the United States in 1975. Roberto has a BA in Modern German and Russian History from UC Santa Cruz, and a MLIS and a PhD in Modern Latin American History, both from UCLA. His research interests include urban folklore, civil military relations and the information-seeking behavior of undergraduate and graduate students. He is a former reference and acquisitions librarian with the Hispanic Services Division of the Inglewood Public Library and former copy cataloger with the Beverly Hills Public Library. Roberto currently serves as a Member-at-Large for ALA Council. Since 2005, Roberto has also served as the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM)’s Rapporteur General (2005-2012), Member-at-Large (2008-2011) and immediate Past President (2013-2014), recently having overseen its annual meeting in Brigham Young University. Roberto is also a 2012 recipient of The Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.


Rozita Lee is from Rozita V. Lee Consulting.


Editing assistance provided by Melissa Cardenas-Dow.


APA Collections: East at Main Street Project

by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow

Some time in mid-April 2014, I had a brief conversation with Donna Graves, Project Co-Director of East at Main Street, a mapping project of the Asian & Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP) and located online in the crowd-sourced, web-based mapping tool, HistoryPin. Please visit East at Main Street and contribute! URL: http://www.historypin.com/project/51-east-at-main-street

Below is an article on our online conversation, edited for clarity and brevity.



Melissa Cardenas-Dow (MICD): Thanks for agreeing to speak with me about APIAHiP and the East at Main Street Mapping Project. First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your role in APIAHiP and the Mapping Project?

Front page of APIAHiP's East at Main Street Mapping Project

Front page of APIAHiP’s East at Main Street Mapping Project

Donna Graves (DG): I am a public historian and community planner based in Northern California. I am the Co-Director of the East at Main Street Mapping Project with Michelle Magalong.APIAHiP is a grassroots organization of people who are committed to preserving historic and cultural places important to diverse APIA communities.

APIAHiP has, to-date, conducted two national forums that have been attended by approximately 300 people. These gatherings have been very inspiring and encouraging, bringing together many different people from a variety of fields and backgrounds, sharing practices and expertise. The third national forum will be held in September 2014 in Washington DC. Even though these forums have been wonderful, we wanted to find a way for people who may not be able to attend them to participate and engage in historic preservation of Asian/Pacific Islander American heritage. The East at Main Street Mapping Project on HistoryPin is one way for us to accomplish this. It’s a newly launched project that allows participants to share photos, text, images, and videos about important places from their personal or institutional collections. We are combining memories captured through digital objects and place-based or location-based gathering.


MICD: So, if I understand you correctly, hypothetically speaking, old photographs of a street corner where my great uncle would gather with his other Asian American peers and transcripts from an interview I conducted with him are welcome?

DG: Yes! We are interested in a broad range of sources, not just known, identified, and designated historic landmarks. We hope to uncover knowledge of life and cultural practices from various perspectives. A parade route, for instance, would be a great cultural practice to record. We accept images, video clips, and text pinned onto the HistoryPin map of the East at Main Street Project. We want to see both more scholarly-based and more community-based information shared on the Project map.


HistoryPins for APIAHiP's East at Main Street Mapping Project

HistoryPins for APIAHiP’s East at Main Street Mapping Project

MICD: What goals or purpose does the East at Main Street Mapping Project hope to achieve?

DG: Broadly speaking, we hope to achieve greater, wider exposure to the APIA communities’ contributions to American history. Just speaking about historic landmarks alone, less than 5% of sites on the National Register are significant to communities of color.

In another sense, East at Main Street Mapping Project is very timely. The National Park Service is currently conducting the first national theme study done about APIA history and historic sites. Their process tends to be more academic and it can be really difficult to ground the scholarship to place and geography. East at Main Street is a promising complement to bridge scholarly and community-based knowledge about APIA heritage.

Michelle and I are on the Advisory Committee for the NPS study. East at Main Street Mapping Project is partially funded by the NPS National Center for Preservation Training and Technology. In this context, we see the purpose of East at Main Street as: 1) aid the NPS theme study; and 2) raise the visibility of APIA historic sites and landmarks, as well as sites significant to community-based and cultural practices.


MICD: Do the submissions go through any kind of review process before it goes up onto the map?

DG: Our emphasis for the East at Main Street Mapping Project is not to come up with a heavily curated collection of information and sites. We are very much interested in enabling community visibility and participation. The first tier of review is done by HistoryPin, after that Michelle and I go through the submissions. We’ve found that East at Main Street is a great way to able to extend the life of the community history work people may have already done. Pinning information on the map allows organizations to find a new audience for projects and scholarship that is being done on this subject, and, we hope, will make East at Main Street Mapping Project a new venue for this type of knowledge-sharing and discussion.



MICD: What message would you give to users and other organizations to communicate the value of East at Main Street Mapping Project?

DG: We are very much interested in raising community participation, so we’ve been conducting workshops on the East Coast and will be scheduling Google Hangout sessions and webinars. The next workshop will be held at the Riverside Municipal Museum in Riverside, Calif. on Saturday, May 31, 2014, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.  Please rsvp, since space is limited.


For more information, please refer to the APIAHiP blog http://apiahipmappingproject.blogspot.com.  More workshops and webinars are being planned and will be posted on the blog as soon as details are ready.

Interested in participating? Please see the Getting Started booklet available at http://blog.historypin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/East-At-Main_Getting-Started-Guide-final.pdf.


Editing assistance provided by Donna Graves and Jeremiah Paschke-Wood.


Tour of the Innovative Zappos headquarters and the Downtown Project hosted by APALA

The 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas is right around the corner, and we hope to see many of you there. Please join us for an APALA fundraising event with a tour of the fabulous Zappos http://www.zapposinsights.com/ corporate headquarters and the community-focused Downtown Project http://downtownproject.com/, both owned by Asian-American leader Tony Hsieh. Your donation supports APALA’s scholarships and awards including the ALA Emerging Leaders Sponsorship and the Sheila Suen Lai Research Grant, plus events like our upcoming 35th Anniversary Celebration in 2015!


We will meet at Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel on Friday, June 27, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. and return at 2:30 p.m​. Transportation will be provided, and we hope you can come and network with other librarians over lunch downtown!


To register, please click on the link below.
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
3555 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Event Fees:

Early Bird Registration for Members (ends June 7, 2014)   $ 25.00
Early Bird Registration for Non-Members (ends June 7, 2014)   $ 30.00
Regular Registration for Members (June 8 – June 25)   $ 30.00
Registration for Non-Members (June 8 – June 25)   $ 35.00
Onsite/Late Registration (after June 25)   $ 40.00

Celebrate the best in Asian/Pacific American literature at the 2014 APALA Literature Awards Banquet

The annual awards program will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday June 28, 2014 at KJ’s Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant in conjunction with the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. Several winning authors have confirmed in attending the banquet.

Cynthia Kadohata. The Thing About Luck. Children’s Literature Winner
Ji-li Jiang. Red Kite, Blue Kite. Picture Book Winner
Marissa Moss. Barbed Wire Baseball, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. Picture Book Honor
Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani. Jet Black and the Ninja Wind. Young Adult Literature
Adult Non-Fiction Winner: Cindy I-Fen Cheng. Citizens of Asian America: Democracy and Race during the Cold War

Following the formal presentation and dinner buffet, authors will be available for book signing.

To register, please click on the link below.

Restaurant information

KJ’s Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant http://www.lasvegas.com/listing/kj-dim-sum–seafood-chinese-

3700 W. Flamingo Rd.
Las Vegas, 89103

Event Fees:

Early Bird Registration for Members (ends June 7, 2014) $ 35.00
Early Bird Registration for Non-Members (ends June 7, 2014) $ 40.00
Regular Registration for Members (June 8 – June 26) $ 40.00
Registration for Non-Members (June 8 – June 26) $ 45.00
Onsite/Late Registration (after June 26) $ 50.00

APA Collections — Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project

by Ann Matsushima Chiu

Densho was first introduced to me while working on the book project “Speaking Out for Personal Justice: Site Summaries of Testimonies and Witnesses Registry from the U.S. Commission of Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Hearings (CWRIC),1981,” published by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. It was my introduction to library and archival work, and subsequent involvement with the preservation of Japanese American historical materials. Densho is a wonderful reference in my current digital archives internship at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland, Ore. It is our hope that you explore this rich digital archive of Japanese American wartime incarceration and history.

APALA would like to thank Geoff Froh and Brian Niiya from Densho for their time and willingness to participate in this interview. The following article presents a version of our interview that has been edited for clarity and brevity. Geoff Froh, Deputy Director for Densho, and Brian Niiiya, Content Director for Densho and Editor of the Densho Encyclopedia, both provided answers to my interview questions.

Ann Matsushima Chiu (AMC): How did Densho as a nonprofit organization come about? Where does Densho’s content come from?

Densho began in 1996 with the idea of interviewing Japanese Americans about their World War II concentration camp experience “to educate, preserve, collaborate and inspire action for equity.” Inspired in part by the Survivors of the Shoah Project, a Steven Spielberg-led endeavor to record the testimony of Holocaust survivors on video, Densho’s founders recognized that with the advent of personal computers, digital video, and the Internet, the collection, preservation, and distribution of high quality video life histories could now be accomplished for a fraction of the cost. Densho decided early on that it would make its materials available without charge for anyone using them for educational purposes and that it would house no physical collection that the digital files offered on its website would be its main “product.” In conducting its interviews, Densho found that many interview subjects also had photographs or documents that added to the stories they told. Densho added digital images of these items to the website, and began to seek out additional similar objects from both individuals and families and from institutions to add to its digital archive. In addition, Densho has a good deal of public domain material from various governmental archives. In recent years, Densho has included to its archive full interviews conducted by makers of documentary films about the wartime incarceration. Densho has also actively sought mutually beneficial collaborations with collecting institutions that allow important material that had been buried in archives to reach much larger audience through Densho’s online archives.

AMC: Amongst the many collections, such as the Visual History Collection, Photo/Document Collection, Oral Histories and Incarceration Camp Facilities, one of the archives that caught our eye was the Camp Newspapers Collection created by Japanese Americans in incarceration camps during World War II. It is interesting to have such rare digital objects of this nature available to the public.Could you share any interesting research that has come about through the availability of Densho’s collections? What are the rules for reuse and publication of digital images on Densho.org?

Densho is well established among scholars of the Japanese American World War II experience, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that most recent scholarship on this general topic has made use of Densho’s resources, including such important recent books as Greg Robinson’s “After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012); Gordon K. Hirabayashi with James A. Hirabayashi and Lane Ryo Hirabayashi’s “A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi v. United States” (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013), Eileen Tamura’s “In Defense of Justice: Joseph Kurihara and the Japanese American Struggle for Equality” (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013), and Ellen Wu’s “The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014). Many graduate theses and students’ assignments make use of Densho resources as well. Densho holds a strong belief that the responsibility of an archival institution begins with preservation; but must extend to the active use of its holdings. Core to Densho’s strategy for encouraging the dissemination of its materials is a simple framework for licensing and reuse. The majority of oral histories conducted by Densho, along with many of the digital photos and objects in its collections are offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This grants the right to freely reuse and remix Densho’s content as long as it is properly cited and for noncommercial purposes (see: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/). For many of the other digital objects in its collections not covered under Creative Commons, Densho has secured the rights to grant license for other educational projects. The most current information about using Densho content and licensing is available at: http://www.densho.org/default.asp?path=/archive/usingcontent.asp and http://ddr.densho.org/using/.

Screenshot of Densho Digital Archive About page.

Densho Digital Archive About page

AMC: What are some unique characteristics of Densho that API information professionals would especially be interested in?

One Densho resource that would be of interest is the Densho Encyclopedia. A free, professionally edited, online encyclopedia that includes contributions from many of the leading scholars of the Japanese American experience, the encyclopedia is aimed at nonspecialists looking for concise information on that experience. Encyclopedia articles include citations and references readers may consult for further information as well as links to selected Densho resources relevant to that topic. The encyclopedia would be useful for information professionals in fielding reference requests, writing or updating finding aids for archival collections, or determining which book or videos on the incarceration experience to purchase, among many other uses.

AMC: Are there any education projects or community collaborations that Densho would highlight in particular? 

Densho’s education efforts in recent years have centered on a program of workshops that trains high school teachers across the country to use Densho’s digital resources to teach not only about the wartime incarceration, but about larger issues of civil liberties in wartime. The most recent project involved 625 teachers from 22 states. Recognizing that even that number of teachers can reach only a fraction of the students in the country, Densho is currently working on an online version of the teacher workshops.

With regards to collaborations, Densho is involved in formal partnerships with several community organizations including the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, the Japanese American National Museum, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i, Oregon Nikkei Endowment, and the Hawai’i Times Photographic Archive Foundation. In each case, Densho is working with the institution to digitize objects in their collections to add to the Densho Digital Repository. Densho collaborates with many other organizations informally.

AMC: What message would you give to librarians/archivists regarding their value to digital collections like Densho? How would Densho like to engage future APA information professionals?

Densho would like to continue to build partnerships with institutions that collect materials about the Japanese American World War II experience and is interested in hearing from information professionals who manage these collections, whether about possible collaboration or about the common issues we face. In an era when so many turn to the Internet for research, Densho is committed to building the best online resource in our topic area, and we’d like to be as inclusive and open as we can.


For more information on “Speaking Out for Personal Justice: Site Summaries of Testimonies and Witnesses Registry from the U.S. Commission of Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Hearings (CWRIC),1981,” visit http://www.speakingoutforpersonaljustice.com.


Editorial assistance provided by Jeremiah Paschke-Wood.

« Older Entries Next Entries »