In late March 2014, APALA Web Content Sub-committee members Melissa Cardenas-Dow and Alyssa Jocson conducted a long-distance, asynchronous e-mail-based discussion with Gary Colmenar, prominent APALA member, current ALA Council candidate, and SRRT Action Council member (Social Responsibilities Round Table). We focused on APALA’s upcoming 35th Anniversary Conference, of which Gary is one of the three program chairs. The APALA 35th Anniversary Conference will be a conglomeration of events intended to showcase the bridge that is the past, present, and future of APALA, both as an organizational entity and as a social group of diverse librarians intent on supporting each other and the Asian/Pacific Islander (API) communities in North America. The following article is the first of a three-part mini-series marking APALA’s 35th Anniversary. It also offers an edited version of our conversation.
Melissa Cardenas-Dow (MICD): Thanks, Gary, for agreeing to do this interview with us. Please briefly tell us about yourself and your position(s) in APALA, especially your role in planning APALA’s 35th Anniversary celebration.
Gary Colmenar (GC): Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about APALA’s 35th Anniversary. The Anniversary Steering Committee has met several times now, since the call for volunteers was sent last fall. We received a high number of responses from the initial call. Since then, we have met via phone conferences and collaborated over email and the APALA wiki. We also had a meeting at Midwinter in Philadelphia [ALA Midwinter 2014]. Currently, the committees are engaged in the initial stages of planning.
I am one of the co-chairs for the APALA 35th Anniversary Steering Committee. The other co-chairs are Jade Alburo and Florante Peter Ibañez. I am also involved in the Program Planning Sub-committee. I was APALA President in 2002-2003 and Executive Director from 2006-2012. Currently, I am the Editor of the APALA Newsletter. I am a Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
MICD: What do you think is the most important function(s) of APALA?
GC: I’d like to answer this question by going back to the history of APALA and looking at the original goals set by the founders. This history is well-chronicled by Ken Yamashita in his article entitled, “Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association: A History of APALA and Its Founders.” Ken mentioned several critical issues affecting librarians of Asian Pacific American heritage, which the founders wanted to address through a formal body. They wanted to address the lack of visibility and recognition of librarians of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) descent in ALA, to provide a forum through which API librarians could voice and share their successes and concerns related to their work and profession. The founders wanted to establish an organization that will open lines of communication with ALA, its units, and the public in general. Furthermore, they wanted to create an organization that welcomed all Asian ethnicities, a place to discuss issues shared by Asian Pacific Americans. In 1975, the Asian American Librarians Caucus (AALC) was formed. Five years later, APALA was created.
MICD: How do you think these goals and functions evolved over the years? Do you think they did (or didn’t) change?
GC: Yes, I most definitely think these have changed! It seems that evolution or change is a natural trait of a dynamic and working organization. The functions have evolved also with increase in membership, changes in the composition of the Executive Board, and with more resources. As a result, the organization has expanded in what it does. For example, APALA has been engaged in giving scholarships and other types of awards. APALA has become more involved in philanthropic work, making donations to API organizations, communities and libraries. APALA has made donations to the Asian American Federation WTC in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. APALA has made donations to groups in other countries. APALA also has made great strides in developing professional relationships with other library organizations, especially the various ethnic library affiliates and ALA units. Most recently, the Executive Board, with input from membership, voted to endorse the joint statement of ALA and BCALA regarding Florida as the site of the 2016 ALA Annual Conference.
I would also emphasize that while the functions have expanded and changed, the original principles established by APALA’s founders still remain at the core of APALA’s activities. This is evinced from the activities and initiatives APALA officers have engaged in over the years, such as the creation of an Executive Director position to improve workflow within the Board, the development of a strategic plan to capture APALA’s vision, mission and goals. These changes allow APALA’s Executive Board and committees to continue to grow and develop the organization, to focus on achieving our original goals through programs and new projects.
MICD: What role(s) has APALA played within the larger organization of ALA during its 35 years of existence? How has this changed over the years?
GC: As an ALA member for over a decade, I have seen the number of APALA members elected or appointed in various ALA units and committees increase during the last ten years. Our members have been elected to the ALA Executive Committee, ALA Council, ALA Divisions, Round Tables, and Task Forces. These are important committees where policies, programs, and standards of practices related to library services, information access, and many other issues important to the library profession are discussed, developed, and decided. Moreover, APALA members on these committees engage with members from other ethnic affiliates and Round Tables to address common concerns.
As an ALA affiliate, APALA has received tremendous assistance from the ALA Office for Diversity (ALA OFD) and the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (ALA OLOS).
“History is not the past. It is the stories we tell about the past. How we tell these stories–triumphantly or self-critically, metaphysically or dialectally–has a lot to do with whether we cut short or advance our evolution as human beings.” — Grace Lee Boggs, “The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism For the Twenty-First Century,” 2011, p. 79.
MICD: In considering the past 35 years of APALA’s work, what would you consider its highlights?
GC: Since I joined APALA in 1998, a lot of memorable and important events have happened. The first National Conference on Asian Pacific American Librarians in 2001 was a major event for both APALA and CALA. Ken Yamashita from APALA and Ling Hwey Jeng from CALA were conference co-chairs. With their leadership and hard work, the conference was a major success. Literary awards were presented at the conference, which APALA now presents each year. The APALA 30th Anniversary celebration held in Washington, D.C. was a memorable event, which included tours of the White House and Library of Congress.
MICD: What about in terms of specifically promoting and advocating for API information professionals and patrons?
GC: I think many of APALA’s activities promote and advocate for our colleagues. The APALA scholarship and travel awards first come to mind. We have supported the ALA Emerging Leaders program since its inception. The mentoring program provides a formal structure that connects new librarians with more seasoned members. Outside of the formal structure, I would like to think that mentoring happens everyday in APALA, within committees and in the Executive Board. It happens informally and serendipitously at social gatherings. APALA has sponsored several programs on leadership and management.
But, I also think that we could do more, especially in the area of advocacy for colleagues related to finding employment and other work-related issues. We also need to be vigilant and conscious regarding representations of API people in literature and advocate against stereotypes. The presentations from our guest speakers at the APALA social dinner in Philadelphia addressed this issue very well.
MICD: With regards to building bridges with other ALA groups, especially those that focus on cultural and ethnic diversity, could you describe for us the collaborative projects APALA has engaged with?
GC: There are many.
Our organization has also been successful in collaborating with Asian Pacific American organizations, cultural institutions and communities through the tours we hold at ALA Conferences. The tours of the Newberry Library (Chicago), Versailles Vietnamese community (New Orleans), Chinatowns (Boston Chicago, and Philadelphia), Tri-state Denver Buddhist, Little Saigon (Orange County, CA), South Asian American Digital Archives and Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia), and the International District and Wing Luke Museum (Seattle) were all successful events.
MICD: What do you think were the biggest challenges APALA tackled during its 35 years of existence?
GC: In my opinion, some of the biggest challenges APALA has tackled since its establishment were related to membership participation, financial stability, and leadership transitions. Given the smaller size of APALA’s membership, calling on volunteers for elected positions and committee work was especially difficult. I am pleasantly amazed that APALA has accomplished a lot with few resources every year. This demonstrates the quality and dedication of APALA’s membership, which I hope will continue into the future.
Losing the historical memory of our organization is another major challenge for us as an organization. This is an important source of the organization’s collective identity and inspiration.
One of APALA’s unique traits, and its strength, as many have already pointed out, is the diversity of its members. This engenders a climate, a sensibility and an awareness of differences in people’s perspectives and experiences. At the same time, these differences–in race and ethnicity (I include mixed races here), gender and class, just to name the most visible forms of differences–that APALA members embody presents a significant challenge for the organization.
MICD: How will the APALA 35th Anniversary Conference highlight APALA’s history to new members and non-members?
GC: The Steering Committee and the Sub-committees have been brainstorming ideas for a while now. Here are a few that I can mention at this time:
The Steering Committee will consider other ideas as we plan for this event scheduled in June 2015. More importantly, we will seek participation from APALA members as we plan for the symposium.
I greatly appreciate the fantastic work of the members of the Web Content Sub-committee [a sub-committee of the APALA Newsletter & Publications Committee], who have been engaged in conducting interviews with and doing historical research on the founders and original members of APALA. These articles will be posted on the APALA website.
MICD: Thanks, Gary, for the shout-out! What message do you hope attendees will get out of the APALA 35th Anniversary Conference?
GC: The overarching theme of the symposium/anniversary is building bridges and making connections. We intend to capture the spirit of this theme through programs and workshops that identify the connections between librarianship and community, as well as the links between APALA’s past, present, and future. I hope that the symposium would provide a space for attendees to articulate and develop these linkages in as broad a manner that will be useful to them.
MICD: Any last words for our readers? What message would you like to leave them with, regarding APALA’s past and history?
GC: I hope to have shared some of APALA’s rich past related to service, advocacy, and support for API librarians, API communities and the library profession, beginning with the initial intentions of its founders. But, like any organization, APALA has encountered its shares of struggles and internal strife as well. All these combined throw into sharp relief the commitment and passion of its members, especially its officers and committee members who volunteer their time and effort in the service of APALA’s mission and goals.
I have shared with the readers my perspective and thoughts on APALA. I am certain that each member has a story to share and all of these individual stories, good and bad, combine to present a more-complete version of APALA. I am also hopeful that more stories will be told because APALA has a mission to uphold.
I end by sharing a quote from a lifelong activist, scholar, and Asian American feminist Grace Lee Boggs. She is the subject of a film documentary entitled, “American Revolutionary: the Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs”:
“History is not the past. It is the stories we tell about the past. How we tell these stories–triumphantly or self-critically, metaphysically or dialectally–has a lot to do with whether we cut short or advance our evolution as human beings.”
Questions created and interview conducted by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow. Editing and writing support provided by Alyssa Jocson.
Are you planning to go to ALA 2014? The APALA Travel Award will provide $500.00 to support attendance at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference. The Travel Award will fund one APALA member to attend the conference and will be used to help cover registration and travel expenses.
Applicant must be a current APALA member in good standing by application deadline.
Applicant must be either a student who is enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program in library and/or information science at a school accredited by ALA, or a professional possessing a master’s degree or doctoral degree in library and/or information science.
Applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada.
How to Apply
Complete the APALA Travel Grant online application by April 14, 2014: http://www.apalaweb.org/awards/travel-grant/apala-travel-award-submission-form/
Selection Procedures and Timeline
The APALA Scholarship & Awards Committee will select and notify the recipient by April 28. The winner will be announced by May 5.
The Travel Award check will be distributed at the ALA Annual Conference.
The recipient will submit a report to the APALA Scholarship & Awards Committee after the ALA conference discussing what they gained from attendance and how the Award assisted them. This report will be due by September 1.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the APALA Scholarship & Awards Committee chair Tassanee Chitcharoen at firstname.lastname@example.org and co-chair Valeria Molteni at email@example.com
The selection committee is composed of Frans Albarillo, Emily Chan, Paul Lai, Tassanee Chitcharoen, Valeria Molteni, Gayatri Singh, and Melanee Vicedo.
Are you in library/information school, or headed there this Fall? The Asian Pacific American Librarians Association Scholarship will provide financial assistance to a student 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). We hope that you will apply for the award or encourage others that you know to do so as well.
The deadline is April 25, 2014. The eligibility information, application requirements, and online application form can be found on APALA’s website– http://www.apalaweb.org/awards/apala-scholarship/
APALA membership information– http://www.apalaweb.org/membership/membership.htm
The selection committee is composed of Frans Albarillo, Emily Chan, Paul Lai, Tassanee Chitcharoen, Valeria Molteni, Christina Nhek, Gayatri Singh, and Melanee Vicedo.
Get to know the candidates for the 2014 APALA Elections from their candidacy statements. (Presented by office and in alphabetical order by last name.)
Tina Chan is the assistant coordinator of reference/reference and instruction librarian at the State University of New York at Oswego. She works with students to provide research and information literacy skills that help them succeed in their academic career and beyond, and with faculty to deliver library instruction and to provide resources to improve the library collection. She has been active in the State University of New York Librarians Association, the Eastern New York chapter of ACRL, and the Upstate New York chapter of ARLIS/NA. She is an APALA-sponsored 2012 Emerging Leader and a 2007 Spectrum Scholar. She earned an MSLIS from Simmons College.
I am honored to run for vice president/president-elect of APALA. I believe I have the leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills to accomplish this position’s responsibilities. Currently serving my second year on the executive board as a member-at-large, I have been impressed with the leadership and dedication of our members. I have also gained valuable insights into the operations of APALA, which will be essential for this position. As someone who has served on the executive board and several APALA committees, I am ready to undertake the next level of my commitment and service by leading APALA to further its purpose. To accomplish this, I would like to concentrate on these objectives:
- Gather members to discuss ideas and opportunities for APA librarians,
- Partner with other organizations to work on collaborative projects to increase the profile and significance of APALA,
- Represent APALA members and advocate for APA librarians,
- Develop and grow APALA to serve its members, the profession, and the greater APA community.
I look forward to sharing my passion, skills, and talents with you. I hope to continue serving APALA by being your next vice president/president-elect. Thank you for your support!
Past and Current APALA Involvement:
I first heard of APALA while a library student as a Spectrum Scholar. One of the benefits of being a Spectrum Scholar is a complimentary membership to APALA, so I decided to join. As a student, it was important for me to be involved in professional associations to learn more about the profession and to meet librarians. I continued my membership and I became involved with committees. My commitment to APALA is evidenced in my service contributions.
- Executive board member-at-large (2012-2014),
- Literature awards committee (adult nonfiction literature) (2013-2014),
- Program committee, APALA 35th anniversary conference (2013-2014),
- Literature awards committee (adult fiction literature) (2012-2013),
- Membership committee (2011-2012),
- Task force on library services to APAs, co-chair (2012-2013) and member (2008-2010).
I have also volunteered at APALA events during ALA Annual. They include representing APALA at the ALA Affiliates Booth (2011-2013) and as a booth coordinator at the ALA Diversity & Outreach Fair (2013).
JANET HYUNJU CLARKE
Janet Hyunju Clarke is an Associate Librarian at Stony Brook University, where she has been since 2000. She has an MLS from Queens College and a Ph.D. in English from Stony Brook University. She is the Associate Director for Research and Instructional Services and subject selector for Asian American Studies. She has published on EOP student library success, international adoption resources, and Asian American authors and resources. She has presented at ALA, SUNYLA, and regional library meetings. She is a member of American Library Association, Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, State University of New York Library Association, Association of College & Research Libraries, and Association for Asian American Studies. She is also a member of EMIERT and LLAMA. She is currently planning a symposium on Asian images in comics and graphic narratives for Spring 2014.
I am honored to be considered for the position of VP/President-Elect of APALA. It has been my privilege to be a part of APALA for the past 14 years since I became a member in 2000. For the past two years, I have served on APALA’s Executive Board as member-at-large and Secretary, respectively. I have become aware of how the organization operates both internally and externally. I have also served on APALA’s Bylaws & Constitution (2012, Literature Awards (Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction 2009-2012), and Scholarship & Awards (2011) committees. Occasionally, I contribute articles to the APALA Newsletter.
APALA has been a generous professional home to me, and I have benefited from its work and programs. I am proud to be part of an organization that supports and encourages dialogue about APA library issues and promotes vital library services to APA groups and communities. More than ever, APA librarians in all types of organizations need to be strong advocates for our communities and constituents. I strongly support APALA’s social and community advocacy and feel this engagement is enhanced by its partnerships with other organizations and ethnic caucuses. I know that APALA is well-represented in ALA leadership, and that attests to the hard work and strength of APALA and its vision of engagement and participation in the profession. I laud the APALA leadership that has come before us in paving the path for future leaders. If elected, I will do my best to further APALA’s goals of leadership, advocacy, representation, and community by actively working with other ALA affiliates and by seeking new partnerships throughout the profession and beyond. I will continue to build on the organization’s excellent work on mentorship, member involvement, fundraising, and national recognition.
SARAH HONG-JI JEONGBiographical Information:
Sarah Hong-Ji Jeong is the Research & Instruction Librarian for Science at the Z. Smith Reynolds (ZSR) Library at Wake Forest University. She has worked for over 10 years at ZSR Library, the 2011 recipient of the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. Sarah earned a B.S. degree from Duke University and an MLIS degree from UNCG, and she is a member of Beta Phi Mu Honor Society.
- Promoted from Associate Librarian to the rank of Librarian
- Initiated continuing library outreach to international students through orientations, programs, and service on Wake Forest University committees chaired by the Associate Provost for Global Affairs
- Wrote over 10 publications including the following:
- A book chapter in International Students and Academic Libraries: Initiatives for Success published by ACRL
- An article on Korean traditional dress in the Journal of East Asian Libraries
- Several book reviews for Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
- Career Development for Women Leaders Fellow
- Elected as Chair of the ZSR Librarians’ Assembly Peer Review Committee
- Served as an Invited Manuscript Peer Reviewer for the Journal of the Medical Library Association and Science & Technology Libraries
Statement/reason for running for an Executive Board position:
My commitment to diversity and inclusion in the profession led to my involvement in APALA. In my role as Member-at-Large, it has been an honor to represent the interests of the APALA members. Great people have served on the Executive Board, and I would like to continue serving APALA members by making a meaningful contribution to the growth of the organization as Secretary.
Discuss past and current APALA involvement:
Currently, I am serving as Executive Board Liaison of the APALA Mentoring Committee. I have enjoyed being a Mentor of an APALA member this year. I am also the Executive Board Liaison of the APALA Local Arrangements Task Force for ALA Annual. I served as a member of the APALA Scholarship Committee from 2005-2008 and Chair from 2008-2009. The Scholarship Committee was responsible for selecting the recipients of the APALA Scholarship and the ALA Emerging Leaders Program.
Young Adult Librarian/Program Specialist
Los Angeles Public Library
M.L.S. with specialization in Special Libraries, UCLA 1992.Membership:
ALA, California Library Association, APALA Life member, CALA Life member
ALA Councilor at large, 2003-2014
ALA Executive Board, 2011-2014
ALA Budget Analysis Review Committee, 2012-2014
ALA YALSA, Membership Committee, member, 1999-2004
New Members Round Table, President 2001-2002
Other Library Activities:
Chinese American Librarians Association, President, 2007-2008
Chinese American Librarians Association, Treasurer 2001-2006
Chinese American Librarians Association, Organizational Manual Committee, Chair 2010-12
California Library Association, Scholarship Committee, member 2008-2011, 2012-2013
National Conference on Asian Pacific American Librarians, Webmaster
Asian Pacific American Librarians Association – Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Committee, Chair 2002-Present
Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, Treasurer 2013-2014
JCLC 2012 Steering Committee, CALA Representative, and
Finance Committee Chair
Current and past APALA Activities
I have been chair/co-chair of the APALA’s Literature Award Committee since 2002. It has been a very rewarding experience for me to coordinate books from publishers for committee chairs. I am proud to be part of the Literature Award Team that helps promote Asian/Pacific cultures and heritage. In the past, I have been a mentor for the APALA Mentoring Program. Moreover, I am especially honored to be part of the APALA’s 35th Anniversary Committee. This will be another milestone for APALA and I am eager to participate and to move forward with APALA to bigger and better things.
Statement of concern:
As a team player, I am eager to learn as well as contribute to APALA. Previously, I served as the Chinese American Librarian Association (CALA) treasurer for five years. I have extensive experience with budgeting, financial planning, and filing tax forms. As the Finance chair of JCLC, I was able to maintain our budget and kept spending to a minimum, in order to achieve a high profit margin for the conference. As a member of the ALA/BARC (Budget Analysis Review Committee), I have worked with multi-million dollars budget.
It was a great privilege and honor to be elected last year as APALA’s treasurer. Taking care of money has always been my special skill. In addition, I really enjoy serving as the treasurer for APALA. In the coming year I will continue to assist the executive board in making sound financial decisions that will affect our members. I will continue to keep APALA financial strong and stable so that we are able find ways to benefit our members. It is important to have an experienced treasurer especially when APALA is planning for the 35th Anniversary celebration in 2015. Thank you for your consideration!
1. Melissa Cardenas-Dow earned her BA in anthropology, with a minor in Asian American Studies, from San Francisco State University in 1996. After spending some time at Claremont Graduate University’s cultural studies and education departments, she enrolled in San Jose State University and got her MLIS in 2008. She started her professional librarian career at the University of Redlands Armacost Library in 2009. She was the Outreach/Behavioral Sciences Librarian at the University of Redlands from 2011 to 2014. Melissa participated in ALA’s Emerging Leaders program in 2010-2011. She credits her conscious move towards active participation in APALA to Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, fellow 2011 Emerging Leader and EL project co-member. Melissa is finishing up her Certificate of Advanced Study in Digital Libraries from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is very active in ALA and is serving on several committee appointments in ACRL, LLAMA, NMRT, and ALA’s Office of Diversity. Her research and activities focus on community engagement, outreach, disability studies, diversity and inclusion, and digital scholarly communication. She lives in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. Melissa is currently searching for her next professional librarian position.
2. APALA is my professional home. I have been an APALA member since 2010. APALA is committed to being a place where APA librarians, patrons, library lovers, and allies can engage each other earnestly. So am I. Yes, I am running because I think being an elected official of a professional organization is an astounding addition to my CV. But, for me, running for the position of APALA Member-at-Large (2014-2016) means more than that. I am running because I know I can help improve APALA, its services and its programs. I want to care for it and show my love and commitment to the other people who also care for APALA. My candidacy comes with my toil, service, and time, yes. But it also comes with my heart, my commitment, and my love. I am running for an APALA Executive Board position because I want to make a difference in the place where I live, with the people I love.
3. Melissa started her active involvement with APALA through the Newsletter & Publications Committee in the fall of 2011. First as a writer/reporter, then as the Newsletter’s Layout Editor, and now as the chair of N&P’s Web Content Sub-committee. Melissa has ushered some of the more-regular web-based articles and feature essays published on the APALA website. The What’s Your Normal? (WYN) feature series is the flagship of the Web Content Sub-committee’s suite of articles. Other series published by the sub-committee include Member Highlights Showcase (MHS), APA Collections, APA Library Leaders, and APA Authors. Melissa is the 2013-2014 APALA co-representative to the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group. She is also a member of the Outreach & Publicity sub-committee of the APALA 35th Anniversary Conference Planning Committee.
PAOLO P. GUJILDE
Paolo P. Gujilde is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Collection Development at Zach S. Henderson Library at Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia. He received his M.S. in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has worked at academic libraries in the Chicago area. As a member of APALA, he has been involved with the Program Planning Committee (Chair, 2013 ALA Annual Program), Task Force on Local Arrangements (Member, 2013 ALA Annual), Mentoring Program Committee (Chair, 2014), and Task Force on Diversity and Outreach Fair (Chair, 2014 ALA Annual). Paolo is a member of ALA, APALA, and Georgia Library Association (GLA).
I am running for Member at Large because I want to contribute more to the profession and to APALA as a member of the executive board. In the past two years as an APALA member, I have had opportunities to bring ideas and leadership through various committee appointments such as the 2013 Program Planning Committee for the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. IL. As the chair, together with the committee members, we presented two wonderful programs to Chicago that focuses on issues within and outside of AAPI communities. Currently, as the chair of the Mentoring Program Committee, the members and I successfully paired mentors and protégés for this year. I am looking forward to working and collaborating with the committee members and with the mentors and protégés this year as well as with the members of the Task Force on Diversity and Outreach Fair for 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Moving forward, I would like to bring additional ideas and fresh perspectives to the committees that I am involved in and to APALA.
ARIANA A. HUSSAIN
Ariana A. Hussain is a Children’s Library with the District of Columbia Public Library where she has worked since 2012. She received her MLIS from University of California, Los Angeles in 2010. She is a member of APALA, ALSC, EMIERT, and ALA. Ariana is currently the 2014 Emerging Leader for APALA.
APALA has given so much to me by sponsoring me as an Emerging Leader as well as by providing a community of colleagues who offer support, encouragement and inclusivity for our multifaceted and multi-layered community. Likewise, I appreciate the forum that APALA provides for librarians to engage in dialog both about our field and the issues facing our larger AAPI community. I am eager to give back to an organization whose mission I so strongly believe in. If elected as a Member-at Large I will strive to faithfully represent the opinions and concerns of APALA members before the Executive Board.
Past and Current APALA Involvement
Ariana first learned about APALA through her former professor, Clara Chu. She currently serves on the Family Literacy Focus Committee, which promotes the Talk Story Program, a joint literacy project between APALA and AILA (American Indian Library Association), and is a member of the Task Force on Library Services to APAs. She has also been part of the 2013-2014 Literature Award Committee for Picture Books.
Annie Pho is an Academic Resident Librarian at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she works in reference and instruction. In her position at UIC, she actively builds campus partnerships with the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center, the Asian American Studies Department, and the Gender and Women Studies Department, where she works with faculty and staff to investigate ways the library can best support their students. She is also a 2014 ALA Emerging Leader, where her team’s project is to assist ALCTS in determining best practices for the division’s social media presence. She has a Bachelor’s in Art History from San Francisco State University and graduated from Indiana University – Indianapolis with her Master’s in Library Science. Her research interests include diversity and stereotypes in librarianship, playful design, and critical pedagogy in information literacy instruction. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her cats, ride her bike along Chicago’s many bike paths, and dream up ways to see the world.
I am a candidate for one of the Member at Large positions, and I hope I can earn your support. This year I participated in the ALA Emerging Leaders Program, which sparked my desire to get involved with leadership roles in professional organizations. Our field is at a point where discussions about diversity, gender, and intersectionality are gaining more traction. I’d like to see APALA leverage these discussions about diversity and bring them to the forefront of our professional community to show how APALA can support underrepresented individuals. By running for a Member at Large position, I aim to facilitate conversations about diversity, contribute my own ideas toward the diversity goals of our profession, and build relationships with APALA and ALA members. I have many skills that I bring to the executive board. As an administrator for the Librarian Wardrobe Blog, I have experience with marketing events through social media and organizing content for the website. In my current position at UIC, I have written and was successfully awarded a grant for a project, which I am the manager of. I look forward to bringing my marketing, project management, and grant writing skills to the APALA Executive Committee. As a Member at Large, I would look forward to learning from my fellow APALA members, assisting the executive board in their tasks, and contributing my skills to the organization.
Although I am a fairly new member of APALA, I know that want to make APALA one of my main professional organizations. As a new professional, I believe that running to be a Member at Large will give me a better understanding of how the executive committee structure works. Currently, I am on the Web Committee, the 2013 Annual ALA Diversity & Outreach Fair Task Force, and the Local Arrangements Committee for ALA Annual 2015. I look forward to continuing to serve on APALA committees and make stronger connections with our community.
I was born in Monterey Park, CA, the largest Chinese American community in the United States. At an early age, I grew up in a dual language and cultural environment at home and school. When I was twelve my mother moved me to Victoria, TX, a small rural town between Houston and Corpus Christi. My senior year at Victoria High School could not have come any sooner. I was accepted to The University of Texas at Austin, and four years later I received my Bachelors in Applied Learning Development with a specialization in Mathematics. Upon receiving my B.S., I traveled to Taipei, Taiwan to brush up on my Chinese and to teach English for six months. In January 2005, I was offered full time employment to teach sixth and seventh grade Mathematics in Maryland. I taught approximately for two years, and then returned back to U.T. Austin to explore other career opportunities. I volunteered to be a radio DJ at my college radio station and music cataloger at the Austin History Center, and became interested in a career in librarianship. I applied to all the major Library Science programs, and I received my Masters Degree in Library Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2010. Since graduation from library school, I have volunteered at various types of libraries, and I am currently hired by the Millbrae Branch Library in the San Mateo County Library System to serve as a Community Services Librarian.
STATEMENT OF INTEREST
It is my honor to be a member of APALA, and to apply for the APALA’s Member at Large position. As a member of APALA, I have developed wonderful collaborations with my APALA colleagues to serve and support APA communities. Through my collaborations, I have learned the importance of building strong relationships and networks. Also, with early immersion in a dual language and cultural environment, I feel I am well equipped to understand, relate and connect to APA communities at a very profound level. Thus, I am confident that I am able to be a liaison to a diverse group of committees, and it would be my privilege to actively serve on the Executive Board in a Member at Large role.
I became a member of the web subcommittee, newsletter and publications committee, and library advocacy committee as of last September. I have worked collaboratively with web subcommittee members to edit “What’s Your Normal?” essays, and on developing categories for WYN resource links. I have attended and participated in newsletter and publication committee and library advocacy meetings. I look forward to serve in a Member at Large role and to be a liaison to other committees.
Thank you very kindly for your consideration.
by Jeremiah Paschke-Wood
APALA lost two of its primary founders in 2013 with the passing of Drs. Suzine Har Nicolescu and Sharad Karkhanis. In addition to helping create the organization, the two were well-respected librarians, administrators, authors and champions of free speech, social justice and the fight against racial discrimination.
Suzine Har Nicolescu was born March 21, 1931 in Seoul, Korea. A lover of language and the arts, she received a Bachelor’s in English Language/Literature and Fine Arts at Ewha Womans University in Seoul before moving to the United States. There she received her Master’s in Modern Languages/Literature and Comparative Linguistics from the University of Denver, where she also obtained her Master’s in Library Science. She would eventually add a Ph.D. in Library Information Systems from Simmons College.
After beginning her career in the library field as a foreign languages cataloger/bibliographer at the University of Denver, Nicolescu made stops at Illinois State University, Stony Brook University and The City College of New York before assuming the role of instructor/chief of instructional services at CUNY Medgar Evers College, where she would also serve as registrar, director of information systems, chief librarian and director of library services before retiring in 1999. At the time of her retirement, Dr. Nicolescu was one of only 30 Asian American directors in the United States. Nicolescu was also active in ALA, ACRL, LLAMA, American Library Trustees Association, International Relations Round Table and various other round tables and regional and state associations. She was president of APALA in 1985-1986.
Dr. Nicolescu was a proponent of dealing with discrimination with patience, objectivity and effort (Yamashita, 2000, pg. 99). She wrote articles and made presentations internationally on the topic of multicultural librarianship, including an article on the formation and goals of APALA for the journal Ethnic Forum and co-authored “Needs Assessment Study of Library Information Service for Asian American Community Members in the United States” with Henry Chang.
In his history of APALA and its founders, Dr. Kenneth Yamashita said,
“Her Asian ancestry espoused the advantages of hard work and perseverance, influencing her artistic ability, and sustained the ethical and moral values in her relationship with others.” (2000, pg. 99)
Dr. Suzine Har Nicolescu passed away Feb. 22, 2013 at the age of 81 in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Sharad Karkhanis was born March 8, 1935 in Khopoli, India. Karkhanis earned a diploma in library science from the Bombay Library Association before even receiving his bachelor’s – which he would earn in economics from the University of Bombay (now University of Mumbai). After his first job at USIS Library (now American Library, Mumbai), Karkhanis moved to the United States in 1960 and enrolled at Rutgers University, where he received his MLS. He also earned a Master’s in International Relations/American Government from CUNY Brooklyn (now Brooklyn College) and a Ph.D. in American Government from New York University. Dr. Karkhanis served as Professor of Political Science and Libraries at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York from 1974-2005.
In 2008, Dr. Karkhanis was named Educator of the Year by the Democracy Project, who cited his “lifetime history of standing up against repression and censorship,” in giving him the award (Orenstein, 2008). An avid author, Karkhanis wrote a number of books and articles, including “Indian Politics and the Role of the Press” and “Jewish Heritage in America: A Bibliography.” In addition, he was the founder and editor of “The Patriot Returns,” a newsletter taking on CUNY administration and faculty. As editor, he fought a long legal battle against censorship regarding his criticism of university establishment and faculty.
Serving as the first APALA president, Karkhanis sought to develop APALA as a long-standing and functional organization through membership drives and published conference proceedings (Cardenas-Dow, 2013). He was also heavily involved with ALA’s Council Resolutions Committees, Bogle Pratt International Travel Fund, and was involved in various regional and university organizations.
Karkhanis was an advocate for young librarians, saying that they could become the agents of change the profession needs.
“He would encourage young Asian Americans to pursue a career in librarianship by promoting the opportunities for fresh ideas, assertive leadership, and intellectual growth that would change the status quo. He believes that new librarians can be the change agents the profession needs.” (Yamashita, 2000, p. 101)
Dr. Sharad Karkhanis spent his later years between Brooklyn and Boca Raton, Fla., where he died March 28, 2013, at age 78.
Cardenas-Dow, M. (2013). APALA Remembers Dr. Sharad D. Karkhanis. Unpublished article. Retrieved Dec. 6, 2013.
Orenstein, P. (2008, Jan. 1). Dr. Sharad Karkhanis Educator of the Year. Queens Village Eagle. Retrieved Dec. 6, 2013, from: http://democracy-project.com/2008/01/dr-sharad-karkhanis-educator-of-the-year/
Yamashita, K. (2000). Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association—A history of APALA and its founders. Library Trends, 49(1), 88-109. Last retrieved April 7, 2013, from: http://www.apalaweb.org/wpsandbox/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/apalahistory.pdf
Editing assistance provided by Alyssa Jocson.