It is my great honor to serve as your President for 2017-2018. I am especially eager to work with everyone and to move our association forward toward fulfilling our Strategic Goals. This year I hope to encourage, engage, and empower our members to get involved and participate in national events as well as local ones. By networking with other colleagues, we can build a strong coalition dedicated to  our association’s mission to cultivate Asian Pacific American leadership through mentorship and professional engagement, advancing social justice, and providing opportunities for dialogue and networking  to promote the needs of APA library professionals and those who serve APA communities through libraries.

At this time, let me express my sincere, heartfelt sympathy to our members in Texas and Florida in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as those whose families and loved ones were caught in the path of the storms. Disasters such as these can endanger lives, damage property, and disrupt our daily routines. It will take time to rebuild, but as we do, I want our APALA family to know that we are here to assist our members as they do so. ALA has also set up a list of ways to help Texas and Louisiana (as well as a disaster relief fund for the Mexico, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico in response to the earthquake and Hurricane Maria). I have reached out to members in Houston and Orlando. For those of you who have responded, thank you. And for all those affected by these storms, please let us know how APALA can help. We are a family, and we are here to support each other, now and always.

For my Presidential Initiatives, I will focus on the following areas:

  • Leadership Development
  • Membership Drive
  • Networking – local and national
  • Programming (annual and webinars)

Last year, I worked with the Professional Development Task Force to look at the needs of our members to see where we can develop programs and webinars for professional training. The work will continue by the Programming committee, led by Vice President Brian Leaf and Program Committee Chair Ariana Santiago to put those ideas into developing programs and webinars for our members.

This year we have many projects well underway– Our mentoring program is in full swing, with 16 pairs of mentors/mentees; ALA Midwinter culture tour and social gathering are being planned; and a membership drive webinar for non-APALA members will happen in the near future. The board and I will continue to seek out projects and programs that will benefit our members.

In order to organize many events and activities within APALA, we need all of you.  We need you to help organize local events as well as participate in them. So far, both the Northern and Southern California areas each had a social/cultural event already. Thanks to Janet Tom and Candice Mack for organizing the respective events. I hope that we will see more local gatherings of APALA members in social activities, state conferences, special events, and national conferences. Our teams of board members and committees are busy planning upcoming webinars, events for the ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences, and the upcoming Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in September 2018. I  encourage to participate and get involved. Let’s make sure we will have the largest delegation in all of these events.

Respectfully,

Dora Ho
APALA President 2017-2018

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