Dear APALA Members,

There has been such a whirlwind of activity since some of us met in Atlanta, Georgia for the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting that this is the first opportunity I’ve had to give you an update on what happened at Midwinter and what’s happening in the next few months.

As always, the Midwinter Meeting was an excellent time to connect with each other face to face, have conversations that will move our association forward, and energize ourselves for the months ahead.  APALA was well represented at all levels of the American Library Association (ALA).  We have members serving on ALA Committees as members and Chairs.  We also have a number of members who serve as ALA Councilors and ALA Executive Board members — Even our ALA President and President-Elect are APALA members! We may be one of the smaller ethnic affiliates, but we are mighty and we are making our presence known within our larger national association as leaders of all types.  Some of the events APALA hosted and some events we were represented at include:

  • APALA Field Trip to the Center for Civil and Human Rights: This was the perfect way to kick-off our weekend in Atlanta.  It put the city and our country into perspective and we are thankful to the Local Arrangements Committee for coordinating our tour and lunch.  Thank you to Committee Chair Paolo Gujilde and Committee Members Charlene Hsu Gross, Ximin Mi, and Cynthia del Rosario.
  • APALA Executive Board Meeting: The minutes are now available for viewing, but to recap, we each gave a respective of the work of our liaison committees over the last six months and were visited by ALA Presidential Candidates Terri Grief and Loida Garcia-Febo (also an APALA member), ALA ODLOS Director Jody Gray, and our ALA Executive Board Liaison Mike Marlin (also an APALA member).
  • Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women: Many APALA members gathered together to make signs, support each other, and march in this event.  We also showed our solidarity with our “Library Folks In Solidarity” t-shirts designed by APALA Member Alanna Aiko Moore who is donating the proceeds of the shirts to the social justice think tank Political Research Associates (PRA).  Want a tee?  Check out Alanna’s Go Fund Me Page linked at the bottom.
  • Joint Conference of Librarians of Color Site Announcement & Social: The 3rd JCLC in 2018 will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 26 -30, 2018.  The Steering Committee is currently looking for volunteers to help make a great conference, so please consider filling out the form available online.
  • APALA Membership & All-Committee Meeting: We had a full house which started with a brief Membership Meeting update highlighting upcoming programs and events such as our President’s Program Speaker, Deepa Iyer, who will give us an author talk on her book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, and a workshop on combatting Islamophobia at ALA Annual.
  • APALA Literature Awards Announced
  • ALA Executive Board Elections:  APALA was well represented in this election with three members, Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter McCauley, Past APALA President Patty M. Wong, and current APALA President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada as candidates for three spots.  Congratulations to Patty and Lessa for their election to the Executive Board.

And those events are just the tip of the iceberg. For some photos from Midwinter, check out our Facebook page!

Our time in Atlanta also marked the beginning of a new presidency and new policies in our country, both of which affect our daily work as public servants, folks who work with vulnerable and marginalized communities, and as folks who have many intersections in our own lives.  To use the words of APALA member Alanna Aiko Moore, “Asian Pacific American librarians face a range of issues which often overlap with other forms of oppression, including (but not limited to) sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, economic status and education level”.  In order to address the issues and concerns that many of us are facing, APALA has tried to be a voice of resistance and a place of support for our members.  In February, we released a statement opposing recent presidential actions and policies.  We also signed on to the Joint AAPI Statement to Resist the Trump Administration which is signed by over 200 AAPI groups. We have tailored our programming at Annual and some of our webinars to help create awareness of and combat hate and bigotry in its many forms.

We have a long road ahead, and together we can accomplish great things, which is why we are also forming the Task Force on Intersectionality chaired by APALA Member Melissa Cardenas-Dow.  This group will take into account the range of overlapping issues we face and provide perspective on the points of Asian Pacific American intersectionality, identify issues and important topics in libraries, librarianship, and our professional organizations regarding Asian Pacific American intersectionality, and initiate action on those issues.  Issues will include the ban on immigrants and refugees from seven-Muslim majority countries, the targeting of undocumented immigrants (a large proportion of which are API), and the rollback of transgender protections.  We stand in support with all of our identities, and this Task Force will help us take action as members, librarians, and citizens.  If you’re interested in participating in this Task Force, please let me and President-Elect Dora Ho know as she makes plans for next year and I continue plans for the next few months.

Finally, please keep an eye out for our upcoming events and webinars.  This month, Alanna Aiko Moore and Jaena Alabi will host a webinar on Microaggressions and the AAPI Community on March 30th at 10am PST/1pm EST.  Registration is limited to the first 100 folks and is available online.

Links to the statements, awards, and events I mentioned above are all available at the bottom of this document.  As always, mahalo nui loa for being an active, engaged, and caring membership.  It is a privilege to be your President this year.

A hui hou,


Library Folks in Solidarity T-Shirts

APALA Statement Opposing Recent Presidential Actions & Policies

Joint AAPI Statement to Resist the Trump Administration

APALA Literature Awards Announced

JCLC Volunteer Form

APALA Facebook Page

For copies of minutes from the Midwinter meeting, please email APALA Secretary Anna M. Coats at

Webinar Registration for Microaggressions and the AAPI Community

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