CALA's Participation in JCLC II

Dear CALA Members and Friends,    

I am pleased to share with you the following:


September 19-23, 2012, Crown Center, Kansas City, Missouri

Theme: Gathering at the Waters: Celebrating Stories, Embracing Communities

The Chinese American Librarians Association is one of the proud co-sponsors of the 2012 national Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC).  The other co-sponsors included the other four ethnic caucuses:  The American Indian Library Association, The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.  Haipeng Li, Executive Director of CALA, and Janice Rice, the Past President of AILA, deserved high praise for their excellent leadership as Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee of the 2012 JCLC during the past six years.

Thanks to other corporate, organizational, government, institutional and individual sponsorship and participation, the Conference was a huge success.  It was attended by over 814 people in programs held at the Westin and adjacent Sheraton Hotels in Kansas City.  The attendees enjoyed the diverse presentations; the exhibits of the latest in books, audio and audio visual materials, equipment, technology, and services; the Opening Reception at the beautiful Kansas Public Library; the Opening General Session presented by Sonia Marzano, known as one of the most influential Hispanics by People en Espanol; the dancing at the All-Conference Celebration, and other fun activities. Many people gave rave reviews in their evaluations, and want to have another Joint Conference soon, as the wait between the first and second JCLC was too long – six years.

Among the programs that involved CALA’s participation are:


Each of the Presidents from the five caucuses gave a lively talk on Diversity, Leadership, and Community Engagement, followed by a question and answer period.  Speakers were introduced and moderated by our ALA President Maureen Sullivan.   Janice Kowemy (AILA), Jade Alburo (APALA), Jerome Offord (BCALA), Esther Lee (CALA) and Denice Adkins (REFORMA) all spoke well. A group picture and a write-up appeared in American Libraries Direct, 9/26/12 (

After the presentation, the group, together with Haipeng Li and Janice Rice, met with the present (Maureen Sullivan), past (Molly Raphael), and future (Barbara Stripling) ALA Presidents and the ALA Executive Director (Keith Michael Fiels), to discuss on retention, expansion, and development of members, and see how caucuses could work more closely with ALA.  The exchanges of ideas were meaningful and will be continued at the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle in January, 2013.


Introduced and moderated by Esther Lee, CALA President, five outstanding leaders from CALA each gave an excellent presentation.

Min Chou presented “Embracing Diversity, Celebrating Success: CALA Recent Achievements”.  Min is the immediate CALA Past President and a Librarian at the New Jersey City University.  Recently she came back from a CALA co-organized International Conferences held in Shanghai and the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) in Helsinki.  She shared CALA’s international initiatives, including CALA joining the IFLA, in the effort to expand its vision, increase its visibility in the library communities across the world, and to give its members broader networking and professional development opportunities.  She also elaborated on CALA’s success stories, showing how CALA has grown stronger in working together with the ALA and other ethnic caucus organizations in promoting diversity in the library profession.

Liana Zhou talked on Building Diverse Collections and Relationships with Donors.  Liana is a former President of CALA and the Director of the Library and Archives of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University.  She has received the CALA Distinguished Service Award, the CALA President’s Recognition Award, the ALA Equality Award, and the JCLC Advocacy Award.

Maria Fung spoke on the Selection of World Language Materials.  Maria is a former President of the Northeast Chapter of CALA and the World language Materials Specialist, Office of Materials Selection, Brooklyn Public Library, New York.  Over 40 % of the people living in Brooklyn are immigrants.

Shali Zhang spoke on Diversity Recruitment.  Shali is a former President of CALA and she became the Dean of Libraries, University of Montana, Missoula in October 2012.  She thanked efforts and supports from ALA’s five ethnic caucuses in assisting her recruiting of diversity students into the Academic and Cultural Enrichment Program at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, funded by two IMLS grants. She was the Principal Investigator/Project Director for the federal funded Program.  Shali was the recipient of the CALA Distinguished Service Award and the CALA President’s Recognition Award.  At this Conference, she received the JCLC Distinguished Service Award.

Haipeng Li talked on Library Collaboration and Global Outreach.  Haipeng is a former President of CALA, the Executive Director of CALA, and the University Librarian of the Hong Kong Baptist University. He has received the CALA Distinguished Service Award, the CALA President’s Recognition Award, and the ALA President’s International Innovative Project Award.


The CALA Booth, located near the exhibition and registration area, was manned by at least two CALA librarians continuously for nearly three days.  The long table, in front of the large CALA sign with its logo, was displayed with CALA brochures, colorful flyers, Newsletters, the CALA publication “Bridging Cultures”, a laptop computer showing continuously the 40/40 poster result:  A Prelude to CALA’s 40th Anniversary in 2013, and candies for giving away.  The helpful CALA volunteers who provided coverage included:  Emily Chan, Min Chou, Sai Deng, Zhou Fu, Maria Fung, Su Hui Ho, Shuqin Jiao, Esther Lee, Kristen Mulvihill, Shali Zhang, and Jian-Zhong Zhou.  Some attendees stopped by to exchange pleasantries or look at the displayed materials.  Others stayed briefly to have pictures taken or questions answered.  A few wanted to join our Association.  What a fun way that was for CALA to win friends and visibility.


At the author luncheon, a photo of some CALA members was taken with the bestselling Chinese author Da Chen, a graduate from the prestigious Columbia University Law School.  Chen gave a moving account of his growing up in China.  He also played a bamboo flute solo, in memory of his late father who first presented him with the instrument.  His books were later distributed free from the Random House exhibit floor.  Long lines of people waited for his signing of the good books.

At the presentation of the JCLC Awards, three CALA members were among the winners.  Liana Zhou won the Advocacy Award, Icy Smith the Author Award, and Shali Zhang the Distinguished Service Award.  Bravo to all recipients of the Awards, three from each caucus.

Please click on the links below for pictures taken at the Conference:

On CALA Facebook:!/pages/CALA-Chinese-American-Librarians-Association/281336511932864

On Flickr:

Esther Lee, CALA President