CALA Interim Report at the ALA Midwinter Meeting (January 2009)

Many CALA activities since July 2008 have concentrated in the following key strategic areas that are outlined in the CALA Strategic Plan:

  1. Strive for organizational excellence
    More than 140 CALA members, new and experienced, are enthusiastically volunteering their time and efforts to serve on 16 CALA committees, four special taskforces, and four standing positions in 2008-2009.

    CALA Board of Directors unanimously approved the 2008-2009 CALA budget proposal which was closely connected with the CALA projects and initiatives outlined on the CALA 2010 Strategic Plan.

    The new CALA web site was launched in early fall 2008 at Though it may take some time to complete the entire migration to transfer all materials from the old web site to the new one, the added features and functionalities on the new web site started showing benefits.

    The partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Libraries (UIUC), and the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) has won the IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant of $499,895.00. This grant project will work with the Library Society of China (LSC) to promote Chinese, American, and international librarianship. This is an excellent opportunity for CALA members to get involved and to participate in several components of the grant project.

    Haipeng Li, CALA Executive Director, is co-chairing the JCLC 2012 Steering Committee. Planning for the conference is moving along very well. This will also help with CALA's visibility in the U.S. to promote issues of diversity in the profession. The JCLC 2012 Steering Committee has selected the conference year in 2012 and Kansas City, Missouri for the location for the conference. Like JCLC 2006, JCLC 2012 will be another great opportunity of professional development for CALA members. CALA members are encouraged in participation and involvement in the event.

    A congratulatory letter from Sha Li Zhang, CALA President, and Haipeng Li, CALA Executive Director, was sent on behalf of CALA to the third Reforma National Conference held in El Paso, Texas in September 2008. Sha Li Zhang also presented a paper at the conference.

    A congratulatory letter from Sha Li Zhang and Haipeng Li was sent on behalf of CALA to Professor Karolyn Thompson, newly elected president of Black Caucus of ALA wishing her successful presidential years.

    Ongoing communications with CALA members on important issues were conducted through online meetings, regular CALA Updates columns, CALA listserv, CALA Newsletter, conference calls, etc. to keep the membership informed.

    Three CALA press releases were issued through various venues to help promote and project CALA's accomplishments to broad library media.

  2. Become a leader in global reach initiatives
    A special CALA taskforce on the 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series Project was appointed for the second term to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the seminar program. Haipeng Li, CALA Executive Director, is leading the taskforce.

    Since July 2008, CALA has conducted three successful seminar programs on the CALA 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series in China. The three CALA team leaders are Haiwang Yuan for the seminars in Kunming on July 10-13, Shuyong Jiang in Wuhan on October 23-25, and Diana Wu in Taipei on November 10-14, 2008. 14 CALA members participated in these events as presenters, with more than 300 attendees at the three sites. We were proud that ALA President Jim Rettig was able to join one of the seminars at the Kunming University of Science and Technology. In his blog, which is viewed by many ALA members, Mr. Rettig indicated his appreciation for CALA for the opportunity and shared some of the impressions that he learned on Chinese librarianship, his interactions with Chinese colleagues, and his visits to other parts of China. ALA President-Elect Camila Alire has also expressed her willingness to participate in the program. This is a wonderful opportunity to raise CALA's visibility among library associations in the U.S. All information on the three seminars is complete on the program's website at

    The CALA Taskforce on Rebuilding Libraries in the Earthquake Disastrous Areas in China, chaired by Sally C. Tseng, CALA Honorary Executive Director, has worked on its full speed. More than 160 individuals and organizations sent the donations of more than $20,000 to support the rebuilding library projects, the largest fundraising effort in CALA's history. Medical Library Association (MLA) donated $5,000 to CALA for the cause. The Library Society of China (LSC) and CALA signed a MOU that LSC will assist CALA to distribute the first $10,000 donations to the immediate family members of a library staff who was killed during the massive earthquakes on May 12 2008 and to the injured library staff to help with their medical needs.

    A delegation of CALA (Guoqing Li, Lian Ruan, and Sha Li Zhang) participated in the Library Society of China (LSC) Annual Conference held in Chongqing, China, October 27 - 31, 2008. Sha Li Zhang was invited to offer congratulatory remarks at opening ceremony of the conference on behalf of CALA. She was also invited to introduce the CALA 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series Program to the conference attendees.

  3. Enhance services to CALA membership
    A special taskforce on the CALA Travel Grant Guidelines was appointed and charged to develop the appropriate procedures to guide the CALA Travel Grant applications. The proposal was already submitted to the Board for discussion and an approval at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2009. The grant intends to provide up to four $500 travel grants each year to CALA members for their professional development activities. If all goes well, the call for applying the grants will be out in spring 2009.

    The Membership Committee started membership drive early this year. More than 690 letters with a CALA calendar was sent out in December 2008 to encourage membership renewal. More than 280 dropped members were also contacted for coming back through mailing.

    The Mentorship Committee made much progress on recruitment. Five new CALA members were matched with the experienced CALA members. The committee is expanding the program to all new members and the CALA scholarship recipients.

  4. Provide educational opportunities
    Two outstanding CALA members, Shu-hua Liu and Anna Xiong, were selected to participate in the ALA 2009 Emerging Leaders Program. Both Shu-hua and Anna were at the Program during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2009. Shu-hua and Anna also selected to evaluate and assess the CALA 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series as their program project. CALA has provided the funds to assist them to participate in the program.

    Min Chou, the newly appointed English Editor for Journal of Library and Information Science, is leading her editorial board to aggressively recruit articles for a quality publication. The journal provides the CALA members the publishing opportunities.

  5. Advocate for users of Chinese heritage, Chinese culture, and Chinese language
    CALA Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution to support the City of Palo Alto Library Bond Campaign. The goal of this library campaign is to bring the 50-year-old libraries in the city into the 21st century and up to par with libraries in neighboring cities/communities. The Palo Alto Library Measure N was passed during the 2008 November election. Nearly 70 percent of voters supported the bond measure which would fund Palo Alto library improvements to three of the city's five library branches.

Respectfully submitted by:

Sha Li Zhang, CALA President
Haipeng Li, CALA Executive Director