2006 President’s Recognition Award - Ms. Doris Tseng

Doris is a CALA life member since 1988. She has been working diligently for CALA’s good cause all in a very low-key manner. She is the head of Chinese Center at the San Francisco Public Library system.

One of the most significant contributions is the establishment of the computerized CALA membership database with Chinese entries more than 16 years ago when she was the Membership Committee chair. She had the vision to automate CALA membership directory as CALA members were growing steadily. It seems to be easy to have data processed automatically these days and people seem to take it for granted. However, 16 years ago, it required computer-programming expertise. She asked her son, was a college student at UC-Berkeley, to establish the database with Chinese entries. This helps future CALA membership chair in maintaining membership database very effectively.

When people express their appreciation on this big-step accomplishment, Doris responded humbly in her usual low-key manner and praises others for their contributions instead. Under her leadership, it was the first time that vendor’s advertisement was solicited for inclusion in CALA directory. She helped raised about $1000, which was sufficient to cover the cost of printing.

She serves as a member of the PR/Fund-raising Committee this year again, and is proactively soliciting advertisement for inclusion in the directory. Linna Yu and Esther Lee , co-chairs of the committee, are very impressed with Doris’ enthusiasm and highly praised for her contributions and efforts.

Her unselfish willingness to help unconditionally is recognized by many CALA members. She has served on many other capacities, such as Membership and Fund-raising and PR Committees both at chapter and national levels. As usual, she quietly worked with vendors through her networks, and has helped raised thousands of dollars and solicited many door prizes both for California chapter and at national award banquets.

During the course of here entire career, she has helped numerous people succeed in their profession. She discovered Amy Tan’s potential and invited her to speak at her library and at CALA functions, and invited Amy become a CALA member. Many junior Chinese-American authors have been invited to speak at their early stage of career.

Doris is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Her multi-lingual talent is recognized by her supervisors and peers. She is in high demand not only in San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) system, but also further expanded to the south bay area, such as Santa Clara County Free Library (SCCFL) system. Santa Clara County Library was ranked number one in the country for its category for 4 consecutive years from 2000 to 2004. In addition to her full-time job in San Francisco, she was offered to work for SCCFL system to help manage and expand Chinese language collection and reference services.

I have served on the Library Commission in Cupertino for 8 years from 1997 to 2005 and all I have heard from Doris’ supervisor was nothing else but very positive comments with high regards. Her supervisor was very proud to have her in the staff, especially her language skills.

Doris is an unsung hero who always works quietly behind the scene. It is time for CALA to recognize her invaluable contribution to the profession and to the Association in particular.

It is my great honor to recognize this very outstanding CALA member for the 2006 President’s Recognition Award.

Diana Wu
CALA President (2005/2006)