CALA announces new officers and award winners at Annual Conference

Contact: Y. Diana Wu

President, Chinese American Librarian Association

For Immediate Release

July 19, 2005

CALA announces new officers and award winners at Annual Conference

CHICAGO - The Chinese American Librarian Association (CALA) successfully presented a program, membership meeting and awards banquet during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago, June 26, 2005.

The program was entitled “Riding the Electronic Rooster: Virtual Reference Services in User's Language.” Virtual reference service offers real-time reference that allows a library user to “chat” with a librarian. The librarian and user can co-browse Web pages on each other's computer screen. This service has been available for almost a decade but only limited to the English language. Program speakers included Susan McGlamery, Hao-Ren Ke, Alma Ortega, and Wilfred Fong.

McGlamery gave an overall introduction on the demographic changes in communities that will impact how libraries deliver services. With technological advancements, it is possible to provide online service in a user's language. McGlamery is the project manager at OCLC, which offers QuestionPoint software for real-time virtual reference services in multiple languages.

Ke is the associate dean at the National Chiao-Tung University Library in Taiwan. The library launched QuestionPoint real-time virtual reference services in Chinese on June 13. This pilot project received an overwhelming response from college students in Taiwan, who are already familiar with Instant Messenger. Issues such as inputting Chinese characters, librarian's responding speed, and phonetic similarity are some of the concerns that need to be addressed and investigated further in order to make this service more effective and attractive.

Ortega is a reference librarian at the University of San Diego. She is one of the very few librarians who provide virtual reference service in English and Spanish. She shared her experience and tips in providing such service, and how to overcome the obstacles.

Finally, Fong spoke on how library education can help prepare future librarians who must be able to adapt to the rapidly changing workplace due to the Internet. Technological evolutions have significantly impacted user's information seeking behavior. With the virtual environment, users can come from very diverse backgrounds, not just linguistically, but also culturally. Future librarians need to prepare themselves to be more than just technologically savvy but also to be sensitive and adaptive to users' cultural differences.

The 2005 CALA Awards Banquet was held at the Three Happiness Restaurant in Chicago, June 26. Manuel Urrizola of the University of California, Irvine Library was the master of ceremony. CALA President Shixing Wen and Executive Director Sally C. Tseng presented the awards and scholarships to recipients. Esther Lee of Queens Borough Public Library in New York received the CALA President's Recognition Award. Susana Liu of San Jose State University Library in California received the CALA Distinguished Service Award.

The 2005 CALA Scholarship was awarded to Donghua Tao, University of Missouri; the Sheila Lai Library and Information Science Scholarship was awarded to Zhi Xian Yi, Texas Woman's University; the C.C. Seetoo Travel Scholarship was awarded to Hairong Zhu, Kent State University; and the Huang Tso-Ping and Wu Yao-Yu Memorial Scholarship was awarded toYang Jin, University of Michigan. The 2005 recipients of Sally C. Tseng's Professional Development Grant are Yongyi Song, CSU Los Angeles, Lian Ruan, Illinois Fire Service Institute Library and Jian Anna Xiong, Southern Illinois University.

ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano, incoming President Michael Gorman, and Tracie Hall, director of the ALA Office for Diversity, attended the CALA Awards Banquet. President Brey-Casiano and President Gorman each gave a speech at the CALA Awards Banquet praising CALA's contributions to diversity in the library profession. Large international delegations also participated at the banquet including Deputy Director Qiang Zhu, Peking University Library and head of the China Society for Library Science and Shanghai Delegations , and Chao-chen Chen, dean of the Department of Adult & Continuing Education, National Taiwan Normal University, and head of the Library Association of the China Delegation. The banquet was attended by almost 200 people. Several talented CALA members and guests sang songs and performed at the banquet.

New officers were officially inducted at the conference. They are President Yuhfen Diana Wu, San Jose State University Library in California, first Vice-President/President-Elect Haipeng Li, Oberlin College, Ohio, and second Vice-President/President-Elect Dora Ho, Los Angles Public Library. The following members were newly elected board of directors: Xudong Jin, Mengxiong Liu, Ying Xu, Linna Yu, and Priscilla C. Yu.

The Chinese American Librarian Association (CALA) was founded in 1973. Currently, there are 1079 registered members throughout the United States, Canada, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries and regions. CALA is an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), which is the world's oldest and largest library association with more than 60,000 members throughout the world.

For more information, contact Diana Wu at 408-808-2087, or