About Us

Welcome to CALA SCA chapter!

The Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) started in 1973 as Mid-West Chinese American Librarians Association, a regional organization in Illinois. A year later, Chinese Librarians Association was formed in California in 1974. In 1976, Mid-West Chinese American Librarians Association was expanded to a national organization as Chinese American Librarians Association.

The Chinese American Librarians Association and Chinese Librarians Association were merged in 1983. The merged organization retains CALA’s English name and Chinese Librarians Association’s Chinese name 華人圖書館員協會.  CALA has seven chapters in Florida, Greater Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West, Northeast, Northern California, Southern California, Southwest respectively.   CALA has over 1,100 members throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, China, Singapore, and other countries.

CALA is an active affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA) since 1976 and a member of the Council of National Library and Information Associations (CNLIA). CALA established sister relations with the Library Association of Central Governments Units and Scientific Research Networks of Beijing, the Library Society of China and with the Library Association of China in Taiwan.

The Chinese American Librarians Association is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the following goals:  1) to enhance communication among Chinese American librarians as well as between Chinese American librarians and other librarians; 2) to serving as a forum for discussion of mutual problems and professional concerns among Chinese American librarians; 3) to promote Sino-American librarianship and library services; and 4) to provide a vehicle whereby Chinese American librarians may cooperate with other Associations, libraries and organizations having similar or allied interests.

CALA’ s Goals and Objectives are:

  1. To enhance communication among Chinese American librarians as well as between Chinese American librarians and other librarians;
  2. To serve as a forum for discussion of mutual problems and professional concerns among Chinese American librarians;
  3. To promote Sino-American librarianship and library services; and
  4. To provide a vehicle whereby Chinese American librarians may cooperate with other associations and organizations having similar or allied interests.

CALA has established six chapters throughout the United States.  They are: California Chapter, Florida Chapter, Greater Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Midwest Chapter, Northeast Chapter and Southwest Chapter. There are also members in Canada, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and other countries.  Committees include: Awards, Conference Program, Constitution and Bylaws, Finance, International Relations, Membership, Nominating, Public Relations and Fund Raising, Publications, and Scholarship.

CALA’ s Activities

CALA provides its members with an open and collegial forum to discuss current and relevant issues and to meet their colleagues who are involved in various aspects of librarianship.  There are opportunities for networking by sponsoring national and regional programs, meetings and banquets.  Each year CALA sponsors programs on issues and topics of importance to members and other librarians.  Library experts, information professionals, educators and community leaders have been invited to speak at CALA’ s programs.  Speakers from China have included Zhou Ho-ping, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Culture, Director Ma Yuan-liang of Shanghai Library, Professor Zhu Qiang of the Peking University Library and other distinguished speakers.  Speakers from the United States have included Director Gary Strong of Queens Borough Public Library, Winston Tabb, Deputy Director of the Library of Congress, Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, Dean Emeritus of the Ohio University Library and other distinguished speakers.  Their presentations provided librarians in the United States with the latest developments.  These activities provide excellent opportunities for librarians to network, to make new friends and to visit old friends.  These activities also provide us good opportunities to exchange information about librarianship, trends, innovations and other related topics, to discuss issues of mutual concern and to promote Sino-American librarianship and information exchange.

CALA’ s Publications

CALA publishes a Newsletter and a Membership Directory, and co-publishes the Journal of Library and Information Science with the National Taiwan Normal University. CALA also maintains a listserv (listserv@csd.uwm.edu) and a Website.  Each Chapter creates its own Website which is linked to CALA Headquarters’ Website at: http://www.cala-web.org/.  Some Chapters also publish electronic journals and printed publications to assist the local Chinese American communities with local information.  Sample publications include:Directory of Chinese-American Resources in the Greater Metropolitan New York Area, Midwest Area Chinese American Resources Guide, and A Visitor’s Guide to Major Chinese Resources and Attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Another valuable publication is China and Chinese Culture:  a Selected Bibliography to Promote a Better Understanding Preschool to Grade 12.  Some of these publications are available on CALA’ s Website.

CALA’ s Awards and Scholarships

CALA has established an annual CALA Distinguished Service Award. Each year, a librarian who has provided outstanding services to CALA and its related activities is selected to receive the Award. The list of winners includes such distinguished leaders from China as former Library Director Zhuang Shou-jing of Peking University. In addition to awards, some CALA members have begun to donate funds to assist Chinese library science faculty and students to pursue their studies in the United States.  As of today, CALA has established two scholarships, the Sheila Lai Scholarship and the C.C. Seetoo/CALA Conference Travel Scholarship. The Sheila Lai Scholarship awards $500 to a student of Chinese descent who is currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited library school as a full-time student. The scholarship is designed to encourage the development of leadership in Chinese American librarianship. The C.C. Seetoo/CALA Scholarship gives a student an award to attend the annual ALA Conference and CALA program and is designed to provide the award recipient with mentoring and networking opportunities at the ALA Conference.  In the years 2000-2001 the Scholarship recipients were: Ms. Li Bin Li, Mr. Richard Wang, Ms. ??? and Ms. Ji Yue. They are from China and are studying in library schools in the United States and Canada.  The Scholarships and Awards are presented to the recipients at CALA’s annual banquet in June each year.Recently, CALA has been very fortunate to receive a US$10,000 donation to be used toward Research and Scholarships.  This donation is intended to CALA to establish a Mr. Huang and Ms. Wu Memorial Fund.  The donors designated that the fund be distributed within a ten-year period.  The majority of the fund will be awarded to faculty and students at the Institute of Library and Information Science at the Wuhan University

CALA’ s Affiliations and Members’ Contributions

CALA is an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA).  As an affiliate of ALA, CALA members take an active part in ALA and in the state library associations’ activities. Some members have been elected to ALA and are Councilors in library associations or have been appointed to serve on ALA, state and local committees. Many CALA members are active members in the American Library Association and its divisions, the Association for Library Collection & Technical Services (ALCTS), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), the Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA), the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), and the Public Library Association, etc. Chinese American librarians have made great contributions to the library profession and it is extremely important for them to become active in the mainstream of the profession.

CALA members are active in professional activities as well, speaking on new library developments and technologies, and establishing exchange programs with some libraries in China. They continue to serve the American Library Association (ALA) and state libraries in a variety of capacities, including that of Council, and as Chairs of various ALA and statewide Committees. Chinese American librarians can and do enrich librarianship with their own cultural backgrounds and make contributions to American, Asian, and Chinese librarianship, setting examples and standards of service with honor and integrity.  A few members have been recognized by receiving ALA and state library associations’ Awards for their contributions to the profession.

The members of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) are from all types of libraries:  academic, federal, law, medical, public and special libraries.  CALA has an excellent relationship with the China Society of Library Science (CSLS).   We can build bridges to assist the libraries in China and in the United States by providing contact and connection for you.