The Chinese American Library Association, Northern California Chapter (CALA-NCA) undertakes part of the Thinking Globally, Acting Globally (TGAG) Program, which is a cooperative program among San Jose Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chinese American Library Association, and supported with IMLS grant. The reception is organized by CALA NCA members, Diane Lai, Yi Liang, Mengxiong Liu, Diana Wu, and Janet Lin who helps with the treasurer. The program is a 7-days visiting trip for directors from China, who are Ms. Fengying Deng, Assistant Curator in Taiyuan Library, Ms. Yonghui Li, Deputy Director of Shandong Library, Mr. Yong Zhang, Director of Hunan Library, and Mr. Xuyan Tang, Director of Hubei Provincial Library. During seven days trip, the directors learned American Public Library System and Academic Library System, talked with American directors and compared Eastern and Western Library Systems. It was a great opportunity for them to see how western libraries provide international programs. CALA members had an opportunity to see the development and changes of Chinese library system through Chinese directors’ presentations. Through the program, both Chinese and American librarians realize the difference between cultures and countries, and think and act globally.
Four Chinese Directors arrived at Bay Area on June 19 and greeted at the airport by Yi Liang, Diane Lai, and Diana Wu. They started their trip on June 20, and first had a tour on San Jose State University campus and city of San Jose. At noon time, they attended the potluck lunch-meeting with CALA members at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. Attendees were Shu-Hua Liu, Hong Wang, Fang Gu, Jianye He, Angela Yang, Yiping Wang, Marian Chou, Bing Zuo-Dittmer, Junzhi Jia, Yonghui Li, Xuyan Tang, Yong, Zhang, FengYing Zhang, Julia Tung, Diana Wu, and Yi Liang.
During the lunch-meeting, Chinese guests gave presentations about their libraries, programs and services, and new buildings. After the presentation, they answered questions including their archives and manuscripts policy and process, hiring process, and public computer services, etc. After the meeting, Shu-Hua Liu, Yi Liang, and Yiping Wang guided a tour of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library’s art designs, which brought ideas to guests’ new libraries’ decorations.
On Monday morning, 6/21, Diana Wu organized a meeting for the Chinese Directors with Ruth Kifer, Dean of San Jose State University Library and John Wenzler, Associate Dean of Information Technology, and librarians from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. In the afternoon, Chinese Directors met with Jane Light, Director of San Jose Public Library, and Diane Lai, Head of Technical Service, who also took them to visit Santa Teresa branch and introduced San Jose Way of service after the meeting. Since four directors are all from public libraries, they are very interested in American public library system and like the idea of San Jose Way to provide library services.
On Tuesday, 6/22, Yi Liang drove Chinese visitors to Stanford University. Julia Tung and Yi Liang then took them to Hoover Archives and Stanford East Asian Library. The visitors were highly impressed by the rare manuscripts and archive collection and the structure of Stanford library system, as well as the beautiful campus.
On Wednesday, 6/23, Diane Lai and Yi Liang took the group visiting the Rosenberg Library at City College of San Francisco and San Francisco Public Library. The group met with Donna Soon-Chan, supervisor of classify staff, Angela Webster, supervisor of circulation since Dear Rita Jones has been just retired these days because of budget cut. Yi Liang did a presentation about the college library’s services, resources and staffing and led a tour at the library and the campus.
At San Francisco Public Library, the group had a tour to the library led by Karen Strauss, Assistant Chief of Main Library and Diane Lai. They met with Luis Herrera, City Librarian, Toni Bernardi, Chief of Children and Youth Services, Doris Tseng, Manager of International center, Lisa Vestal, Chief Curator of Programs and Exhibitions, and Mitchell Yangson, Librarian of Filipino American Center. Through meetings, the group learned how American libraries and information center provide American Youth Services and International Programs and Exhibitions.
On Thursday, 6/24, Yiping Wang and Jianye He (Librarian for Chinese Collections of UC Berkeley) escorted the guests from San Jose to Berkeley. In the morning, the group visited UC Berkeley. They first visited the C. V. Starr East Asian Library. On behalf of the Director of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Dr. Peter Zhou, Evelyn Kuo (Head of Technical Service) , Susan Xue (Head of Public Service and Electronic Librarian) and Jianye He (Librarian for Chinese Collections) welcomed the guests and gave a brief introduction of the history and collections of the East Asian Library. Attendees exchanged information on library collections, management, services, etc. Both sides expressed their interest in knowing more about each other and possible cooperation in the future. The abundant materials on local history, rare books and other special collections from the Chinese Provincial libraries received a lot of attention and interest. Amy Kuo (Berkeley Public Library Asian Librarian) and Doris Tseng (San Francisco Public Library, International Center manager) also joined the discussion later.
After the meeting, the guests had a tour of the C. V. Starr East Asian Library and other highlights of the campus, including Doe Library, Bancroft Library, Sather Tower of UC Berkeley. After lunch hosted by the East Asian Library, the group visited the Berkeley Public Library. Amy Kuo, the Asian Librarian of the library led a well-prepared tour. The group visited Information Center, Reference Desk, Popular Literature section, Audio-Video collections, Teen & Children Library areas, etc. They were particularly interested in Art & Music Center, Community Information freebie area and Children Reading Alcove. At the end of the visit, Dr. Kuo (Evelyn Kuo’s husband) graciously helped with driving the guests back to San Jose. The couple’s timely help was greatly appreciated by the guests.
On Friday, 6/25, the Chinese Directors finished their busy but informatively trip and flied to Washington DC. It is a wonderful opportunity for Chinese guests to learn ideas of library services from US and also the opportunity for us to understand Chinese library system and services, which will be helpful for both sides to think and act globally.
Program Coordinator of CALA-NCA