Category Archives: Activities

CALA NCA Annual Program: Building New Opportunities and Library Connections

Chinese American Librarians Association, Northern California Chapter 2019 Annual Program: Building New Opportunities and Library Connections was held at Richmond/Senator Milton Marks Branch Library on Saturday, May 4.

This symposium featured library professionals and educators to present the latest trends and discussions relating to library services for all types of libraries to consider and opened to all interested in making new connections and opportunities for professional growth.

Special thanks to Terry Carlson helps to host the program at Richmond/Senator Milton Marks Branch, and Ran Pun organizes and invites speakers and virtual welcome remarks from ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo and CALA President Ying Zhang. Continue reading

CALA NCA Annual event, spring 2016

CALA NCA Chapter visi20160430_114947ted San Francisco Chinatown on April 30, 2016.  We had 17 people attend.  The tour started at the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA)  The building was originally a Chinatown YWCA designed by Julia Morgan (1872-1957), an architect who integrated Chinese motifs with the framework of western architecture.  CHSA is the oldest and largest archive and history center documenting the Chinese American experience in the United States.  Now the place is a community cultural center, perfectly set up for meetings/presentations, performances and exhibits.

After a delicious dim sum lunch break at the Saint Mary’s Square park, we headed to the Pacific Heritage 20160430_141651Museum.  The Museum is housed in the historic US Subtreasury Building, dating from 1875 and built on the site of the first US Branch Mint.  The building is recognized as a historical landmark by both the state of California and the city of San Francisco.  In 1984 the building was restored in order to house the Pacific Heritage Museum.  The Museum celebrates the heritage and achievements of the people living along the Pacific Rim.  We saw a replica of a bank vault used during the buildings operation as a part of the Treasury Department.  There is also a display of a collection of rare, antique silver coins.

After that we went toIMG_6160 the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco.  The Center has a gallery, book shop, classroom and offices.  Established in 1965 to foster the understanding and appreciation of Chinese and Chinese American art, history, and culture in the United States.  At the gallery we saw a documentary showing the life of early Chinese immigrants and a couple interesting modern Chinese artworks.

We also stopped by the Fortune Cookie Factory.  The Factory opened on August 5, 1962 and remains onIMG_6181e of the only places you can still find handmade fortune cookies in the country.  There were 2 women placing fortunes in the hot cookies, then folding the cookies before they harden.  You get a sample when you go in and the cookie is still warm, couldn’t be fresher.

IMG_6184Lastly we visited the San Francisco Cable Car Museum.  It contains historical and explanatory exhibits on the San Francisco cable car system.  The museum is part of the complex that also houses the cable car power house, which drives the cable cars.  It is fascinating to see how the cable cars are operated.  The museum is regarded as a working museum.

The tour ended with everyone learning something from the past.  It was truly an educational and informational visit.

Chinese Librarians Summer Program @ Northern California

A group of Chinese librarians participating the 10th year of Chinese Librarians Summer Program came to Bay Area, California and visited San Jose State University Library, U.C. Berkeley, and San Francisco Public Library.

Visitors and SJSU librarians

Chinese librarians with Lian Ruan, the program organizer from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, SJSU librarians and staff: YiPing Wang, Adriana Poo, Elisabeth Thomas, and Judy Pan

On July 16th, 2014 and met with the Associate Dean, International Exchange Program Coordinator, and liaison librarians. San Jose State University librarians introduced the combined library system and services, and tour the group. During the meeting and the tour, there were many questions about operating a public and academic combined system, organizing resources, professional development, and human resources. Both parties learned the different of job positions and job descriptions.

Chinese librarians

Chinese librarians with Lian Ruan at San Francisco Public Library

On July 18, 2014, a group of 26 Chinese librarians participating in the 2014 Chinese Librarians Summer Program visited San Francisco Public Library and met with local CALA NCA members.  Librarians from both groups took turns to briefly introduce themselves and had a very friendly conversation on the differences between Chinese academic libraries and the U.S. libraries.  At the end of the one hour meeting, several CALA NCA members expressed their appreciation of this opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions with their counterparts from China and hope there would be more opportunities for such exchanges.

Jianye He, the librarian from U.C. Berkeley, is introducing the campus to Chinese librarians

A Genius of All Ages : Su Dongpo Lecture & exhibit at San Francisco Main Library, October 12, 2013


San Francisco Public Library and National Center Library, Taiwan co-organized, Northern California National Taiwan University Alumni and Chinese-American Librarians Association Northern California Chapter co-sponsored the lecture and exhibit of Su Dongpo and his Ci at San Francisco Public Library on October 12, 2013.

Su Shi (1037 – 1101), styled Zizhan, self-styled Dongpo Jushi, was a Northern Song Dynasty writer, poet, painter, and calligrapher born in Meishan (now Meishan County in Si chuan Province).
National Center Library donated thousands of dollars Song Ban Shu of collection of Su’s Ci to San Francisco Public Library, and would be exhibited at Chinese Center. The event started with Special Collection librarian from the National Central Library introduces Su Dongpo, and Song Ban Shu of three Su’s (Su Dongpo, his father Su Xun, and his sibling Su Che).

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After it, the lecture was held at Latino Community Room in the Main Library. The Program Manager of San Francisco Public Library: Ms. Yemila Alvarez, Director of National Central Library: Dr. Tseng Shu-Hsien, Director of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco: Bruce Fu, Director of NTU Alumni: Henry Wei, Chinese-American Librarians Association, Northern California Chapter President: Jessica Lu, and Chairman of Chinese Literature and Art Association in America: Jay Lu spoke to audience to welcome everyone. 

DSCF1618Taipei Economic and Cultural Office donated 4 ipads and National Central Library donated 2 Nexus-7 to San Francisco Public Library for patrons to check electronic books.



From 1:45 PM, Professor Lau Siu-Hung from National Taiwan University presented the lecture of Su Dongpo.





Professor Lau introduced Ci as the poem in Chinese history representing the beauty of feminine, the sweet of love and disappointing, changes of year and life. Ci usually was known in between poem and tune. In addition, he explained the reason DSCF1624Su Dongpo started writing Ci, the changes in his life: death of his mother, losing of his first wife, and leaving his father and sibling away, etc.



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A Visit to Immigration Station on Angle Island

On May 18, CALA NCA chapter organized a trip  to visit the Immigration Station of Angel Island, which is called “the Ellis Island of the West” and is a historical landmark of Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.     
cala-nca group pic
Back to the early 1900’s, the Angel Island Immigration Station was the  processing center for over 175,000 Chinese immigrants when Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) built a facility on a remote island to prevent Chinese immigrants from communicating with those in San Francisco, isolate immigrants with communicable diseases.  Most of the Chinese were detained on Angel Island for years.  Some detainees expressed their feelings in poetry carved into the wooden walls of the detention barracks.  In 1940, a fire destroyed the administration building.   On the site, a museum was established and reopened to the public in February 2009.   President Barack Obama, on the day of his inauguration declared January 21 as national Angel Island Day in honor of all the immigrants who suffered long periods of detention before they were admitted to America.

This trip was the continual effort of our NCA chapter’s long standing goal of informing our members of early Chinese American history.  In year 2010, Judy Yung, Professor Emeritus and Librarian of UC Santa Cruz, the co-author of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, was invited by our chapter to talk about her new book “Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America” at San Leandro Public Library. It was well attended by our CALA members and general public.  Inspired by Judy’s talk, our Chapter has been planning to organize our members to visit this historical site.

In recent years, there were a series of events dedicated to honoring Him Mark Lai, an internationally renowned activist and historian who passed away in 2009.  Him Mark Lai was the first scholar that collected comprehensively the poems carved in the wooden walls of Angel Island Immigration Station and published them.  He was regarded as “Dean of Chinese American History”.   One San Francisco Public Library branch was named after him.   His personal collection was housed at the Ethnic Studies Library, UC Berkeley, and has been benefiting many Chinese American historians.  This important heritage of Him Mark Lai in our San Francisco Bay Area also encouraged us to advance this program.

This May, we successfully organized a guided tour of the Angel Island Immigration museum. Through preserved Immigration Barracks and recreated bunk rooms and numerous manuscripts, our members had a glimpse into the life of our early Chinese immigrants regards to  the sufferings and hardship they had been through.  

There are three Chinese visiting scholars joined us.  Dr. Ailing Xiao, Associate Professor of the Shaanxi Normal University and Dr. Yajie Zheng, Associate Professor of the Huaqiao University (Xiamen) are two visiting scholars of U.C. Berkeley.  Ms. Wenyi Ding is a visiting scholar at San Jose State University.

cala-nca group tour

Angel Island is a great place to visit.  If you plan to visit and need more information, please contact the administrator.



Shu-Hua Liu

on behalf of Northern California Chapter