Category Archives: Activities

2011 CALA-NCA Traditional Chinese Book Printing

Talk and Demo by Woodblock Printing Masters from China’s Yangzhou Woodblock Printing Museum and Nanjing University, September 20, 2011 at San Francisco Public Library


You call them big masters at least. You think of them as dinosaurs in this highly advanced printing age, let alone the digital world.  That is why what they preserve—the Chinese art of woodblock printing– was inscribed on the 2009 UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
These masters, three experts from Yangzhou Woodblock Printing Museum, China, recently showed their work for the first time in the United States.  Sponsored by Chinese American Librarians Association/Northern California Chapter, the East Asian Library of UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Public Library, they presented a 2-hour demonstration open to the public in San Francisco Public Library on September 20, 2011.
Prior to the demo, Professor Weizhong Xia from Nanjing University gave a historical overview of traditional Chinese book printing, which raised the audience’s interest right away. Then the three masters, Mr. Rui Mingyang, Mr. Shen Shuhua and Mr. Hou Guilin, performed, one by one and step by step, the various woodblock printing techniques, such as wood-carving, book printing, and book binding. From choosing paper to processing woodblock, from making colors right to printing each page properly, they brought to life what exactly happened in the printing house in China more than 1000 years ago.  During the demo, they produced dozens of copies of a sample page from an old version of Confucius the Analects and gave them as gift to the audience. At the end, the audience asked many questions and lined up for their autographs. The interpreter Yi-yun Zhang   did a wonderful job with both her language skills and intelligent humor.

The program was a great success, well attended by community members and some CALA Northern California Chapter (CALA-NCA) members. Doris Tseng, reference librarian of San Francisco Public Library, Jianye He, the librarian for Chinese collections at UC Berkeley East Asian, and Xiaoli Li, president of CALA Northern California Chapter, had worked together on behalf of the sponsors to organize the event. They and the previous CALA-NCA board members started planning early this year. Jianye He communicated with the visitors and the NCA officers, and made sure a time schedule work for both sides. Doris Tseng volunteered to host the program in her library. She designed the bilingual flyer to promote the program in Chinese and English, scheduled the event, and tested facilities including the video player of the program. Because of her efforts, two major local Chinese newspapers reported the event. Xiaoli Li made warm welcome remarks to the guest speakers on behalf of the CALA-NCA chapter, emphasizing the significance of this cultural exchange program.
More than 6 months’ hard work of our chapter officers was rewarding, receiving grateful comments from the Chinese masters, who were very much impressed with the warmth and strong interest of the audience and expressed their desire to find more opportunities to perform for overseas friends. They gave a very precious gift to the San Francisco Public Library, a long handwritten scroll of a Tang poem “Chun jiang hua yue ye” (A Moonlit Night on the Spring River).

Some other CALA-NCA members who attended the events were current chapter officers Yiping Wang, Jessica Lu,  Hong Wang, and former officers  Liang Yi, Carl C. Chan, Bin Zhang and Amy Kuo.   In coordination with CALA to enhance communications with other organizations at home and abroad, Northern California Chapter has been involved in sponsoring exchange programs with California libraries and Chinese institutions ever since its foundation. The officers held a meeting after this event, discussing about new opportunities of programs and workshops for 2011 and 2012.

Hong Wang
Program Coordinator, CALA-NCA 2011-2012

2010 CALA-NCA Book Talk Programs

Judy Yung Book Talk

Chinese-American Librarians Association- Northern California Chapter had a board meeting at San Leandro Library on August 22nd.  After the meeting, there was a book talk with Judy Yung’s new book “Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America” .

 ···As a major port of entry for immigrants mainly from the Pacific Rim countries, the Angel Island Immigration Station is considered “the Ellis Island of the West Coast.” An estimated 250,000 Chinese and 150,000 Japanese, along with thousands of immigrants from other nations, passed through the station from 1910 to 1940.···Judy Yung is Professor Emeritus of American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
She is the author of Chinese Women of America: A Pictorial HistorySan Francisco’sChinatown and the co-author of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, which won the Before Columbus Foundation Book Award.

Thanks to the manager of San Leandro Library, Nancy Fong, who prepared the dim sum lunch for the meeting and organized the book talk.

Program Coordinator of CALA-NCA

YiPing Wang

2010 Summer Thinking Globally, Acting Globally Program at CALA-NCA

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
YiPing Wang

Book Talks Activity at San Jose State University, October 2006

Emily Wu & Belle Yang Book Talks Activity was held in King Library, San Jose State University, October 28, 2006. Emily Wu, the author of “the Feather in the Storm” and Belle Yang, the author of Hannah is my Name” and many other books, were invited to talk on their books and their journey as a Chinese immigrant. The event was held at the King Library, San Jose State University. Dr. Ruth Kifer, the dean of the university library, was there to present the certificate of appreciation to the speakers.

Event Planning Committee: Mengxiong Liu, Susana Liu, and Diana Wu

(From left to right) Elizabeth Soh, Mengxiong Liu, Diana Wu, Ruth Kifer (SJSU Library Dean), Emily Wu, Belle Yang, Susana Liu, Irene Yeh, and Julia Tung.