The Role of Chinese American Librarians in Library and Information Science Diversity

Lian Ruan, Weiling Liu

Abstract


With a goal to examine the role of Chinese American librarians in Library and Information Science (LIS) diversity in the 21st century, the authors conducted a study funded by the ALA (American Library Association) Diversity Research Program between 2013 and 2014. This study included a national survey of CALA (Chinese American Librarians Association) members and qualitative semi-structured interviews of ten selected survey participants (both senior and emerging leaders of CALA members). Despite some limitations of the study, the research findings document best practices and lessons learned among Chinese American librarians to inform and improve the diversity initiative, namely by increasing CALA’s leadership training and mentorship opportunities, improving communication and cultural understanding, and developing connections with other people or organizations with diversity agendas. The findings have provided fruitful ideas to CALA in many ways especially its 2020 strategic planning, collaboration with other organizations and Leadership Training initiatives occurring between 2015 and 2017. The findings also suggest strategies for the recruitment and retention of Chinese American librarians to the LIS field. The findings and outcomes also provide much needed evidence to increase the role of Chinese American librarians in the diversity efforts that support 2017 ALA’s Strategic Directions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.


Keywords


Diversity; Chinese American Librarians; Chinese American Librarians Association

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.23974/ijol.2017.vol2.2.39

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