Asian American Librarians and Chinese American Librarians

Jian-Zhong (Joe) Zhou
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Graduate Institute of Library and Information Studies
Among 150,000 librarians working in the United States, about 5% were Asians and Pcific Islanders (API), who worked mainly in the academic and large public libraries. Most Asian brarians had the unique characters of bilingual and bicultural background. They not only played a key service role to the API communities in the U.S., but also served as a bridge between mainstream American culture and the Asian culture that bound the API community together for generations. The Chinese American librarans have been a major component of API brarians and their association -- Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) is one of the most active ones among U.S. minority librarians associations. Chinese American brarians worked in all areas of library profession, especially in the technical services and Asian Studies libraries. The representation of Chinese American librarians working in the management category has been below the national average, which was a common phenomenon among Asian American educators in general.