Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fil-Ams represent and entertain at California librarians’ confab

/ 01:03 AM November 14, 2017

Filipino American Librarians close the part at the CLA President’s reception, Saturday night (let to right) Erica Cayuga, Joanna Fabicon, Julie Oshiro-Leviste, (behind) DJ Melvin Racelis, Chris Brown, Erwin Magbanua, and Florante Ibanez. INQUIRER/Florante Ibanez

LOS ANGELES — Hundreds of librarians, library support staff, administrators and friends of libraries thronged to the 2017 California Library Association’s (CLA) annual conference on the weekend of November 2 to 4.

Themed “New Worlds Emerge” the conference focused on pop culture, social justice, humor and body image.


Attendees filled the Riverside Convention Center to share best practices, hear speakers and wander through the exhibit hall to see firsthand new library technologies and meet vendors. California State Treasurer John Chiang was the keynote speaker at the membership’s meeting.

Several panels and poster sessions included Filipino American librarians discussing their community’s particular needs and aspirations. A poster session on the “Filipino American Library: 32 years in transition,” a community-based collaboration with the USC East Asia Library, was held Friday afternoon to positive reception.


Alexis Abad–Hackathorn, coordinator of Student Services for USC’s Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS), hosted a meet-and-greet reception for USC alumni and administrators following her successful booth presentations in the exhibit hall.

FilAm LA Public Librarian vocalist Joanna Fabicon rocks on with her pink hair as fellow librarians Diana Garcia and Robert Karatsu feel the vibe. INQUIRER/Florante Ibanez

Fil-Am librarians at USC also include Melanee Vicedo, who co-presented the Filipino American Library Poster Session and Liza Posas, coordinator of LA as Subject. San Diego Public libraries were represented by Erwin Magbanua, programming and special events librarian who also coordinates the annual  San Diego Comic Con Joint San Diego Central Library events, and by Eileen Labrador and Elaine Sinsuan, both working on improving connections between San Diego Libraries and their Filipino American community.

Outside their professional lives, Fil-Am librarians also entertain: Children’s Services Librarian Melvin Racelis also DJ’s on the side and provided the scratching and spins for Helen McAlary, at the CLA President’s Reception that closed the conference.

Also entertaining at the President’s Reception was the band formerly known as the “Dewey Decibels,” led by past CLA President Robert Karatsu, whose Rancho Cucamonga Library received a 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Services, presented by then first lady Michelle Obama. Fil-Am librarian members of the band were Joann Fabicon and this correspondent keyboardist Florante Ibanez, who first met at UCLA’s Library and Information Science School as grad students.

Joining in on the reception’s dance floor were librarians Miguel Castaneda, Susan Hanks, Cindy Mediavilla, Chris Brown, Julie Oshiro-Leviste, Erica Cuyugan, Michelle Perera and, of course, CLA President Helen McAlary.

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TAGS: “New Worlds Emerge”, California librarians, California Library Association’s (CLA), CLA Annual Conference 2017, Filipino American librarians, library technology
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