A well-written article on Chinese Librarianship

by Jing Liu ~ June 2nd, 2008. Filed under: Readings.

Just finished reading “Career Choices and Advancement: Chinese American Librarians in the 21st Century”, a study published in the latest issue of “Internet Chinese Librarians”, and I’d highly recommend this article to all of you who are interested in Chinese American/Canadian Librarianship. A well-done research article with significant contribution to the minority librarianship literature as it is, this article also provides many practical suggestions in aspects like dealing with negative attitudes and overcoming different barriers faced by minority librarians’ career development. As a matter of fact, many of its findings go beyond the profession limitation and are also applicable to other professionals as well. I quoted, for example, the following paragraph and emailed them to two friends — one is working as a software engineer in Canada and the other a bio-statistician in the States:
“The respondents stated repeatedly that Chinese American librarians need to conscientiously adjust their attitudes of being quiet, humble, and obedient, which are often resulted from traditional Confucius teaching. These attitudes can be misunderstood and viewed as lack of motivation, lack of creativity, or lack of communication skills. The respondents suggested a cultivation of traits such as making oneself more outgoing, more open and direct about opinions, and more participatory by offering ideas. These traits are valued in the Western culture, and seem necessary for Chinese American librarians to develop if they want to be considered for leaders’ positions.” ( Ruan & Xiong, 2008)

2 Responses to A well-written article on Chinese Librarianship

  1.   Jing

    Well said. I, myself, often struggle between the Confucian and Western values, especially working in an Asian Library as a branch of the much larger academic library system. I admire the new generation of Chinese American librarians whose writing is getting deeper and touching on sensitive issues.

  2.   Lingbo

    Another reason for me to promote Toastmasters. It works!! No matter what goal you have in your personal or professional life, the program will make you a better Communicator, Leader, Mentor/Coach, and Manager. (Note, there is a big difference between a leader and a manager.) You will also make friends with some very talented professionals who are role models in many ways.

    One of my favorites quote is from Lord Tennyson: You are part of who you have met! Surround yourself with positive, enthusiastic, and cheerful people, and you will become one yourself.

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