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Chinese Community Library Services Association


Business No: 106915606RR0001

Chinese Community Library Services Association


Established in 1972, the Chinese Community Library Services Association (CCLSA) has a two-fold mandate. First, as an organization solely run by volunteers, CCLSA is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Chinese Canadians and the promotion of Chinese culture within Canada’s cultural mosaic. As the only Chinese-language community library in North America, CCLSA has for the past 48 years been providing a wealth of informational resources, not only to the Chinese population but also to members of the mainstream society, with the Chinese History Room’s rare collection of written, audio and visual materials allowing both researchers and community users a rare glimpse into the life of early Chinese Canadians.


Secondly, CCLSA organizes a variety of community and cultural events and offers a wide range of programs, serving the needs of different age groups. For example, the annual Student Essay Competition and Children Storytelling Competition aim to foster an interest in learning Chinese – a rising global language and a vibrant local language – not only among the younger generation of Chinese Canadians but also students of non-Chinese descent, by providing language learners with the opportunity to strengthen their writing and public speaking skills. The success of both competitions is evidenced by the active participation of non-Chinese participants and their outstanding performance in recent years.


CCLSA places a strong emphasis on the promotion of the well-being of Chinese elders, especially in the Chinatown/Strathcona/Downtown Eastside areas. These Chinese elders constitute a vulnerable group as the language and cultural barriers often prevent them from accessing necessary resources. CCLSA volunteers provide one-on-one and group services, including translation/interpretation, form filing and English lessons, both at the library and at various senior housing project sites. Such services are essential in reducing the various challenges these senior residents may experience in their daily life. In particular, two federal New Horizons for Seniors grants have led to the establishment of a computer/multi-media room in 2008, and the purchasing of 30 tablet devices in 2014. Over three hundred Chinese seniors have since participated in the CCLSA Computer Literacy Initiative. While a majority of the seniors come from Chinatown/Strathcona/Downtown Eastside, many come from other areas in the Lower Mainland, including Burnaby, Richmond, and as far as Surrey and Coquitlam. Through this initiative, participants are able to expand their comfort zone by overcoming their intimidation with new technologies. All seniors gain hands-on experience in using computers and hand-held devices in a friendly and supportive environment. They also enjoy the opportunity to create their own e-mail or Facebook account and are able to communicate with their overseas relatives and friends through video conferencing. Most importantly, many senior participants have decided to take on the mentorship role and share their knowledge beyond the Chinese community. As part of the outreach portion of the initiative, ten “Computer Road Shows” were held at various locations between 2014 and 2015, including the Central Library, UBC Learning Exchange, Vancouver Second Mile Society, local restaurants, and Chinatown/Strathcona/DTES senior housing buildings, in which senior mentors eagerly showcased their newly acquired knowledge and skills to the community.




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