Cloud Gate - Connecting with the Taiwanese Community

Community,Library Resources

April 5, 2011

Check out the new virtual tour of the Katie Wheeler Library

View the new virtual tour of the Katie Wheeler Library. Click the computer icon on the lower right corner (on the control bar) to see the full-screen version of the tour.


March 22, 2011

Tweet tweet!

Twitter logo

I looked into Twitter about a year and a half ago just to see what the fuss was about. I signed up for an account and chose to follow Amelie Benjamin of the Boston Globe. I’m always pressed for time, so I like the fact that each post, or “tweet, ” is 140 characters or less. Brevity is good! Unfortunately for me, this occurred during the baseball playoff season and I was inundated by more than 100 tweets in 2 days. So much for that. Not a fair sample test, I know, but I turned off Twitter and never looked back.

Now I’m learning how Twitter might be used by a member of my user population.  What I’m finding out is that my short-lived experiment fell far short of demonstrating its potential. Twitter can be used as a central tool of an online community, where members interact with one another by sharing useful or fun information in real time.  As a Twitter user (Tweeter? Twitterer?), you chose who you want to follow – to receive tweets from. In turn, you can share information with those who follow you. Read a great book that’s of interest to the community? Tweet about it! Find a great deal on airfare to Taiwan that’s only good for the next 3 days? Tweet about that! It’s a nice way of sharing knowledge and posting useful links. Just be mindful of the kind of information you’re sharing and don’t overdo it.

Now, Twitter has something called a hashtag. It’s a hash symbol (# ) followed by a topic. For example, the hashtag  #Taiwan is a topic about Taiwan. You can sign up for the feed or go to the Twitter web site to read what people are saying about Taiwan. I’ve posted the feed for #Taiwan in the sidebar on the right, and you can see that it’s mainly local news. You can do a search on Twitter ( for any hashtag you find interesting, to read what people are saying in real time. Hashtags are also useful for keeping track of information about events and conferences. For example, if  UCI has weeklong event celebrating Asian culture, there may be a hashtag such as #asiaweek assigned for it (or you can create one yourself if you want!), where people tweet and receive tweets about the happenings at this event.

Basically, a hashtag is a group tweet about a particular subject. It can be very useful for keeping yourself up-to-date. When the recent Japan earthquake happened, the hashtag #Japan went into overdrive with thousands of people posting news about what was happening at the time. I remember a CNN reporter telling someone, “You need to stop tweeting and get to someplace safe!” as that person was tweeting that he was feeling a strong aftershock!

Do yourself a favor and give Twitter a shot. It’s a great tool for embracing the local and global communities.


March 17, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day … in a pinch

three-leafed shamrocks

Not being Irish didn’t stop my 11 year-old niece and some of her Asian friends from wearing green today…

So why do the Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, anyways?

St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, in AD 461. St. Patrick is credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland, and there’s a lot of Irish folklore surrounding him. One of the most famous legends says that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland into the sea, where they drowned. Another says that he explained the concept of the Trinity with a three-leafed shamrock, which is why the shamrock today has such a strong association with St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland.

For over 1000 years, the Irish have traditionally celebrated St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday. Families would attend church services and celebrate by breaking the Lenten restrictions on food and alcoholic drinks (the holiday falls during the Christian season of Lent). St. Patrick’s Day also became a celebration of the Irish culture.

Chicago River dyed green on St. Patrick's Day

The Chicago River is dyed green every year on March 17.

Today in America, people celebrate the holiday by having parades, wearing green, and drinking beer. There are about 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades held every year, with the largest ones in New York City, Boston, and Savannah.  In Chicago, there’s even a tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green!


March 16, 2011

Talking Baseball … Che-Hsuan Lin 林哲瑄

Spring training is in full swing, and as a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, I’ve been keeping an eye on the goings-on down in Fort Myers, Florida.  Now, the most famous Taiwanese player in the Major Leagues may be Chien-Ming Wang, formerly of the New York Yankees and now with the Washington Nationals, but the Red Sox have an up-and-coming Taiwanese of their own.

Che-Hsuan Lin

Photo © Dave Letizi

Che-Hsuan Lin is one of two Taiwanese players in their minor league system, and he’s considered one of Boston’s top prospects. He had been a non-roster invitee to spring training this year (basically, this means that as a minor league player, Mr. Lin was invited to participate in spring training with his organization’s major league team to gain experience and face tougher competition), but he was one of 12 prospects reassigned to the minor league on Sunday as the Red Sox continue to whittle down their roster. The young outfielder will continue to develop his skills down in the minors. With his great plate discipline and defense, and his ability to get on base, his future in baseball looks very bright!

For more information and stats, check out the Che-Hsuan Lin page on