Prof. John T. Ma

Prof. John T. Ma

Dear CALA Members:

The CALA Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to a CALA member who has demonstrated leadership and service and made a commitment and extraordinary contributions to the advancement of Chinese-American librarianship. This year the Award Committee is pleased to announce that Prof. John T. Ma is the recipient for the 2009 CALA Distinguished Service Award.

Prof. Ma was nominated jointly by Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, Dr. Tze-chung Li and Dr. Ching-chih Chen for his great success with his initiative "Book-for-China Fund", a project he launched since 2005.

Prof. Ma received a M.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin in 1948 and a MLS from Columbia University in 1958. His professional career spanning over 50 years includes positions as Associate Librarian of the Missionary Research Library at Columbia University, Chinese Bibliographer-Cataloger at Cornell University Libraries, Curator-Librarian of the East Asian Collection of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Director of the Library at the Sinological Institute of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and Chinese Librarian at the New York Public Library. While at Stanford, Prof. Ma also served as a professor of Asian Studies at Lincoln University in San Francisco and taught at the San Francisco State University. He has been invited as a visiting professor at National Taiwan University, Tamkang University in Taiwan, East China Normal University (Shanghai), Changchun University of Science and Technology (Jilin), and the Southeast University (Nanjing) in China.

Prof. Ma devoted all of his time and effort to ensure the success of the "Book-for-China Fund" project despite various types of the problems and difficulties that arose. He tirelessly explored many avenues for the needed books or journals for academic libraries in China. Against all odds, he managed all the logistics to deliver the books to China with limited funds. It involved collections, storage, sorting, shipping, administrative negotiations with end parties and authorities on protocols. This project resulted in over 100,000 books shipped to China in less than 4 years which is considered an unparallel success by any measurement.

The Committee believes that Prof. Ma has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership and achievements in library and information services at the national and international level. We share the sentiments expressed so genuinely and strongly by his nominators and supporters. Prof. Ma is a model of how an individual can accomplish a noble cause with his vision, determination and hard work.

Respectfully submitted,

CALA Awards Committee
Wen-Ying Lu (MW Chapter)
Katherine Sun (SE Chapter)
Jiaxun Wu (CA-S Chapter)
George Zhixian Yi (SW Chapter )
Cathy Yang, Chair (GMA Chapter)