2012 CALA President's Recognition Award

Dear CALA Members:

I am very pleased to announce that the CALA Board has unanimously approved that Dr. Clara Chu, Dr. Mengxiong Liu, and Dr. Sha Li Zhang be the 2012 CALA President’s Recognition Award recipients.

The three award recipients, as individuals and as a group, possess a philosophy of dedication, quality of service, and professional integrity for their significant contributions to the library community that have shown leadership in many areas of great importance to the mission and goals of CALA, and particularly in their important roles to advise, support, and shape CALA’s long term success through the Presidential Initiatives this year in the theme of diversity and international collaboration.

Dr. Clara Chu is the Chair and Professor of the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is a prolific and leading scholar on multicultural library and information services, has consulted and presented her research findings internationally, and also served on editorial boards of many prestigious journals.  A Peruvian-born, Chinese Canadian American, her transnational and ethnic experiences have shaped her distinctive view and unique perspective on the issues of multicultural education and library services to diverse population.  Dr. Chu has taken actions in recruiting people of diverse backgrounds into the information profession through the program called PRAXIS (Practice, Reflection, Advocacy, eXcellence, Inquiry, Solutions) that she designed and coordinated.  She also successfully obtained IMLS National Leadership Grant to support this meaningful endeavor.

Dr. Chu is very active in national and international professional associations promoting multicultural librarianship.  She co-chairs the IFLA Section on Education and Training, and was on the Steering Committee of the Section on Library Services to Multicultural Populations.  Her achievements are duly recognized in the many awards and honors she has received, i.e. the ALA Library Diversity Research Honor Lecturer in 2008, a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2005, the ALA Equality Award in 2002, just to name a few.  She is one of the Chinese Americans who has exerted a significant impact upon examining the issue of barriers to information in multicultural communities through a critical and distinctive angle.

As an invited speaker of the 2011 CALA Annual Program: Embracing the Changes: Diversity and Global Vision in a Digital Age during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, she contributed to the great success of the Program by her presentation “A CALL (Change, Advocacy, Leadership in Libraries) to LEADD (Librarians Enhancing Access, Diversity and Development).  The Program has opened a dialogue on the theme of diversity and global reach, set the stage for a series of activities/projects during 2011-12 year to demonstrate CALA's commitment to taking a leadership role in promoting cultural diversity and international collaboration in library profession.   Dr. Chu serves on the 2011-12 CALA Presidential Initiative Advisory Board, and also as a CALA representative to the ALA’s Diversity Working Group on Diversity and LIS Education. CALA is fortunate to have Dr. Chu in these roles utilizing her experience and expertise.  A life member of CALA, and a former board member and chair of Scholarship Committee, Dr. Chu has contributed to CALA tremendously and CALA is so proud of her extraordinary contributions to our professional communities nationally and internationally.

Dr. Mengxiong Liu is an Engineering Librarian and Professor of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University.  She is a great source of inspiration and encouragement to many young librarians in CALA and elsewhere. In her distinguished service and contribution to CALA as a president and a board member, among many other roles, Dr. Liu has tirelessly promoted Chinese American librarian cooperation.  Under her unparallel leadership, CALA played a critical role in co-organizing the first China-US Library Conference on Global Information Access: Challenges and Opportunities, held in Beijing in 1996.  On behalf of CALA, Dr. Liu made an opening speech at the Conference, as then ALA President Betty Turock, CALA’s visionary founding member Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee and many distinguished library leaders of both countries gathered to discuss key issues on global information infrastructures, challenges and opportunities related to information access on the Internet and the international communications. This conference set the stage for the development of many collaborations and exchange programs among libraries in the United States and China down the road.

Dr. Liu has continued to contribute her experience and expertise in strengthening many China-U.S. library collaboration activities.  She has become a sought after speaker and consultant for academic libraries in China. She has also served as an adviser for the Evergreen Education Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving education and libraries in rural China. In 2007, Dr. Liu received the Fulbright Senior Specialists Award to give advice for postgraduate programs in digital libraries in Uruguay.  Furthermore, she has gone beyond CALA  to have served on the ALA Diversity Council, the Steering Committee of ALA Spectrum Initiative, the Research & Statistics Committee of ALA, just to name a few.  She is also a prolific author and well known speaker.  She has published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters, and presented at national and international conferences.  She has received many awards, honors, and grants.  Dr. Liu is regarded as an excellent mentor and role model to young librarians from diverse background as she exemplifies the best quality of extraordinary commitment to librarianship, professional service, and leading with integrity.

Serving on the 2011-12 CALA Presidential Initiative Taskforce, she is instrumental in giving unwavering support and encouragement to the president in the promotion of diversity and international collaboration to further CALA’s mission and goals.  The impact of her leadership and contributions has been felt throughout the local, national, and/or global community of libraries.  She is consistently one of the favorites among CALA colleagues for her dedication, intelligence, collegiality, warmth and elegance. She is simply excellent.

Dr. Sha Li Zhang is the Assistant Dean for Collections & Technical Services at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In her distinguished service and contribution to CALA, as a president and a board member, among many other roles, she has tirelessly promoted international collaboration between U.S. and China, fostered and sustained connections of key library organizations - ALA, CALA, and Library Society of China - in the promotion of cross cultural exchange of core values of libraries that benefit libraries and librarians of both countries. Dr. Zhang has carried out her leadership vision in intentional perspective through her participation and contribution in professional organizations such as the ALA and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). She played an important role in making CALA membership at IFLA a reality. Her extensive involvement and leadership experience in library organizations, at national and international levels, have been invaluable in helping achieve the strategic objectives of CALA in international outreach and collaboration.

Dr. Zhang served as a councilor-at-large at ALA Council and on many committees.  She has held leadership positions at ALA’s International Relations Committee, the International Relations Roundtable, the Association of Library Collections and Technical Services, and the Association of College and Research Libraries. She is a prolific speaker and has delivered engaging and thought-provoking presentations to the library community at national and international levels. Dr. Zhang has published numerous articles in scholarly journals, and she has extensive experience at many editorial boards.  She has also received many awards, honors, and grants, including CALA Distinguished Service Award. She has received IMLS grants for her University to recruit and prepare minority librarians to promote diversity in library profession and library service to people with all cultural backgrounds.  Dr. Zhang is an excellent mentor and role model who has demonstrated remarkable achievements in librarianship, professional service, and leadership.  Serving on the 2011-12 CALA Presidential Initiative Taskforce, she has been effective in giving support and advice in carrying out activities and projects in promoting diversity and international collaboration to enhance CALA’s mission and goals. 

Please join me in celebrating the outstanding contributions from these three extraordinary individuals to CALA and to our profession and in congratulating them on being awarded this honor!

With warmest regards,

Min Chou, CALA President 2011-12