2015 CALA Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Dear CALA Members:

The CALA Awards Committee is pleased to announce that Dr. Clara M. Chu, a CALA life member and the Director and Distinguished Professor at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is the recipient of the 2015 CALA Distinguished Service Award! 

Dr. Chu received her Ph.D. in Library and Information Science at University of Western Ontario in 1992.  She has been a CALA life member since 1993.  From 1990 to 2015, she was a library and information science educator at UCLS and UNCG.  Since 2015, she has been the Director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and Mortenson Distinguished Professor as well as a Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  

Dr. Clara M. Chu is an outstanding leader.  She has played many leadership roles as the Director of Mortenson Center for International Library Program at UIUC since 2015;  Department Chair of School of Education at UNCG in 2010; Project Director for Academic and Cultural Enrichment Scholars, 2008-2014 (this project was funded through an UNCG IMLS grant with the amount of over $2 million dollars); Chair of Division IV of IFLA and member of Governing Board of IFLA; and the President of the Association for Library and Information Science Education.


Dr. Clara M. Chu is a prolific writer. She has published 37 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, and a book entitled, “Change and Progress in LIS Education.”  She has been dedicated to diversity, multiculturalism and library education through her numerous research activities, over 200 scholarly presentations and many professional consultations.   Dr. Chu’s contributions to librarianship, particularly to Chinese American librarianship, are immense.  She has been active in IFLA, ALA, CALA, SALISE and other organizations.  For IFLA, she was on Governing Board and as Chairs of committees and taskforces.  For ALA, she was member of ALA Accreditation Taskforce, Diversity Working Group and Committee on Education.  For ALISE, she was Vice President and President from 2013-2015.   Being a live member of CALA since 1993, she has served as Board of Director, chairs of many committees and taskforces, and currently she has served as Liaison to IFLA.

Dr. Chu has also been recognized both nationally and internationally and received 26 awards and honors for her commitment to excellence in the profession including the 2012 CALA President Recognition Award.   As a dedicated library and information educator and advocator for diversity and multiculturalism, Dr. Chu has applied for many grants, of which 51 have been granted including several large ones with the amount of $196,000, $862,014 and $889,401. 

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Clara Chu on her being selected as the recipient of the Award, and applauding her achievements at 2016 CALA Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida.   


CALA Awards Committee (2015-2016)

Yongyi Song, Co-Chair

Leping He, Co –Chair

Yan He

Hong Cui

Zhijia Shen