Prof. Xinxia Lai

Prof. Lai Xinxia
Retired Director
Nankai University Library
Tianjin, P.R. China

The CALA Awards Committee is pleased to announce that Professor Lai Xinxia, retired director of Nankai University Library in Tianjin, China, is the recipient for the 2002 CALA Distinguished Service Award.

Prof. Lai is a distinguished scholar and historian, a prolific writer, an authority on Chinese local chronicles and a visionary library leader. Between 1984 and 1992, he was the Head of the Department of Library Science, the University Librarian and the Director of the University Press, Nankai University. Since 1992, he has been the Director of the Institute of Local Documents Research, Ministry of Education and Chief Editor of Tianjin Library Journal.

As Library Director at Nankai University between 1984-1992, Professor Lai built a modern library and an impressive collection. He also served as the Dean of the Department of Library Science during that time. Under his able leadership he recruited one of the best faculty teams for the Department and educated a large number of students who later became famous librarians or teaching faculty members. He also built an internationally known library school and fostered international library cooperation. He hosted visiting librarians from China, Japan, the United States and other countries. Although Professor Lai retired from his positions in the 1990s, he has continued to be very active in the profession by teaching, consulting, writing and publishing.

Professor Lai has made significant contributions to the success of China - U. S. education and library cooperation. Between 1980 to 1990, he participated in the American Education Observation Group, visited over ten American Universities in the United States and Hong Kong and initiated library cooperative programs with libraries in the United States. He was a visiting scholar in 1991 at the Oriental Studies Library and the Oriental Studies Institute of Columbia University. He co-headed an Observation Group of the Tianjin Committee of University and College Library Work and visited six Universities in Ohio. In 1993 he was appointed as an advisor to the Ohio University Library and was responsible for collection development of the library's Overseas Chinese Literature Research Center. In 1997 he was invited to visit a number of American universities' libraries and research institutes where he delivered speeches to promote library cooperation and exchange programs.

In the years of his professional career, and after retirement, Professor Lai has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership and significant achievements. He also has shown strong organizational skills and innovation, and has made contributions to history and library and information services at the national and international levels. These characteristics, together with his involvement in research focused on Chinese history, especially the Chinese chronicles which are some of the most comprehensive works in this field as well as his contributions to professional literature, as related to the application of new technologies for the library, position him strongly for this award.

Professor Lai is a sought after speaker at the national and international levels. He has been very active in the China Society for Library Science, the Tianjin Society for Library Science and other library associations. He was appointed as a national committee member or as a consultant and/or as teaching faculty at many prestigious research institutions, e.g., the Standing Committee of the National Committee of University and College Library Work, Ministry of Education; the Standing Committee of the Tianjin Committee of University and College Library Work; the Committee of Ancient Book Research, Ministry of Education; the Chinese Society for Information Science and the Chinese Association of Local Chronicles. He is the Honorary Chairman of the Society of Historical Materials of Modern Chinese History and the Standing Committee, Research Group of Chinese Historical Literature.

Professor Lai has made significant achievements and contributions to China, Japan and the United States. He is an excellent library director who has extended himself to make important professional contributions beyond his own Library. Professor Lai possesses a very gentle and warm personality. He encourages and mentors younger generations with the warmest attitude and enthusiasm.

Professor Lai's publications have remained as major reference tools for more than half a century. He has published more than forty entries of articles and books in the scholarly and professional literature. Readers are benefited by Professor Lai's vast array of topics ranging from academic librarianship, Chinese history, humanities, social sciences and other topics.

CALA Awards Committee:
Mia Bassham
Amy Tsiang, Co-chair
Sha Li Zhang, Co-chair