Barbara Ford and Haipeng Li win the 2009 CALA President’s Recognition Award

Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) announces that Ms. Barbara J. Ford and Mr. Haipeng Li as the recipients of the Association's 2009 President's Recognition Award. These two individuals have made significant contributions in supporting and advancing CALA's mission and goals in 2008-2009. Their hard work and dedications have helped increased CALA's visibility in the library community on national and international scenes.

Ms. Barbara Ford

Ms. Ford is a well-known individual to many CALA members. She has held the post of Director and Distinguished Professor at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs of the University of Illinois since 2003. Prior to this position, Ms. Ford held leadership positions as Assistant Commissioner for Central Library Services at the Chicago Public Library; as Professor and Executive Director of University Library Services at Virginia Commonwealth University; as Associate Professor and Associate Director at Trinity University, and as Assistant Professor and Department Head at University of Illinois at Chicago.

During her professional career, Ms. Ford has made significant contributions to the library profession not only through her library work, but also through her outstanding and prolific professional services and scholarly contributions. Among many of her appointments on committees, taskforces, award jury positions, and executive boards with ALA and its divisions and roundtables, Ms. Ford was Executive Board member for Illinois Library Association in 1978-1979; ALA President in 1997-1998; ALA Councilor-at-Large from 1985-1989; Chapter Councilor for Illinois Library Association in 1980 - 1984; ACRL President in 1990-1991; IFLA Governing Board member in 2005-2009, etc.  Ms. Ford contributed more than 200 entries of journal articles, papers, presentations, book chapters, and reviews that influenced policy-making and advance the profession.

Ms. Ford has passionately engaged in and supported library and librarian's activities and exchanges on the international scale.  During her ALA presidential year in 1997 - 1998, Ms. Ford promoted the theme on Global Reach, Local Touch.  Her advocacy and effective leadership role helped enhance our understanding on the library issues outside the U.S. boarders. As Director of the Mortenson Center, she helped train many librarians from U.S. and abroad on library management, technology, public services, and library program designs. In her leadership posts on ALA, ACRL, PLA, IRRT, ALISE, IFLA, and many other library and learning associations, Ms. Ford helped many programs, panel discussions, workshops, and training sessions in promoting international library and librarian exchanges and sharing best practices. She traveled to many countries in the five continents, giving presentations and papers to promote information access and public services to library users around the globe. Ms. Ford received Humphrey/OCLC/Forest Press Award in 2008 for her significant contribution to international librarianship.

CALA is very proud of having Ms. Ford as its life member.  In July 2007, Ms. Ford enthusiastically participated in the CALA 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series held in Kunming City in China. She gave a presentation on "21st Century Library Management" at the Sino-U.S. Librarians Pragmatic Forum. In preparing an IMLS funded project, Think Globally, Act Globally in 2008, Ms. Ford was very resourceful and enthusiastic. She believes that this type of collaborative program will help educate the librarians in U.S. and in China which will in turn improve library services to more than 3.6 million Chinese American citizens. Ms. Ford offered the Mortenson Center as the forum place to conduct exchanges between U.S. librarians and the librarians from China as a part of this project. She used her professional networks to connect CALA with the University of Illinois as the grant project partners. She is a member of the Steering Committee on this grant project since November 2008 to carry out the project. She will be a presenter on one of the project workshops in China in September 2009. CALA is fortunate to have Ms. Ford for her expertise, professional networks, and guidance on many international endeavors.

Mr. Haipeng Li

Mr. Haipeng Li is Associate Director at John Cotton Danna Library, Rutgers University-Newark.  On this post, Mr. Li oversees research support services for undergraduate and graduate students;  coordinates personnel administration; leads in library planning, assessment, and innovation, and directs initiatives to expand outreach, engagement, collaborations, and fundraising. Prior to this position, Mr. Li held professional positions at Oberlin College Library; University of Arizona Library, and Northeast Normal University in Changchun City, Jilin Province in  China.  Mr. Li is a prominent figure for his expertise on trends and issues in U.S.  academic libraries, information literacy initiatives, managing and fostering diversity, and global collaborations.

Mr. Li has been very active in professional services to ALA, ACRL, and JCLC committees, including the posts on the ACRL Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee, ALA International Relations Committee, incoming chair of the ALA's IRC East Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, and the Co-chair of Joint Conference for Librarians of Color (JCLC II) to plan for the second national conference in 2012.  In these capacities, Mr. Li has consistently demonstrated his dedication and passion to work with others toward the goals of these committees.

Mr. Li's scholarly and research activities are outstanding.  Through many of his publications on peer-reviewed journals and through many presentations, Mr. Li has established himself as an expert and authority on issues that are facing our profession on leadership diversity, information literacy, collaborations with faculty and students, and international librarianship. Mr. Li has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, books and chapters, and presented at more than 30 conference sessions at the local, state, national, and international levels. His publications on leadership diversity are widely cited which has influenced practices on diversity initiatives in academic libraries.

Mr. Li's professional contributions to CALA are significant.  He served more than 20 positions on CALA and the CALA Midwest Chapter.  These positions include the CALA representative to the Fourth China-U.S. Library Conference, chairs of the CALA Program Planning Committee, Publications Committee, Membership Committee, Nominations Committee, CALA Newsletter Editor, and the CALA Midwest Chapter President.  In 2006-2007, Mr. Li was the CALA President. During his presidential year, he helped CALA to implement the CALA 2010 Strategic Plan; led the CALA delegation to participate in the successful JCLC in 2006; expanded the CALA 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series, to name just few. He received the CALA Distinguished Services Award in 2008.  Mr. Li was instrumental in helping shape the IMLS funded grant proposal, Think Globally, Act Globally, with partnership of University of Illinois, Library Society of China, and CALA. The project successfully received the grant of close to $500,000 in November 2008. Since then, Mr. Li is a key player in representing CALA as a Steering Committee member on this grant project that facilitates collaboration, exchange of best practices, and professional development of librarians from the U.S. and China.

In May 2008, Mr. Li was asked to serve the CALA Interim Executive Director through July 2009. Facing many challenges, Mr. Li took this position with dedication, enthusiasm, and most importantly, the vision.  He led CALA to move to the position that is being recognized by library colleagues in U.S. and abroad.  His efforts in carrying out the goals of CALA 2010 Strategic Plan are outstanding and genuinely appreciated.

The CALA President's Recognition Award is intended to recognize and to honor an individual, group or organization who possesses a philosophy of dedication, quality of service, and professional integrity for his/her/their significant contributions to the library community that have shown leadership in one of the many areas of great importance to the mission and goals of CALA.  Ms. Barbara Ford and Mr. Haipeng Li are such individuals who should be recognized through this Award.