Affiliated faculty member Clara Chu, director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, is the recipient of the 2019 American Library Association Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) Distinguished Librarian Award. The Distinguished Librarian Award recognizes significant accomplishments in library services that are national or international in scope and include improving, spreading, and promoting multicultural librarianship.
"Dr. Chu is a leading and respected international voice on cultural diversity in library and information science that has contributed to developing professional and policy documents to improve, spread and promote multicultural librarianship nationally and internationally," said nominator Shali Zhang, dean of Libraries at the University of Montana. "She specializes in the sociocultural study of information use, practices and systems that impact access, representation and collective memory in multicultural communities in order to foster information equity and social change."
Chu has over 30 years of service in the profession. She has received numerous accolades in recognition of her leadership, service and scholarly contributions. While serving as department chair at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), she spearheaded the Academic and Cultural Enrichment Scholars Program which, according to Professor(s) Fatih Oguz and Nora Bird, "supported 36 diversity scholars through their MLIS degrees and enhanced community, academic, and professional engagement through establishing the iDEAL (information Diversity, Engagement, Access, and Libraries) Summit." Additionally, she has authored numerous publications that promote cross-cultural literacy in LIS and has served on multiple advisory committees, boards, and panels.
Chu is also the 2018 recipient of the American Library Association Beta Phi Mu Award, 2016 ALISE Award for Professional Contribution to Library and Information Science Education and the 2015 CALA Distinguished Service Award. As recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Librarian Award, she will receive a commemorative plaque and a $500 honorarium to be presented during the EMIERT Chair's Program, "Social Unrest, Democracy, and Librarianship in the 21st Century," at ALA's 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.