Dr. Clara M. Chu is Director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and Mortenson Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in the social construction of library and information use, practices, and systems that impact access and collective memory in multicultural communities. Her transnational, ethnic minority, and multilingual background provides her a distinctive and critical lens in the social study of information issues to transform professional practice and education internationally.
Dr. Chu has an incredible range of experience in international and multicultural library and information work, education and research. She has published in leading international journals and presented at conferences worldwide in English and Spanish. She has held successive leadership positions in library and information associations, most recently as ALISE President and on the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Governing Board.
Dr. Chu earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and her master’s and doctoral degrees in library science from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Prior to her position at Illinois, she was at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) where she was professor and chair of the Department of Library and Information Studies. She joined UNCG in 2009 after approximately 20 years as a faculty member at the Department of Information Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles. She has been the recipient of many awards including the 2016 ALISE Award for Professional Contribution to Library and Information Science Education.
I am honored to be a member of the ASIS&T community and a candidate for ASIS&T President to strengthen and expand our community and advance our interests. As ASIS&T members we are a community of practitioners, educators, learners, researchers, organizations and stakeholders engaged in shaping the life cycle of information. In the 21st Century we live in a globalized and technology-connected society where information is a fingertip away for some while for others it is an earshot away; some have access to a diversity of information and others are exposed to distorted information. We are aware that the type of information people can access will either enhance their opportunities and lives or limit their potential and growth. Just like you, I’m invested in our information futures, grounded on local concerns that connect us globally.
I envision ASIS&T as the touchstone for information practice, research, education and professional development to build a sustainable world and change lives. I hope to continue to bring value to the association, that means to you (our members), and to advance our strategic goals. I will work alongside a talented and knowledgeable board, and active and committed committee members to assess our progress with our existing strategic plan, with an eye to our future direction. I am a multicultural, multilingual, experienced educator and scholar in library and information science with a global mindset committed to diversity and inclusion. I will listen to concerns in order to identify strategic solutions, and to lend my voice to our community’s needs and interests in shaping policy and practice.
My engagement in ASIS&T has been in advancing international relations, partnering with other associations in providing social networking for our members at IFLA conferences, searching for our new Executive Director, presenting my research and organizing sessions at conferences, and collectively grappling with quality assessment of library and information science (LIS) education as an ALISE President. With our strategic plan as our roadmap, I propose to work collectively as an association and collaboratively with other organizations to reach our milestones. As President, the values I will bring to navigate the future course of ASIS&T are diversity (our membership reflects our global information society), inclusion (our association is intentional in engaging all voices), collective impact (our work is cross-sector and multidisciplinary to achieve our mission), ethics of care (our association/membership is connected and interdependent), and sustainability (our association has the resources to thrive). I hope to have the opportunity to garner our energies to create collective impact.