The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will welcome Clara M. Chu as its new director and Mortenson Distinguished Professor on June 1, 2015. She brings more than two decades of professional knowledge and experiences to advance the mission of the Mortenson Center in this dual role.
Dr. Chu is excited to build upon the Mortenson Center’s vision of “developing librarians worldwide.” She says, “[I see] a horizon of opportunities to train librarians who can develop libraries (personnel, services, and spaces) to foster meaningful intellectual and human connections that imbue cross-cultural and transnational understanding.”
“I’m thrilled to have Dr. Chu join the Mortenson Center and the University of Illinois Library,” said Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John Wilkin. “Clara’s incredible range of experience in international library work and education promises to help us shape new strategies for engaging the Mortenson Center.”
In addition to having published in leading international journals and presented at conferences around the world in English and Spanish, Dr. Chu has held successive leadership positions in ethnic, regional, national, and international professional library and information associations. She serves as a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Governing Board and Professional Committee, and as the chair of IFLA’s Division IV (Supporting the Profession).
Dr. Chu earned her bachelor’s degree (a major in Spanish language and literature and a minor in psychology and French) from the University of British Columbia and her master’s and doctoral degree in library science from the University of Western Ontario. She comes to Illinois from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) where she was a professor and past 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. Dr. Chu 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.
For more information about the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, visit www.library.illinois.edu/mortenson .