Hwa-Wei Lee receives the Melvil Dewey Medal

For Immediate Release
Fri, 02/20/2015


Cheryl Malden
Program Officer

CHICAGO — Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, former chief of the Asian Division of the Library of Congress, has been awarded the 2015 Melvil Dewey Medal. This annual award, presented by the American Library Association (ALA) and sponsored by OCLC, recognizes “creative leadership of high order, particularly in those fields in which Melvil Dewey was actively interested: library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.”

“Dr. Lee’s many achievements during a long and distinguished career were well described by one nominator as ‘inspirational, transformative, innovative, and enduring,’” said Winston Tabb, chair of the Dewey Medal jury. “For his many accomplishments at Ohio University and the Library of Congress, and for all that he has done to help develop and educate future library leaders, the jury is pleased to honor him with the Melvil Dewey Medal.”

Among the achievements noted by the Dewey Medal jury and the colleagues who wrote in support of this award are Dr. Lee’s leadership as dean of libraries at Ohio University and his tenure as chief of the Library of Congress’ Asian Division; his leadership in advancing international librarianship as a librarian, Fulbright scholar, consultant to numerous foundations, administrator, author of dozens of publications and co-founder and moving spirit behind the China-US library conference. Lee played a vital role in creating the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) and helped to train a new generation of library leaders from Asia by establishing the exemplary International Librarians Internship and Visiting Scholars Program. He was also recognized for his innovative approaches to building collections, such as the Center for International Collections and Overseas Chinese Documentation and Research Center, which he established at Ohio University, and the Asian American Pacific Islander collection, which he initiated at the Library of Congress.

The 2015 Melvil Dewey Medal will be presented at the ALA President’s program, Sunday, June 28, during the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

In addition to Chair Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums at Johns Hopkins University, the members of the 2015 Melvil Dewey Medal jury are:  Emily Bergman, University of Southern California; Lizbeth Bishoff, The Bishoff LLC; Rene Erlandson, University of Nebraska-Omaha; and ShaLi Zhang, University of Montana.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2016 Melvil Dewey Award is Dec. 1, 2015.

Guidelines and forms are available on the ALA website.