Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table announces 2023 Distinguished Librarian Award

For Immediate Release
Thu, 05/25/2023


Kevin Strowder


Office for Diversity, Literacy & Outreach Services

CHICAGO - Evelyn Shimazu Yee, Associate Professor, Research & Instruction Librarian, Head of Library Community Relations, and Curator in Special Collections at Azusa Pacific University Marshburn Memorial Library, is the recipient of the 2023 American Library Association (ALA) Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) Distinguished Librarian Award. Founded in 1982, EMIERT serves as a source of information for recommended ethnic and multilingual collections, services, and programs. Awarded biennially, 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.

EMIERT recognizes the extensive accomplishments of Evelyn Shimazu Yee. Yee has over 30 years of service in libraries that include a national and international scope. Yee completed a 2-year Ethiopia Library Building Project that included building an 11,000-volume working academic library for Azusa Pacific University. Yee also taught Library Information Science classes to Ethiopian nationals while in Ethiopia. Additionally, Yee founded a “one-of-a-kind” ethnic missions historical archive, which is the first Historical Nikkei American (Japanese American) Mission Archive in the U.S. and the world. The archive documents 130 years of hidden U.S. history of Nikkei Americans. Yee also spearheaded an honorary degree commencement ceremony for Azusa as a reconciliatory gesture for Nisei alum who were unjustly interned in barbed-wired camps during WWII.

As the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Librarian Award, Yee will receive a commemorative plaque and a $500 honorarium to be presented during the EMIERT Chair's Program, "Censorship and Diversity: How Do Librarians Continue to Protect the Rights of Marginalized Communities Amid Targeted Book Challenges?” This program will be held during ALA's 2023 Annual Conference in June. 

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The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit