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June 13, 2003

Hwa-Wei Lee Named Chief of Asian Division

Hwa-Wei Lee recently has been appointed chief of the Asian Division of the Library of Congress.

"We are privileged to have Dr. Lee join us as chief of the Asian Division," said Carolyn Brown, director for Area Studies Collections. "He is well-known in the field of international librarianship, having served as a library consultant and lecturer in countries throughout Asia under the sponsorship of organizations such as the Asia Foundation, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the Japan Foundation for Global Partnership, UNESCO and others."

Lee graduated from National Taiwan Normal University and earned master's degrees in education and library science and a doctorate in education and library science from the University of Pittsburgh. He has had more than 40 years of experience in academic libraries including the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Colorado State University and Ohio University, where he held the position of dean of libraries for more than 21 years until his retirement in 1999.

During his tenure at Ohio University, he transformed a modest library system into one that achieved membership in the Association of Research Libraries. He developed international collections for Southeast Asian Studies as well as for other parts of the world. He was also a founding member and advisor to OhioLINK, a statewide system pooling materials of all major academic libraries into one unified entity. In 1979, he initiated a highly successful internship program that brought librarians from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central America to the university. To date, more than 175 librarians have participated in the program. Under his leadership, the endowments of the Ohio University libraries grew to more than $8 million and other grants reached an excess of $2.5 million.

Upon his retirement, Lee received awards for distinguished service from the American Library Association, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, Chinese American Librarians Association, Library Association of China (Taiwan), OhioLINK, Ohionet and others. In 1999, Ohio University named the first floor of the Vernon R. Alden Library (the main library) the Hwa-Wei Lee Center for International Collections, and by resolution of the Board of Trustees of the university, a new library building was named the Hwa-Wei Lee Library Annex. He served as dean emeritus at Ohio University until his recent appointment to the Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress is a central repository for all types of Asian publications that are not broadly available at other locations in the United States. Initiated in 1869 with a gift of 10 works in 934 volumes offered to the United States by the Emperor of China, the Library's Asian collection of more than 2 million items is the largest and most comprehensive outside of Asia.

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PR 03-107
06/13/03
ISSN 0731-3527

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