Council on East Asian Libraries

Association for Asian Studies


Wednesday, April 5, 2006

8:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

San Francisco Marriott, San Francisco, CA




I.                   Welcome and Introductory Remarks 


President Abraham Yu of UC Irvine opened the meeting by welcoming everyone.  First time attendees were recognized and welcomed.


II.                Honoring Retirees and Those Who Came Before Us


The following colleagues were recognized:


A.     Recognition of Retirees  

John Byrum (LC), Nelson Chou (Rutgers), Kimiko Devadas (LC), Manae Fujishiro (LC), Paul Ho (LC), Takeo Nishioka (LC), Marcia Ristaino (LC), David Tsai (LC), Isamu Tsuchitani (LC),  Julia Tung (Stanford), Barbara Britton-Williams (LC)


B.     Tribute to Our Departed Colleagues and Friends

Donald Howard Shively (UC Berkeley), Nobutaka Ike (Hoover Institution), Nobuko Pourzadeh-Boushehri (University of Florida)


III.             Progress Report of the Asian Division, Library of Congress


Hwa-Wei Lee, Chief Asian Division of the Library of Congress, gave a progress report, covering such topics as: the origin, reorganization, vision, mission, update on the collections, digital resources, the Friends Society, fellowship, scholarly programs, etc. of the Asian Division.  His presentation slides are available at:



IV.              Beyond Unicode: What More Do We Need?


Martin Heijdra of the Princeton University proposed to form a task force to compile a supra-system checklist of required or desirable features of local systems, based on the following observations:  Bibliographic utilities (RLIN and OCLC) have had CJK capabilities for a long time, but local systems have been slow in implementing the technology, “waiting for the Unicode.” This resulted in a misconception that our community needs display functions only, just a matter of encodings. Rather than adopting RLIN21/OCLC’s increasing functionality in local systems, vendors have settled for a much lower level of functionality in their local systems.


Our local systems have to be useful not only for staff, but also for meeting the expectations of our patrons who are used to searching the Internet.  Bibliographic records created by librarians have their own idiosyncrasies, e.g., OCLC and RLIN use different spacing conventions for the original scripts which have indexing and other implications. Users of Korean are totally unprepared for the LC’s Word Division Rules, a standard for all libraries in the western world. The complications of using IME are caused by doing away with previous solutions. Some end-users might understand the difference between traditional and simplified Chinese characters, but why such words as Edo, shōsetsu and zuroku are not found in our catalogs is beyond most users’ understanding.


Vendors are typically NOT aware of these issues and think that Unicode is enough. They use the off-the-shelf solutions which are often unpredictable from one script to another (e.g., Hangul, hiragana, katakana, etc.) in terms of indexing, treatment of spaces, etc.  When combined with the fact that different bibliographic sources (OCLC and RLIN will not remain the only sources in the near future) require different cataloging conventions, these shortcomings make searching unpredictable at best for even trained librarians, and a nightmare for unsuspecting end-users.


As a community, we cannot answer many questions from vendors because we don’t fully understand some of the complex issues ourselves and no standards have been developed.  One example is sorting multilingual records.  One solution does not fit all, and we need to have a common understanding of our collective needs and what we can compromise.  Besides, the East Asian community as a whole shares a very small segment of the industry’s market.  As such, we will always have difficulties getting our message across.


The task force would serve the following functions:

  1. Provide the EAL community an opportunity to formulate our wishes for an ILS
  2. A communication tool between EA librarians and the local systems staff
  3. A prioritization tool for system vendors
  4. An evaluation tool against which functionalities of ILS systems could be measured
  5. A standardization tool to promote continuity when migrating from one system to another, etc.


Martin asked those who wish to participate in such a task force to write to him. 


V.  “Vernacular” vs. “Script” or “Characters”: When to Use Which Term?

Amy Heinrich of Columbia Univeristy gave a compelling presentation on the use of the term “Vernacular,” which some East Asian librarians consider both offensive and inaccurate.  For the literal meaning of “vernacular,” both the Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster online show the origin of the denigrating sense, as follows: 

Etymology: Latin vernaculus native, from verna slave born in the master's house, native.  The definitions show ‘vernacular’ to refer to a spoken, regional language of a country or group, not an ‘educated’ language; e.g., the languages of the “working classes or peasantry.” 

Amy said that the word contains within it a connotation of condescension.  It is used in English to refer to languages that are somehow implied to be second best.  She cited two objections to the term “vernacular”:

·        It is an incorrect use of the word: The American dictionary definition is a clearer indication that vernacular is NOT a literary or cultured language; that it is “nonstandard,” that is the “normal spoken form of a language.”

·        It is not accurate: or, saying what we mean: We are not even talking about languages when we use it, we are talking about writing. 

What we are actually talking about concerns the scripts we use to represent the language.  Languages and scripts are not one and the same.  Kindai tanka is Japanese even when it is written in roman letters.  Nihon bungaku taikei is Japanese even when it is written in roman letters.  When they are written in kanji as 近代短歌 and as 日本文学大系 they are written in the original script of Japanese.  春 is a written symbol we could call a “character” that is used in the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean written languages, depending on context.  The script is not the language.   Furthermore,  はる(haru) and (pom), Japanese and Korean scripts used to represent words also represented byin those languages, are not characters. 

Amy said that, as used in our library work, ‘vernacular’ is a denigrating term; it is also used incorrectly and is wrong.  It carries a connotation none of us mean to express; and we don’t need it.  We have a perfectly clear and good way to say exactly what we mean.  One colleague, pointing out that the word derived from “slave,” wrote quite concisely the essence of the issue: We catalogue in Chinese, whether in romanisation or original script.  So the term "vernacular" is in any case ambiguous in this context.

Amy concluded her presentation with a proposal to drop the incorrect and offensive use of “vernacular” when referring to our highly valued languages, and use “original script” (or even, sometimes, “character”) to say what we mean.  Her presentation slides are available at:


V.                 CEAL Special Committee and Standing Committees Reports


A.     Special Committee for 2006 IFLA Seoul


Philip Melzer, Co-Chair, reported that the Pre-conference Planning Committee has made progress in determining the logistics of the meeting, selecting speakers, putting together a program, and investigating the publication of the papers presented at the meeting.  The committee selected 24 papers and one keynote address from over 30 proposals and developed a two track program.  The keynote speaker will be Satoru Takeuchi, the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Japanese Library Association.  The day before the Preconference, on Aug. 17, there will be a tour of Kyujanggak (the Yi dynasty’s Royal Library), the Museum, and the Library of the Seoul National University. The Committee hopes to publish the papers in a book format and is negotiating with a publisher.


The Planning Committee is organized in the following teams:


·        Fundraising: Mikyung Kang (Chair), Hyokyoung Yi, Younghee Sohn, Keiko Yokota-Carter, Zhijia Shen, and Joy Kim

·        Logistics: Sunyoon Lee (Chair), Younghee Sohn, Mikyung Kang, Wenling Liu, Wooseob Jeong, Hana Kim, and Joy Kim

·        Program: Wooseob Jeong (Co-Chair), Philip Melzer (Co-Chair), Peter Zhou, Zhijia Shen, Akira Miyazawa, Sunyoon Lee, Keiko Yokota-Carter, and Gary Gorman

·        Publication: Hyokyoung Yi (Co-Chair), Philip Melzer (Co-Chair), Gary Gorman,
Hana Kim, Zhijia Shen, Wenling Liu, Akira Miyazawa, Gail King, and Peter Zhou.


B.     Membership Committee


Jim Cheng, Chair, introduced the members of the Membership Committee:


·        Rob Britt, U of Washington Law Library,

·        Kyungmi Chun, U of Hawaii, Asia Collection,

·        Nanako Kodaira, Duke U Perkins Library,

·        Min Tian, U of Iowa Libraries


1. Last Night’s Experienced Librarian Round Table session, attended by xx people, was conducted   around the following four themes:


·        Doing Research and Publishing as a Librarian

·        Supervising and Management Skills

·        Successful Job Hunting Skills: Resume and Interview

·        Survival Skills in a Bureaucratic System


Jim gave special thanks to the following co-hosts of the four tables:


·        Bill McCloy, (East Asian Law Librarian, U of Washington Law Library)

·        Dr. Yuan Zhou (Curator, East Asian Library, U of Chicago)

·        Amy Tsiang (Head, Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library, UC Los Angelas)

·        Calvin Hsu (East Asian Librarian, U of Virginia)


2. CEAL Mentor Program started in the summer of 2005.  A total of twenty five librarians have participated the program in which 12 junior librarians have been matched with experienced librarians as their mentors for a period of 1 year.  Jim encouraged more participation in this ongoing program, and said that this program will be expanded to library school students.


3. Updating the CEAL Online Directory started in last summer.  Fifty five institutions designated a single person within their organization to update and maintain their own record.  The Committee works with these individuals and the CEAL Treasurer to update more than 500 records.  To implement this new update system, some of the database functions were modified.  The Committee is exploring the possibility of a producing a print directory in 2006/07.   


4. The Committee will continue to promote the CEAL Intern Program via the Google Group in 2006/07


C.  Statistics Committee


Vickie Doll, Chair, introduced new features of the CEAL statistics database as follows:


1. Statistics ranking function added

  Password access

   Available tables: Electronic Resources, Fiscal Support, Total Volume Holding, Serial     Subscriptions & Non-purchased Serials.  The default view includes all library types and regions.

  Ranking filters : “type of library” and “region”

2. One sample account created for potential members

  Library Name: ztest

  Password: viewform

  This ID and password allows users to “view” and “print” online forms only.


3. New fields added in the Electronic Resource table

  A total of 11 new data fields were added

  CD Title data fields for C, J, K, non-CJK, with grand and subtotal fields

  CD Count data fields for C, J, K, and non-CJK, with grand and subtotal fields

  A Memo field


4. The system retrieves old data from previous years in the Total Volume Holding Form

  Previous year’s data in the current year forms is retrieved automatically

    If there is no data for the immediate past year (ex. the member didn't input last year, or a new member has just joined for the current year) the previous year data can be input manually


C.     Committee on Technical Processing


Mary Lin, Chair, reported that the CTP has been busy this past year.  It had a highly successful SCCTP Workshop on Advanced Serials Cataloging at UC-Berkeley on April 3-4, 2006.  UC Berkeley was an outstanding host, providing breakfasts, snacks, and other hospitalities.  Mary is especially grateful for the support of Ai-lin Yang and Setsuko Noguchi. 


In July 2005, the Committee sent LC its comments on ADDITION OF DATES TO EXISTING PERSONAL NAME HEADINGS.  In the message, the Committee expressed its concerns over issues involving non-roman, particularly CJK scripts, and asked LC to work on more CJK headings. 


The Committee also commented on Part I of the RDA (Resource Description and Access) and LC's proposal.  Mary thanked Shi Deng of UC-San Diego, who served as the coordinator of the Subcommittee, for her outstanding job.  Mary also acknowledged Hideyuki Morimoto of Columbia University for his role as the consultant to the committee.  


Mary introduced members of the Committee, as follows:  


·        Erminia Chao                                 Brigham Young University

·        Deng Shi                                        UC-San Diego 

·        Ai-lin Yang                                      UC-Berkeley 

·        Joy Kim                                          University of Southern California

·        Michael Meng                                 University of Michigan

·        Setsuko Noguchi                            University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  

·        Keiko Suzuki                                   Yale University

·        Young-ki Lee                               Library of Congress  



·        Hideyuki  Morimoto                         Columbia University 

·        Abraham Yu                                    UC-Irvine   


VI.              CEAL Treasurer’s Report


Sarah Elman, Treasurer, gave a financial report.  The beginning balance of the CEAL account was $20,469.08 as of February 25, 2005. Between February 25, 2005 and March 31, 2006, CEAL received $13,340.00 in personal as well as institutional subscription payments and $981.91 in accrued interest, for a total of $14,321.91.


The total debit for the same period was $12,472.57. The three largest items were: $6,920.19 for printing of JEAL issues 135-138; $2,198.29 for mailing; and $1,685.50 for the 2005 annual meeting. The ending balance of the CEAL account as of March 31, 2006 is $23,082.42. This reflects a net increase of $2,613.34 over the previous year’s final total.   For details, please see the report at:


VII.            CEAL Election Results


Ellen Hammond, Chair of the Nominating Committee, thanked the members Martin Heijdra, Sun-Yoon Lee, Abraham Yu (ex officio) for their hard work.  Dr. Wooseob Jeong prepared the electronic ballots once again.  Ellen also thanked all the brave souls who agreed to stand for the election.  The following people were elected:


·        Kris Troost (Duke), Vice President/President Elect

·        Ellen McGill (Harvard-Yenching), Secretary

·        Toshie Mara (UCLA), Treasurer

·        Hong Xu (University of Pittsburg), Member-at-Large

·        Kuniko McVey (Harvard-Yenching), Member-at-Large


VIII.         Recognition of Outgoing Executive Board Members


Abraham J. Yu gave a certificate of appreciation to each of the following outgoing members:


·        Sarah Elman, Treasurer

·        Robert Felsing, Member-at-Large

·        Joy Kim, Secretary

·        Kris Troost, Member-at-Large

·        Abraham Yu, President

·        William McCloy, Past President

·        Sun-yoon Lee, Equipment Coordinator


In addition, Abraham gave a certification of appreciation to Gail King to recognize her outstanding service as JEAL Editor for the past ten years.  Gail has been reappointed to continue her service.   


IX.              Remarks of the Outgoing President


The outgoing President, Abraham J. Yu, reviewed some of the major characteristics and accomplishments of CEAL during his presidency, using clever acronyms and graphics.  The following is a selective list: 


Committees Appointed:


·        Ad Hoc Bylaws Committee (2003)

·        Nominating Committee (2003-2006)

·        Special Committee on CEAL Bylaws (2005-2006)

·        Special Committee to Study Proposal for Comprehensive Review of LCSH/NAR/SAR

Entries for East Asian Studies (2004-2005)

·        Special Committee on JEAL as a Peer-Reviewed Journal (2004-2005)

·        Special Committee for 2006 IFLA Seoul  (2005-2006)

·        CEAL RDA Review Subcommittee of the Committee on Technical Processing (2006)


Training Programs:


·        XML for East Asian Libraries Workshop (2004)

·        Luce Summer Institute (2004)

·        Small collections round table

·        Talking with experienced librarians round table

·        SCCTP Electronic Serials Cataloging Workshop (2005)

·        SCCTP Integrating Resources Cataloging Workshop (2005)

·        SCCTP Advanced Serials Cataloging Workshop (2006)


New or Improved Projects:


·        Provided more programs at the annual meeting 

·        Launched the electronic voting system

·        Made the CEAL Executive Board Meeting and the Plenary Session Minutes available online

·        Improved the CEAL Online Directory

·        Made the back issues of JEAL available online


After his presentation, Abraham passed the Seal of CEAL to the next President, Philip Melzer. Abraham’s presentation slides are available at:


X.                 Remarks of the Incoming President


Philip Melzer called for appreciation of Abraham Yu and the fine job he has done as CEAL president for the past 3 years, and outlined plans for his term as President, as follows:


·        Help Committees perform their duties--most business is conducted by Committees

·        Help arrange pertinent and interesting annual meetings

·        Bring important issues to the Executive Board, Committees and membership
and help see the organization deal with them appropriately

·        Promote national/international cooperation and exchange of data and information such as the NCC

·        Formulate and promote programs for development of EA library resources, bibliographic control, access

·        Bring in new members, make them welcome, get them involved both for the good of the profession, and also to promote their professional development (The effort is already well under way: particularly, he will promote the Mentor/Mentee Program the Round Table with Experienced Librarians)

·        Try to establish a joint LC-CEAL cataloging internship program.


XI.              Announcements and Q&A


James Cheng announced that the Harvard-Yenching Library will need to close the book stacks on the first floor that contains the entire Western languages collection, and the tail end of the Chinese and Japanese collections, from June 8 to July 7 this summer due to a multi-year renovation project in the book stacks.  During this renovation period, access to the these collections will not be available.  However, since the entire Harvard-Yenching Library collections are online, users can search our online system, HOLLIS, to identify those books shelved on the first floor that they need to use during this period and we would be happy to pull these books out and make them available during the renovation period.  Access to other
Harvard-Yenching Library collections on the second and third floors, and those on the basement floor will not be affected.  The library staff will also continue to be on duty to provide regular library services.


Peter Zhou made announcements about the CEAL Fellowship Dinner and the tour of the University of California, Berkeley Libraries.  


(Recorded and respectfully submitted by:  Joy Kim, Secretary)