A dynamic organization devoted to library services for the East Asian studies communities in North America since 1958.

CEAL Distinguished Service Award

The CEAL Distinguished Service Award recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant contribution to East Asian librarianship.

2022 CEAL Distinguished Service Award Recipient

2020 CEAL Distinguished Service Award Recipient


Established in 1958, the Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL) from the beginning paved the way for East Asian librarianship, creating innovative ways to support the rapidly growing and evolving academic fields in East Asian Studies. Many CEAL members have made distinguished contributions to East Asian librarianship and to developing resources and services for East Asian Studies. These contributions have had a significant positive impact on the profession. In order to praise and promote CEAL members’ outstanding contributions to East Asian librarianship, the CEAL president (2018-2020) proposed and the CEAL Executive Board (EB) approved the establishment of the CEAL Distinguished Service Award as the organization’s highest recognition for an individual CEAL member who exemplifies distinguished service to East Asian Librarianship and East Asian Studies.


  • A plaque
  • Award recognition:
    –  A short article about the award recipient, to be featured in the Journal of East Asian Libraries (JEAL) and on the CEAL Website
    –  A letter of recognition from the CEAL president to the award recipient’s University Librarian and/or other institution head as appropriate

Selection Criteria

The award is the CEAL’s highest honor, recognizing extraordinary excellence in East Asian librarianship. It honors remarkable professional practice and great service to library users, which is exemplified in many ways and includes all aspects of library work, from public service to technical services and administration, and service to the profession through CEAL and other professional organizations. It also includes insightful and relevant research and writing and inspired teaching. Award recipients are leaders whose work exemplifies creativity, leadership and/or scholarship in service to East Asian libraries and to East Asian Studies.

Nomination Criteria

  • Nominees must be current or former CEAL members.
  • Nominators must be current CEAL members.
  • Each nominator may only submit one (1) nomination.
  • Previous award recipients may not be nominated again.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted.

Nomination Timeline

  • Nomination submission period opens: August 9 (biennial)
  • Nomination submission period closes: November 8 (biennial)
  • Selection of the award recipient is to be made by January 31 (biennial).
  • The award recipient shall be notified prior to the official announcement of the award.
  • CEAL President makes an announcement to EastLib in February (biennial).
  • The presentation of the award to the recipient will be made at the CEAL Annual Conference (biennial).

Nomination Form

Nomination is a 2-stage process:

1.  Complete online Nomination Form  (Click link to access form: Online Nomination Form)
2.   In addition, nomination packages including the 3 items below must be submitted electronically to Zhijia Shen, CEAL Distinguished Service Award Task Force Chair, at zhijia@uw.edu as one single PDF document. Hard copies will not be accepted.

  • Current curriculum vitae for the person being nominated
  • Formal nomination letter from the nominator (Outlining how the nominee meets the selection criteria)
  • Three (3) additional letters of support

Information and Assistance

If you have questions, please contact the Chair of the CEAL Distinguished Service Award Task Force, Zhijia Shen, at zhijia@uw.edu.

For further details on the Award and its Task Force, please visit Guidelines for CEAL Distinguished Service Award Taskforce.