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

Mentorship Program


In many cases East Asian Studies librarians work at institutions with no other librarians in their specific area (i.e., Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or even in their professional assignment like Cataloging). There are even East Asian Studies specialists who are required to take care of all the East Asian subject related tasks. This isolation often makes it unfeasible for them, not to mention for a newly hired specialist, to get help learning Chinese, Japanese, or Korean librarianship. To meet this need, the CEAL Membership Committee has inaugurated a mentor/mentee program to match an experienced East Asian Studies librarian (mentor) with an interested mentee. A mentor optimally will be an experienced and trusted advisor, giving guidance and support to a mentee. This is not intended as a job search program. If you agree to be a mentor or a mentee, the CEAL Membership Committee will add your name and information to the list of mentor/mentee candidates. The Committee will have exclusive access to this list, for the purpose of protecting personal information and maintaining the confidentiality of that data.

This project was initiated when the Membership Committee had a successful and pleasant “CEAL Mentoring Projects/Talking With Experienced Librarians Round Table” at the annual CEAL meeting in March 2004. We present our program here In order to expand on this initial step.


To facilitate mentees finding appropriate mentors and creating a learning environment for people who are interested in East Asian Studies librarianship.


Mentors and mentees are required to commit to one-year service, basically from one CEAL annual meeting to the following meeting. There is no pressure, but each participant is asked to recognize that participating in this program involves a time and pledge commitment to a respective mentor/mentee, The level of interaction between a mentor and mentee is flexible and is mutually agreed upon by each pair. The matching result is officially announced right before the CEAL meeting(s) by email. Even if you do not have a chance to participate in the meeting/program, you will be contacted and informed about the matching by the committee. The only commitment you make if you say “yes” to being on the mentor/mentee list is that you will consider accepting a mentee or a mentor when a Membership Committee member asks about it. If you feel that he/she is not a good match at the meeting, or after talking with your proposed partner, then you are quite free to say no. Once the mentor and mentee have agreed to work together for a one year term, the specifics of the arrangement are entirely up to the two individuals involved. This includes the type of communication (phone, email, in-person), the topics to be covered, and the amount of time to be spent on the arrangement. You will be invited to participate at the following year’s meeting to share your experiences with new participants or to meet with your partner face to face after one year interaction.


If you are interested in being a mentor or a mentee, please fill out the application: Mentorship Program Application (Google form).

All Participants

All participants are asked to inform the Membership Committee if there are any problems contacting their partners at any time.

For questions about the mentorship program, please contact Shi Deng (sdeng@ucsd.edu)