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Library and Information Science Alumna Named 2017 ALA “Emerging Leader”

A graduate of St. John’s University’s Library and Information Science program, Anastasia Chiu ‘14G has been named a 2017 “Emerging Leader” (EL) by the American Library Association (ALA). This selective program allows 50 early career librarians per year to develop their leadership skills, collaborate with peers in problem-solving work groups, and learn more about opportunities for service in the profession.

The program will commence with a day-long session during the ALA Midwinter Meeting from January 20-24, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. At the meeting, the Emerging Leaders cohort will divide into working groups and begin planning projects, which they’ll continue to develop in an online learning and networking environment over the following six months, afterward. The groups will present their work with a poster session at the ALA Annual Conference from June 22-27 in Chicago, IL. Along with four other Emerging Leaders, Chiu will be working on a project to help early career librarians develop conference presentations through establishing guidelines and review services.

Chiu is among the 70 percent of this year’s Emerging Leaders with a program sponsor. The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) will fund her travel to the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. ALCTS is a division of the ALA, and each year sponsors one member with an interest in collections and technical services as an Emerging Leader. 

Chiu is one of the first-ever resident librarians at the Samuel L. Paley Library at Temple University. As part of the pilot residency program, she spent her first year rotating throughout various library departments, supporting such projects as: metadata review for new collections in PA Digital, the Pennsylvania service hub to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA); communications outreach for PA Digital; archival collection processing and digitization; cataloguing; reference; and information literacy instruction. Now in her second year, Chiu has undertaken a year-long analysis of existing rights statements in PA Digital. This involves collaborating with the PA Digital Metadata Team to develop strategies for implementing DPLA’s standardized rights statements initiative and designing educational outreach for contributing institutions on copyright and users’ rights related to digital object usage.

In addition to her work at Temple and with the Emerging Leaders program, Chiu serves on the ALCTS Publications Committee, as well as a working group to organize the 2017 ALCTS Exchange, a virtual forum for professional collaboration. She also serves on the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Residency Interest Group web team and the Communications and Media Committee for the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). She edits book reviews for the APALA newsletter, which she was drawn to as a “community space for incubating diversity in the profession.”

After her year in the Emerging Leaders program, Chiu will serve a one-year term as intern to the ALCTS Board of Directors.

Chiu became interested in librarianship during her senior year at Wesleyan University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies in 2009. Researching her senior thesis brought her in close contact with reference librarians and Chiu realized, “that was what I wanted to do with my life: enter a service-oriented profession and work to meet people’s information needs, which I believe are just as important as their financial needs.” She began working as a Children’s library Assistant at the New York Society Library immediately after her graduation from Wesleyan, and in 2012, decided to apply to graduate programs in library and information science.

She chose St. John’s because she wanted to stay in the New York area and was offered a graduate assistantship position in the University Library. She also was attracted to the program’s academic rigor and ALA-accreditation status. While enrolled at SJU, Chiu developed her interests in technical services, academic libraries, and metadata cataloguing, and gained valuable experience in her second year of the program as an Information Management Intern with the United Nations.

Once Chiu graduated with her M.S., the Research Foundation of the City of New York hired her as a Documentarian, and she also worked as an EdLab Services Associate at Teachers College, Columbia University before beginning her residency at Temple in 2015.

“It’s somewhat ironic that I’ve received recognition as an early career librarian after working within the profession for six years,” said Chiu. “Entry-level positions require so much more than they used to. I made it this far because I am incredibly privileged. Among other things, I had financial help from my family.”

Chiu certainly has a long record of achievements to qualify her for this latest recognition. At SJU, she received a Certificate of Academic Excellence and had the honor of serving as Student Marshal for St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the 2014 Queens Commencement Exercises. In 2016, Chiu was a panelist at the ALA Annual Conference discussing, “No Room at the Library: The Ethics of Diversity.”

Chiu has clearly demonstrated herself to be an “Emerging Leader” in the library and information science field, and we are confident she will continue to lead her the profession through her hard work and dedication.