Learning from Libraries, Libraries

Mrs Lee Cheng Ean: a profile

I first met Mrs Lee Cheng Ean in January 2013 at dual advisory board meetings which I facilitated in Shanghai and Beijing, but her reputation long preceded that.  She is extremely well-known in both the East and the West as one of the world’s most competent and inspired librarians.  I have since met her at least once each year, and sometimes several times; each time she has been unfailingly courteous and kind; and passionate about all aspects of librarianship.  Between our meetings, she never fails to offer help, advice and insight to research projects or respond when requested to supply information.  She is an important global influencer as well as an impeccable source of knowledge about all matters connected with librarianship.

As an advisory board member, she is an excellent contributor, always abreast of new developments in libraries globally and shrewd at seeing how they can be applied both at the National University of Singapore, of which she is the University Librarian, and more widely across S E Asia and by the other world-class universities in all parts of the globe with which she is in contact. 

In all her dealings, she never forgets that, first and foremost, her role is to support researchers, academics and students at NUS and to supply the ambience and materials that help them to achieve and even surpass their very best.  She is constantly aware of the pivotal role the Library plays in pushing out the boundaries of research; and she equally understands the importance of equipping tomorrow’s graduates with state-of-the-art scholarship to enable them to excel.

She is kind and encouraging both to librarians from other libraries (across many regions) and gracious but firmly professional in her dealings with publishers.  She wears her workload lightly, but it is evident that she must devote long hours to her job every day in order to achieve the fine results that she always produces.  She has a good sense of humour, but at the same time makes it clear that she will stand for no nonsense.  Her integrity shines out; she has no time for equivocation or false dealing.

Mrs Lee is a librarian at the top of her profession, one of a handful of truly outstanding librarians across the world who have changed the face of librarianship in the twenty-first century. She has achieved well-deserved acclaim both within her profession and outside it, in the wider communities of academia and publishing.

Linda Bennett, founder of Gold Leaf
Facilitator of several librarian advisory boards; industry researcher. 

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