Early in 2024, the U-M Library said farewell to Dawn Lawson, who retired from her role as Director, Asia Library, following nearly 9 years of service, leadership, and collaboration. Throughout her years of service, Dawn engaged extensively with U-M’s community of East Asian Studies faculty, students, and staff. Dawn prioritized and deepened partnerships between Asia Library and the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, the Center for Japanese Studies, the Nam Center for Korean Studies, and LSA’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. In collaboration with many members of the Asia Library team, Dawn contributed to the growth and development of relationships with library donors, including Mayumi Oka, whose generous gift enabled the creation of Asia Library’s Tadoku Room and an accompanying student internship. A few additional highlights from Dawn’s many contributions include her role on the library’s team that established a long-term collaborative relationship with Fudan University; her leadership in identifying and describing Asia Library’s rare Chinese materials; and her role in the receipt and curation of a gift of photographic slides taken in 1969 by a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea.
Dawn spent the first half of her career in academic publishing and attended evening courses in order to earn her master’s degree in library science. Following her first librarian role at OCLC, she felt ready and motivated to work as a librarian in an academic library and joined the NYU Libraries as East Asian Studies Librarian and also became active in CEAL, the Council on East Asian Libraries, which serves as the primary professional association for the field. Dawn spent 12 years at NYU developing the library’s partnerships and collaborations with the East Asian Studies department before coming to U-M.
Many thanks and congratulations to Dawn for her years of service to U-M and to the profession!