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USC Korean Heritage Library curator honored

USC Korean Heritage Library Curator Honored
Joy Kim receives South Korea's National Medal of Merit for her work with USC’s Korean Heritage Library.

The South Korean government recently honored Joy Kim of the USC Libraries with its National Medal of Merit for her work as curator at USC’s Korean Heritage Library.

Kim received the medal during a World Koreans Day ceremony on Oct. 5 inside Seoul’s COEX Conference and Exhibition Center. The event honored Kim and 10 other expatriates who have made outstanding contributions to advancing awareness of the nation’s culture abroad.

Kim’s citation for the medal, which prime minister Kim Hwang-sik awarded to her on behalf of South Korean president Lee Myung-bak, read: “Joy Kim has contributed to the advancement of Korean studies in the U.S. through her work as the curator of the USC Korean Heritage Library, which is one of the best in the U.S.”

Since 1989, Kim has overseen the library’s development of one of the largest Korean-language collections in the United States. Today, the collection stands at more than 100,000 books, journals, videos, maps and other resources related to Korean studies.

USC’s East Asian Library – of which the Korean Heritage Library is a part – has built a particularly strong suite of Korean studies resources. More than 40 percent of the library’s holdings pertain to Korea, compared to 5 to 10 percent in other libraries.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts from Ewha Womans University in Seoul and a Master of Library Science degree from UCLA. She has written or translated 14 papers related to Korean librarianship and currently serves as president of the Council on East Asian Libraries.

Kim thanked USC and its libraries for “unprecedented support” and dedicated the award to her colleagues in Korean studies librarianship.

“My sincere wish, as well as motivation, in accepting the award was that it would raise the visibility and awareness of the hard work and value of all Korean studies librarians as a community,” she said.

To learn more about how the USC Libraries support scholarship on East Asian subjects, visit or visit the library on the first floor of Doheny Memorial Library.

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USC Korean Heritage Library curator honored

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