Newsletter No. 51 (July 2007)

Celebrating C.P. Tang’s retirement

Wan Wong

National Library of Australia

The 8th June 2007 marked the day Ching-Ping Tang finished work in the National Library. As readers of this newsletter will know, the man everyone affectionately called CP has been involved with the work EALRGA for a long time. From 1993 to 2003 as the Treasurer he was responsible for collecting membership fees and sending out new issues of the newsletters. As in his official work he did his job with determination and diligence, to make sure the newsletters reach EALRGA members in time.

In his professional life CP’s contribution to East Asian librarianship was best marked by being one of the key people to bring to fruition the world famous Australian National Chinese-Japanese-Korean system (CJK system). During the process he helped to build a CJK database out of the original ABN database onto the Innopac platform. He worked on the Wade-Giles to pinyin conversion program to then build the world’s first pinyin database for Chinese materials in 1996, four years ahead of the worldwide adoption of pinyin in 2000.

From the day the CJK project was conceived to its replacement by Libraries Australia in late 2005, CP never failed to give the highest level of attention, support and advice to CJK member libraries. After the implementation of Libraries Australia CP made good use of his expertise to help bring other non-Roman scripts such as Thai into the National Bibliographic Database.

The news of CP’s retirement from the National Library due to health reasons shocked quite a few librarians who have come to depend on him. The enormous contribution he has made is acknowledged across the country and overseas as well. On behalf of the current EALRGA Committee, I wish him good health and great enjoyment of his retirement.

Here I would like to share with you some of the well wishes in emails sent to CP:
  • I still remember we first communicated on the Pinyin Conversion project, then the CJK, authority records and Unicode. I still want to say a BIG THANK YOU to you. You achieved a great deal in your capacity to lead the National CJK database. - Librarian, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • I enjoyed very much working with you since day one of the Project till the retirement of the CJK system for more than a decade. - Librarian, CJK founding member library
  • It has been great to know you and work with you. I have learned a lot from you as you are always a source of knowledge. You always understand our requirement and provide tailored service. - Librarian, CJK founding member library
  • CJK without CP Tang - that is impossible! … our deep gratitude for your patient guidance all these years. We still can remember all those phone calls that we made to you about files transfers and all sort of other problems and you were always there ready for our "onslaught ". - Librarian, CJK member library
  • …sincerely thank you very much for being so kind and helpful to me for all these years. You experience and advices really provide a great help to our CJK cataloguing… I don't know what to say, but feel so sad that you are not around when we need help. Your contribution to CJK cataloguing is remarkable - Librarian, CJK member library
  • It is certain that you have given over an enormous part of your life to the National Library and to CJK-related issues in particular… [We are] indebted to your commitment to the cause of storage and retrieval of CJK data and we wish to thank you for this and for the individual attention that you always gave to each library when they had technical issues with the CJK system. - Librarian, CJK member library
  • Many thanks for all you help, patience and guidance throughout the past few years in giving us good advice and support in the implementation of our local CJK database. I am very grateful to have known you, whom, in fact, have become such a good role model for me. You have shown me your friendly/kind nature (always willing to help at all time), your calmness (in dealing with problems) and professionalism (in solving the problems). I will always treasure the fond memories of dealing with such a wonderful, graceful librarian - THANK YOU!! - Librarian, CJK member library

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