75th Anniversary Scholarship Donor: Shali Zhang

As part of the celebration of ACRL’s 75th Anniversary, we’ve launched a fundraising campaign to fund 75 scholarships for ACRL 2015. Over the course of the campaign, we’ll profile the ACRL 75th Anniversary scholarship donors and learn why they chose to support to the campaign.

Shali ZhangShali Zhang is professor and dean of libraries at the University of Montana-Missoula. She served on the College and Research Libraries Editorial Board from 1999-2005 and has been a Friend of ACRL since 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Thoughtful, approachable, and flexible.

2. Why do you support the 75th ACRL Anniversary scholarship campaign? It is a perfect channel to continue supporting next generation of librarians in our profession.

3. What might someone be surprised to know about you? Nothing really. I am just a typical librarian – very quiet in nature.

4. Since you’ve become a member of ACRL, tell us about someone who influenced you in some way. Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, the former Dean of Libraries at Ohio University and the former Chief of the Asian Division at the Library of Congress, was my mentor when I started my career as an academic librarian and when I first joined ACRL. He encouraged me to do well in my job, serve on ACRL committees, and write often for publications. His advice has served me well through my professional growth.

5. What do you hope ACRL will achieve in the next 75 years? Continue charting the course and lead its members in a rapidly changing information environment.

6. In your opinion, what is the most important work that ACRL does? ACRL has produced and published the most valuable professional literature, guidelines, and other documents. These publications, online or in other formats, have helped guide my practical work as an academic librarian. I was on the Editorial Board of College and Research Libraries for two terms, six years in total. During that period, I had opportunities to read, review, and recommend manuscripts from academic librarians to be published. It was most rewarding experience and it also inspired me to get my Ph. D. degree so that I could become a better consumer of ACRL’s research products. ACRL has done an outstanding job in encouraging and inspiring academic librarians’ interests in conducting research projects and sharing their research findings through publications. In many ways, these research findings have served as foundation on which we developed policies, programs, and best practices to serve library users.