Member of the Week: Norah Xiao

Norah XiaoNorah Xiao is Science and Engineering Librarian at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Norah has been an ACRL member since 2006 and is your ACRL Member of the week.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, creative, dedicated.

2. What are you currently reading? I read everything! My reading habit is that I will read all books from an author if I like his/her style. I just finished all of Lisa See’s books, reread books by Jane Austin and Charles Dickens, and am now reading The Chinese Lessons. (Sorry, nothing related to librarianship!) As the new term approaches, I will be reading some nanotechnology and some art books.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Professional, inspiring, challenging.

4. Why did you join ACRL? I always believe that the best way to grow professionally (and in life) is to be around the best people, which is the initial reason I joined ACRL since I know my passion is in science and engineering academic librarianship. Since then I have greatly benefited everything offered by ACRL, for instance, emails from the STS listserv, and events organized by ACRL, especially the ACRL Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program. In this program, I met my mentor, Susan Campbell, who guides me, supports me and encourages me to excel at every opportunity as well as inspires me in many ways of pursing the excellence as an academic librarian.

5. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? The core value in any area of librarianship, in my mind, is human interaction, which is the reason I love my profession. I enjoy every opportunity to interact with my users, mainly Science and Engineering faculty and students, in their teaching, learning, and research with my knowledge and skills. As an academic librarian in a big research library, every day in my life is different and special, and I am always learning something new, researching something meaningful, and experimenting with newer technologies and cutting edge equipment.

6. In your own words: Academic librarian is not a 9-5 job (nor will it be!), but plays an important role in knowledge creation, lifelong learning and information dissemination. Moreover, nowadays the library is no longer a traditional physical place, but a learning and information common as well as virtual spaces without any brick walls, more dynamic and challenging; our users’ profiles are more complicated than before, for instance, mixed generations with different technology literacy, more distance education learners on distant continents who never come to campus, and researchers who still prefer traditional library services. As an academic librarian, my ultimate important mission is providing high-quality user-driven information services.


Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Contact David Free at dfree{at}ala{dot}org for more information.

4 Comments

  1. It is a great joy to be working with Norah at the USC Science & Engineering Library.
    My mongratulations and best wishes to her.
    Najwa Hanel

  2. I like your description of why you like academic librarianship-“As an academic librarian in a big research library, every day in my life is different and special, and I am always learning something new, researching something meaningful, and experimenting with newer technologies and cutting edge equipment.” I agree!

  3. I am so happy to see my mentee profiled here. Norah reminds me always why it is so wonderful to be an academic librarian! She brings so much energy and vitality to our field.

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