ARL Standing Committee elections – ninth candidate statement

Ninth candidate statement: Xin Li. IFLA Standing Committee elections are currently underway, and the ARL Standing Committee is excited to be welcoming new members. We have invited our candidates to submit short biographies so that those of you who are voting members will have some background in making your selections.

It is a great privilege to be nominated as a candidate. I’m interested in serving on IFLA-ARL because of IFLA’s mission. I have been working at U.S. research libraries for close to 25 years. I am a passionate believer in partnerships. I form and lead collaboration initiatives that benefit users and libraries. Allow me to mention three recent examples:

Sharing skills and preserving collections: Cornell Library has a long history in training librarians in other countries, such as Laos, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Java, and Cambodia, in collection preservation. We continue this tradition of sharing knowledge. From 2012-2016, I was the co-PI for a Preservation Internship Program. With generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation, this training program graduated 16 librarians from 12 research libraries in China and Taiwan. After their return, Cornell sent two staff and held, with the graduated interns, an in-country train-the-trainer workshop in Beijing which graduated 40 more librarians from across China. Two more in-country workshops will take place in 2017 and 2018. This program established skills in libraries where they were lacking, enabling these libraries to have local experts to preserve their collections and prolong their availability to scholars around the world. This model can be adopted for collaborations in other library operations and in other regions of the world, especially in developing countries.

Building tools and collaboration opportunities: I lead Cornell’s participation in a ten-library partnership with OCLC. The goal was to collaboratively create solutions to utilize people resources who know the languages but are not trained in cataloging to make non-Roman library collections findable for researchers around the world. The result was the Bit It tool that OCLC now makes available (see .) This tool can be used by U.S. and non-U.S. librarians, students, and other personnel to generate bibliographic records for collections. Some librarians in Vietnam are investigating this tool. It may also provide publishers and vendors in non-Western countries new business opportunities in record creation.

Access to knowledge for all: Among many Cornell initiatives, two are especially unique and impactful. TEEAL stands for The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library ( ), a database where researchers, students, faculty and librarians in low-income countries can discover and access thousands of current research without the use of the Internet. ( ) is a pre-print reposition that is open and free to any individual user in the world. I have been actively promoting these two resources to librarians in East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is critically important that researchers in developing countries have access to the most current literature so their work can keep current.

I believe in IFLA’s global vision, “Together, we create the future.” I am very interested in applying my experience and skills to advance IFLA-ARL.

Please see my experience and credentials at .

My most recent publications are:

My most recent presentations are:

  • Li, X. (2016) Digital Humanities: Working between Control and Coordination. Presented at the Future of Academic Libraries in the United States and China, co-sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Library and the Peking University Library.
  • Li, X. (2016) Library as the Laboratory for Humanists. Presented at the Tsinghua Symposium co-sponsored by the Tsinghua School of Humanities and Tsinghua University Library, China.
  • Li, X. (2015) Users and use. Opening presentation at the 2016 Ivy-Plus East Asian Library Meeting hosted at the Cornell University.
  • Li, X. (2015) Cornell University Library’s models of partnership and future directions. Invited speaker to the Wuhan University and Xiamen University Libraries, as well as the Shanghai Public Library, China.