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Shali Zhang

Shali Zhang

Dean of Libraries and Professor
Auburn University
BA, Linguistics & Literature, Lanzhou University (China); MS, Information Sciences, University of Tennessee; PhD, Education, Kansas State University

Dr. Shali Zhang has been Dean of Libraries at Auburn University since 2019,
with responsibilities for providing leadership and management for the Library and in advancing the Libraries’ central role in the educational, research, and service mission of the University. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Zhang was Dean and Professor at the University of Montana, 2012-2019. She is also a prolific scholar; her peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and other writing projects have appeared on top journals and scholarly series.

Dr. Zhang served as assistant dean for collections and technical services for the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for seven years. During that time, Zhang also served as the project director and principal investigator for the Academic and Cultural Enrichment Scholars Program from 2008-2012, funded with over $1.8 million by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS)’s Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. She has served as professor and head of the Technical Services Division at Wichita State University Libraries from 1999-2005, as the collection management librarian at the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg Library from 1997-1999, and as the head of technical services and coordinator for collection development at the Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries from 1995-1997.

As dean, Zhang is responsible for the leadership and administration of Auburn University Libraries, including oversight of three on-campus libraries, including the Ralph Brown Draughon Library, a 377,000 square-foot structure with seating for 4,850, and branch libraries located in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. The university’s collections include more than 3.6 million volumes, more than 2.7 million items in microform and 152,000 maps. The libraries license access to over 200 electronic databases, including online full-text access to over 5,000 scholarly journals and receive more than 57,000 current serials, including publications issued by the U.S. government. The Draughon Library contains the Learning and Study Commons and provides additional study spaces and circulation services in the attached Mell Classroom Building.


Special Awards or Honors: American Library Association/International Relations Round Table (IRRT)’s Notable IRRT member in 2017; American Library Association/International Relations Committee’s John Ames Humphrey/OCLC/Forest Press Award; Outstanding Alumni Award at the School of Information Sciences at University of Tennessee in 2013; Distinguished Service Award at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in 2012; The Chinese American Librarians Association’s Distinguished Services Award in 2007 and its Presidential Recognition Award in 2012


Professional Memberships and Offices Held: Life membership with American Library Association (ALA) and its ethnic caucus associations; Chaired the ALA’s International Relations Committee in 2010 – 2012 for two terms; Elected to chair ALA’s International Relations Round Table (2009); Elected to President for the Chinese American Librarians Association (2008); Elected to the ALA Council, the governing body of ALA (2004-2007); Served on the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)’s Standing Section Committee on Acquisitions & Collection Development for two terms (2007-2015); Chairing on the IFLA Journal Editorial Committee since 2017. Chaired numerous jury committees for the ALA's Awards.


Volunteer Interest & Board Service: Chaired ALA/APA’s Certification Program Committee in 2015-2017 to complete competency standards for eight courses that the Program has offered; Chaired the Ad Hoc Task Force for the ALA’s International Relations Round Table to complete its endowment fundraising project ($50,000) in 2015-2016; On the ALA’s Council committee, Committee on Organizations, 2015-2017
Served on the UT’s School of Information SIS Advisory Board, 2013-2016


Hobbies/Special Interests/Research: Dr. Zhang enjoys running, swimming, hiking, biking, and skiing. She also continued her research focuses on library space designs and serving diverse user groups and the implementations of innovative projects at universities libraries.