During the recent 2017 Beijing International Book Fair–the second largest book fair in the world–Dr. Li Wang, Curator of Brown’s East Asian Collection, was interviewed by China Library Weekly, the only library newspaper published in China. Dr. Wang spoke about Brown University Library as well as his professional activities and perspectives. In the special issue, dated August 25, 2017, a large picture of Brown’s John Hay Library was presented on the newspaper’s front page and a full internal page featured Wang and the interview, entitled: “Librarian Should be an Envoy of Cross-Cultural Exchange.”
Based on his recent study of the mission and vision statements that reflect the new strategies of knowledge services in North American academic research libraries, Wang briefly summarized his ideas on the relationship between libraries and teaching and research at universities. He stressed that, aligning with the educational missions and with the teaching and research goals of their home universities, libraries should further redefine themselves, assume a new role as an academic partner, and engage more actively in knowledge innovation and the research process. That is just what Brown University Library proclaims in its mission statement: “Partnering with students, faculty, staff, and members of the global scholarly community, we foster and guide the creation, acquisition, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge at Brown and beyond in a spirit of free and open inquiry.”
In terms of promoting cross-cultural exchange, Wang also shared his experience in recent years, especially through exhibitions, presentations, travel reports, and other activities in this effort. Wang says, ”The librarian should not only be a manager and educator of scholarly resources. We, as scholars of Chinese studies, should also become an envoy of cross-cultural exchange, creating a genial cultural ambience so as to facilitate cultural exchange and understanding in a global context.”
Click here to read the article in Chinese, or read the translation below (translated by Yanqing Shen ’18).