Gordon Xu, assistant professor and head of library systems at Northern Michigan University, received a 2020-21 Technology Innovation Award.
Under his leadership, NMU's Lydia Olson Library implemented several new systems. These include the Leganto reserves and reading list system; the RapidILL interlibrary loan and resource sharing service; and the Alma/Primo Library Services Platform for next-generation library automation.
“When I joined NMU, system migration was my first priority,” Xu said. “We had used Voyager, a legacy library system built upon workflows over 30 years ago, which focused mostly on print resources. Today, libraries increasingly license access to electronic resources, which account for at least 90% of most academic libraries' collection budgets. So we needed a next-gen library system that provides comprehensive print and electronic resources management. We went live in May 2020 with Alma/Primo.”
The new systems have had a positive impact on teaching and learning, along with the ways faculty, staff and students do research, Xu added. They have automated workflows by working in conjunction with university enterprise financial and student information systems, empowering more collaboration and interactivity.
“I always have a strong passion in taking initiatives to best serve our library patrons,” said XU in response to the award. “I guess in some sense we are all in perpetual beta, leading to continuous improvement and perpetual innovation. I'm humbly honored to receive the Faculty Technology Innovation Award, which is a great encouragement for me to ensure the library technology is responsive to the needs of the NMU community.”
Prior to joining Northern, Xu worked as a systems librarian for 10 years at South Dakota State University and City University of New York. His research interests are concentrated on assessment of information systems, library programs and services; adaptation and design of information systems; development and implementation of information systems; and Big Data, among others.
Xu holds a master of library and information studies degree from McGill University, and a master of science degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. A quote relevant to your respective award: