Xuemao Wang, University of Cincinnati dean of libraries, university librarian and vice provost of digital scholarship, has been appointed Northwestern University’s Charles Deering McCormick University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, effective Sept. 1, 2022. Wang will succeed Sarah Pritchard, who announced her pending retirement in October after 15 years in the role.
With a career that spans international, public, consortium and academic library spheres, Wang brings broad expertise particularly well-suited to Northwestern Libraries in an era of great challenges and opportunities for academic and research libraries.
Wang, who joined the University of Cincinnati (UC) in 2012, is responsible for the UC library system, including Walter C. Langsam Library, Donald C. Harrison Health Science Library and seven other college and departmental libraries. He also coordinates all UC jurisdiction libraries including law and regional campus libraries.
At Northwestern, he will lead 186 faculty and staff, and will administer the University Library, Deering Library, Seeley G. Mudd Library, and the Oak Grove Library Center in Waukegan. He also will have oversight of the Northwestern University Press and manage shared services with the law, medical and NU-Qatar libraries.
The Northwestern University Libraries' collection of 6.8 million titles and 187,000 unique digital works includes a portfolio of distinguished special collections, including the Transportation Library, McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives, and the Herskovits Library of African Studies, among others.
“I am delighted to welcome Xuemao Wang into the Northwestern community,” Provost Kathleen Hagerty said. “He has demonstrated decades of successful strategic leadership and an ability to innovate and collaborate across academic disciplines. These qualities will serve the Northwestern University Libraries very well as we plot our course for a future filled with opportunity.”
Wang said he was drawn to Northwestern Libraries by its talented librarian faculty and staff, world class collections, user-centric services, innovative approach to scholarly publishing, and its enormous contributions to both the University’s core mission and to the global learning and research communities.
“Northwestern’s Libraries and the University Press have a tremendous international reputation for their rich collections, talented faculty and staff and innovative approaches to their strategic pursuits,” Wang said. “I am honored by the opportunity to lead this organization, and eager to pursue the new and emerging opportunities that will lift us to even greater heights.”
Wang was selected by a search committee comprised of faculty, students, staff and a member of the Northwestern University Library Board of Governors. The committee was chaired by Laura Hein, Harold H. and Virginia Anderson Professor of History in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
In his decade at UC, Wang raised the library’s visibility regionally, nationally and internationally through innovation, collaboration and partnership. He also has emphasized diversity, equity, inclusion and access by establishing advisory groups, opportunities for staff professional development and mentoring programs for underrepresented students.
Appointed vice provost of digital scholarship when UC created the position in 2019, Wang led remarkable digital advances by UC Libraries, including the formation of the Digital Scholarship Center as a catalyst of transdisciplinary research, the exploration of a digital core competence course for undergraduate education, the creation of the university’s digital repository, the development of new digital publishing capacities with the University of Cincinnati Press, and the establishment of new services offered through research and data management.
Wang supervises UC’s university press and acquisition of special collections, including the Marian and Donald Spencer Collection of civil rights archives and the Neil Armstrong Commemorative Archives. He also oversees the preservation of rare books, as well as long-term stewardship of digital assets preservation.
Prior to joining UC, Wang served as associate vice provost of University Libraries at Emory University. He also worked at Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries, the Metropolitan New York Library Council and Queens Borough Public Library in New York City. Before that, he spent numerous years gaining academic librarian experience in China.
Wang’s research interests include global librarianship and digital scholarship, publishing and consulting internationally. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wuhan University in China, a Master of Library Science from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Business Administration from Hofstra University.
Wang serves on the governing board of HathiTrust and the Global/America Advisory Council of OCLC, a nonprofit global library organization that provides shared technology services, original research and community programs. He is the convener of the International Federation of Library Associations’ Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship Special Interest Group and has served on the boards of multiple regional, national and international organizations.