Dr. Xiaorong Shao

Scholar Profile
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Dr. Xiaorong Shao
She / Her / Hers
Information Literacy Librarian & Professor
University Libraries
  • M.L.S. in Information and Library Science,  Clarion University of Pennsylvania, USA. 

  • Ph.D. in Agricultural and Extension Education, Pennsylvania State University, USA.

  • M.S. in Agricultural Education and Training, University of Reading, UK.

  • B.S. in Soil Science and Chemistry, Northwestern Agricultural University, China.

Research Interests: 

Library resource and service needs for international students and visiting scholars; effects of information literacy on student success; library assessment; cultural studies.


Dr. Xiaorong Shao is a Professor and Information Literacy Librarian. She has earned four degrees from three different countries in the fields of soil science, chemistry, curriculum and instruction, and information and library science. She has also been involved in many international activities and research projects on campus and beyond. From 2008 to 2016, she coordinated the library exchange program between Appalachian State University Libraries and Fudan University Libraries. In 2011 and 2012, Dr. Shao was the Principal Investigator in the development of two proposals that were submitted to the National Institutes of Health. These examined the impact of family disruptions on the outcomes of children and adolescents using data from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development with each having a different focus. From 2012 to 2022, she co-directed the American Cultural Center between Appalachian State University and Northeastern University, Shenyang, China. And between 2013 and 2015, she conducted an information literacy study aimed at examining correlations between students’ information literacy skills, their writing skills, and their overall course performance. The findings supported library practice and helped align library instruction and service more closely with the University General Education goals for developing student critical thinking. 

In her career, Dr. Shao has developed several grant proposals and received awards relating to internationalization and diversity, including the American Library Association Diversity Research Grant, Emerald Research Fund Awards (Chinese LIS Category), the International Travel Grant, the Board of Trustees International Research Grant, the Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums, and the American Cultural Center (ACC) Grants. As for her literary work, she has been a reviewer for three international journals, and has published more than 20 articles in several major academic journals.

Highlighted Project

American Cultural Center Grant Program in China

Between 2012 and 2022, Dr. Shao secured $440k from the U.S. State department in 6 grants for the American Cultural Center (ACC) programs. The aim of the ACC grants was to promote American culture and academics, as well as to facilitate cultural exchanges between China and the United States. The ACC activities provided opportunities for young students, faculty, and staff members, both in China and America, to interact and learn about each other’s culture firsthand. Under the ACC’s auspices, Appalachian State University sent 21 faculty members from 10 departments and 7 librarians to China to share their expertise on American culture and on several topics, such as American history, arts, music, sustainable development, business practices, and academic writing and publishing. Approximately 20 faculty members were involved in teaching and hosting Chinese faculty visitors on campus as well as creating instructional materials for teachers and students in China. Overall, 140 students from App State participated in ACC-related programs, and over 9,000 students, faculty and staff members from six universities in China attended ACC project activities. ACC grants have also enabled 15 faculty members from Northeastern University to visit App State for their professional development and cultural experience. 

The ACC has an office and a reading room that houses approximately 8,260 books in English, 3,500 books in Chinese, 68 magazines and journals in Chinese, 90 magazines and journals in English, and 1,400 films and music CDs. In addition to the general materials on American studies and classic literature, the Center’s collection has been growing with purchases and donations in sustainable development, environmental issues, and academic writing.

Since its inception in 2012, the ACC has successfully implemented 23 major programs and more than 65 activities in collaboration with Appalachian, Ping Pong Productions, Fulbright Scholars as well as the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang, other ACCs and universities in both China and the U.S. These activities include public speaking, film showings, American culture lectures, student leader programs, faculty development and exchanges, academic writing programs, English speech and American culture knowledge contests, arts and music performances, and Fulbright lectures. ACC also promotes student activities including a student club devoted to having an environmentally green campus, cooperating on international video conferencing courses, and student exchanges. 

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