Illinois Fire Service Institute


lian ruan

Head Librarian, International Programs Director

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Dr. Lian Ruan has been Head Librarian for IFSI on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus since 1999. In 2006, she was named Director of IFSI’s International Programs. Dr. Ruan is an adjunct faculty at the Graduate School of Library and Information at UIUC and has taught the course of Special Library Administration since 2002.

Since 1999, with $312,252 of grant awards she received from the Illinois State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State and other agencies, she has built and developed the IFSI Library into one of the top three fire service libraries in the U.S. and the only fire-science library in Illinois. With numerous publications, her research interests cover use and users of information, outreach library services, special library management, and international librarianship.

As a Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) lifetime member, Dr. Ruan has served on several CALA committees. She has been president of the CALA Midwest Chapter and is currently incoming president of CALA. She has served on state and international committees, including the Illinois State Library Advisory Committee, the ILLINET Network Advisory Council (INAC), and the inFIRE (an international fire library consortium) Committee, on which she is currently serving as Chair. She has also acted as Downstate Representative on the Board of Directors for the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Illinois Chapter and serves on the SLA Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Council and Diversity Leadership Development Program Committee. She is a member of the Association of College and Research Libraries 75th Anniversary Celebration Task Force and its representative to the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group.

She is the winner of the University of Illinois Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence award and the Special Libraries Association Diversity Leadership Development Program award. Among IFSI international training programs, she has helped organize the Chinese Librarians Summer Program since 2005 in cooperation with partners both in the United States and China. The Summer Program has trained more than 220 librarians from 84 organizations all over China, including the Western Region. Since 2006, IFSI has Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) agreements with 15 institutions in China, welcomed 18 Chinese delegations and accepted 44 Chinese scholars to visit IFSI.

Dr. Ruan earned her Ph.D. and her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a M.A. in African History from UCLA and a Bachelor’s degree in World History from Peking University from P.R. China.
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