“American students aren’t afraid to ask questions,” Bella Wu, a visiting librarian from China's Northeast Normal University (NENU), replies to a question about the differences between students in the U.S. and China. “Chinese students work with one another to find answers. Our education systems have a lot to learn from one another.”
As a truly global university, GW has long recognized the importance of learning from other cultures and of bringing multiple viewpoints together to discuss and solve problems. GW Libraries and Academic Innovation (GWLAI) are in conversation with institutions all over the world, but the most robust is our partnership with NENU, located in Jilin Province of the People’s Republic of China. Although named a “normal” (teaching) university, NENU is a comprehensive public institution with a student body size equivalent to GW.
Chinese and U.S. academic research libraries share many challenges. Both are working to support students as creators, users, and informed consumers of information in all its forms. Chinese libraries have been very successful in using technology to promote information literacy and improve efficiency. American libraries are leaders in promoting and communicating services directly to students and in helping to build a community of self-regulated learners — students equipped to evaluate and control their own learning.