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Librarian quietly makes her mark at Valley College

Xiaoyang Liu-Behlendorf demonstrates dedication to academic success for the student body.

By Katherine OBrien Field, Special to the Star

Xiaoyang Liu-Behlendorf is a librarian at the Valley College Library. She also takes on the role of the curator of the LAVC Historical Museum. (Jeremy Ruiz | Valley Star)

Standing roughly at 5’3’, bespectacled librarian Xiaoyang Liu-Behlendorf is not an imposing figure, but she has had a big impact on Valley College. Liu-Behlendorf practices her belief that the greatest moral good is to be of service. The direct beneficiaries of this ethos are the students, faculty, staff, and visitors at Valley. Whether speaking about the library’s increased architectural stature and technological progress, the curriculum, or her committee assignments, Liu-Behlendorf makes every day count. “I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would become a librarian,” said the Harbin China native. “My life is driven by service, whether it be serving as a mother for my family, or as a daughter helping my father. As a librarian, I am serving the students, the campus, the community, and beyond.” Liu-Behlendorf obtained an undergraduate and Masters Degree at Beijing University. It was there that she met her husband who was a visiting exchange student. She began working in the library at Tulane University, began her courses in library science, and then worked at USC and Woodbury University. She heard about Valley because everyone in her family learned to drive in the campus’ parking lot. Valley happened to be looking for a full-time librarian, she applied and got the job. When Liu-Behlendorf started in 2001, the new library had not been built; that took place in 2012.

“Everything is of high quality, with plenty of room and people are happy there,” said Valley’s librarian. “Before there were no computers. Now we have about forty computers, computer classrooms, other classes, and wi-fi throughout the library.” In the 2022-23 school year, the district decided to buy databases for all the colleges so that students, no matter where they are registered, can have the same access to all the databases, to information. The Valley resident is proud of such progress, but her dedication to service goes beyond her duties as a librarian. She has been instrumental in introducing high school students to the workings of Valley, in a new course called College 101.

Additionally, Liu-Behlendorf helped create content for the course. This new course is hosted at two local high schools and is designed to provide students with the skills needed to succeed in college. An initiative called Guided Pathway was already in place which provided the funding for College 101.

Finally, Liu-Behlendorf also shows a willingness to improve the lives of others through her volunteer college committee work.

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