2016 Rising Star Award Recipient

Emily Lynema Headshot

Emily Lynema

Associate Head, IT, and Director of Academic Technology, NCSU Libraries
NC State University

For pioneering contributions in the library technology community within higher education; for leading the development of user-centered technology applications in support of the institution’s overall teaching, learning, and research program; for exemplifying the qualities of a rising star in higher education IT


This year, EDUCAUSE presents the Rising Star Award to Emily Lynema, associate head of information technology and director of academic technology, North Carolina State University Libraries, for her outstanding record of achievement in the development of user-centered technology applications and for her innovative and collaborative approach to IT development.

Emily has contributed greatly to NCSU Libraries’ reputation as a leader in the development of forward-thinking library technologies. Emily started her career as a software developer for the NCSU Libraries, where her first project was on the libraries’ groundbreaking faceted catalog interface, one that incorporated features from e-commerce sites to provide a more intuitive browsing experience for library users. Debuting in 2006 as the first interface of its type, the catalog garnered national recognition for NCSU Libraries and became a model for more modern search interfaces for library materials. For her work on this important project, Emily was named by Library Journal as one of its “Movers and Shakers” for 2007, and her work directly influenced the kinds of next-generation catalog interfaces that are now standard.

While continuing to be a pioneer in the area of library technologies, Emily has expanded her expertise to include work in large-scale immersive visualization, game development, acoustic modeling, and sensor systems. In her current position, she oversees the work of the Discovery Systems unit, which develops and supports core business applications supporting resource discovery, delivery, and wayfinding in the NCSU Libraries. As part of her recently expanded portfolio, she also manages the Academic Technology unit, which supports faculty and students in the use of advanced technologies for research, teaching, and learning, including supporting the NCSU Libraries’ high-tech spaces, investigating new and emerging technologies, and providing in-depth assistance for faculty projects.

Emily also served as a co-PI and project director for ALICE (Adaptive Learning Spaces & Interactive Content Environments), a grant funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which aimed to develop and prototype a conceptual model on which adaptive learning environments can be built in order to enhance or improve the learning experience for users.

In addition to her service at NCSU Libraries, Emily has been active in the Triangle Research Libraries Consortium (TRLN), the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) project, and other national committee appointments. She has an extensive record of publications and presentations, and was invited to participate on the Digital Library Federation’s Integrated Library System Discovery Interface Task Group to develop specifications for services required to integrate library software with next-generation discovery systems.

Emily has proven to be a natural and innovative leader in the field of library information technologies, bringing enthusiasm, keen insight, and creativity to every project in which she is involved. Her significant contributions at NC State helped set a standard for the profession. Because of her many accomplishments and her promising future in higher education, Emily is an ideal recipient of the EDUCAUSE Rising Star Award.

This EDUCAUSE Award is sponsored by Moran Technology Consulting, Gold Partner.