Head, Science and Engineering Library
Los Angeles, CA
Job Description

The University of Southern California (USC) Libraries seek an innovative, strategic, and service-focused information professional to lead the Science and Engineering (S&E) Library. The position reports to a Director of who oversees a cluster of related libraries and who reports to the Associate Dean for Public Services. The Head will foster a creative and collaborative team-based environment facilitating communication and coordination within the S&E Library and across the Division. The Head will cultivate outreach activities by building strong relationships with faculty, students, campus partners, and the wider library community. The Head will provide leadership, guidance, and management of a team of librarians and staff to ensure quality services and collections to support the teaching, learning, and research needs of USC students, faculty, and staff.

This position will work in partnership with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the science departments at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences to foster innovation in library services, implementing new technologies, and leveraging best practices, in order to reimagine the library as a state-of-the-art discovery and learning center that supports and fosters students' skills in critical thinking, collaboration, innovation, experimentation, and entrepreneurship.

We seek candidates who are engaged in their profession and have a passion to develop transformative library services, who are creative in identifying and solving problems within a collegial and collaborative environment, and who have the leadership expertise to bring those solutions to fruition. The successful candidate must be knowledgeable about current trends in STEM libraries and be able to apply this understanding to make a significant, positive impact on the USC community. Duties include weekend and evening hours.


The University of Southern California is one of the world's leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology, and international business, USC's diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge. For more information, visit www.usc.edu.


The USC Libraries support the discovery, creation, organization, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge. We develop and deliver collections, services, and programs that support and encourage the academic, research, clinical, and creative endeavors of our community; cultivate an inclusive community of intellectually curious, critical thinkers; and help develop engaged, informed global citizens. Through these means, we participate in the continuing success of the University of Southern California as a private, global research institution committed to the greater, public good.

The USC Libraries comprise Doheny Memorial Library and many specialized libraries, including the Health Sciences Libraries, with an operating budget of approximately $41 million. Among our libraries' collecting strengths are the areas of our Collections Convergence Initiative: the Holocaust and genocide and exile studies; the history of Los Angeles and Southern California; LGBTQ history and culture, particularly relating to West Coast activities and activism; East Asian languages and cultures and Asian American history in the United States; and cinema, music, and the production of popular cultures. Library faculty and staff throughout the organization - committed to core values of inquiry, ingenuity, integrity, and inclusiveness - work to advance consequential engagement with our academic and arts communities. For more information on how our libraries support critical, creative, and ethical habits of mind at USC, visit libraries.usc.edu.

The USC Science and Engineering Library serves the science departments of the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and the Viterbi School of Engineering as a research and learning environment which provides seamless access to both digital and print collections, and to essential library services. During the academic year 2019-2020 the S&E Library will be undergoing renovations.


The Head of S&E Library will:

  • Lead a team of science and engineering librarians and staff in establishing fiscal, resource, and programmatic priorities for reference, instruction, outreach, and collection development
  • Provide leadership to develop innovative programs and services around current trends for open access, research impact, digital scholarship, and science data management and curation
  • Provide teaching and research-focused information services, including developing and conducting instruction programs focused on advanced resources for students in the physical sciences and engineering
  • Maintain a culture of mutual respect, collaborative teamwork, and a high standard of excellence
  • Collaborate with other USC libraries
  • Communicate proactively and engagingly with faculty, students, campus partners, and the broader library community
  • Provide in-person, virtual reference, and research consultation services
  • Stay up-to-date on relevant library and scholarly information trends and practices and be able to apply this knowledge to have a significant, positive impact on the S&E Library and the advancement of the USC Libraries' strategic plan and the University's strategic vision.


Minimum qualifications: MLS from an ALA-accredited program or non-U.S. equivalent is typically required for a librarian appointment at USC. In addition, candidates must provide examples of:

  • At least four years of increasingly responsible professional experience working in an academic, research, or specialized library
  • Experience working with specialized information resources in science and engineering related research
  • Supervisory, organizational planning and leadership experience
  • Demonstrated commitment to a strong public service orientation within an academic or research library setting
  • Knowledge of current professional trends, especially those related to library services for diverse populations in a STEM research setting
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in the physical sciences or engineering
  • A record of sustained and professional achievement in librarianship
  • Demonstrated knowledge of scholarly communication and funding issues in scientific research and data curation
  • Demonstrated success engaging with academic stakeholders and administrators within the communities served by the library
  • Experience with fundraising and grant writing
  • Knowledge of trends in scientific data research management and digital technologies.


Rank: Assistant University Librarian

Librarians at USC have faculty status. This is a full-time, continuing appointment track position. Appointment to the continuing appointment track requires the potential to meet the University's criteria for granting continuing appointment - excellence in librarianship - which librarians achieve by having a significant impact on the development and/or implementation of high-quality collections and/or services. Additionally, librarians must demonstrate the expectation of continued excellence and growth in profession expertise. Rank and salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.

For more on criteria and qualifications for the appointment, promotion and continuing appointment of librarians at USC, visit: https://libraries.usc.edu/sites/default/files/criteria_document07152008.pdf


Benefits include a choice of retirement programs, 22 paid vacation days per year, university holidays, a choice of medical and dental plans, and tuition assistance (for employees and eligible dependents). For more information about benefits, see benefits.usc.edu.


As part of the application, candidates must upload one document file (PDF) that contains the following: 1) a cover letter, 2) a curriculum vitae (including telephone and e-mail address), 3) a list of at least three references that includes the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address for each referee, and 4) a statement on fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion (no longer than one-page in length.

Closing date for applications: open until filled.

For more information about this position, contact Ruth Wallach, Chair of the Search Committee, at email rwallach@usc.edu

USC is an equal-opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding persons of every race, gender, creed, and background. The university particularly encourages members of underrepresented groups, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply. USC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Further information is available by contacting uschr@usc.edu.

Job Type Full-time