Spatial Data Science Librarian, UCLA

Department: Data Science Center
Rank and Salary: Assistant Librarian – Librarian ($61,201 – $98,865)
Position Availability: Immediately
Application deadline for first consideration: August 29, 2019

The UCLA Library seeks a Spatial Data Science Librarian (SDSL) to develop and extend the Library’s role in providing services centered around facilitating geospatial research, enabling its use through research support and instruction, and building community by collaborating with colleagues within and beyond the Library. This role provides leadership for the Library in geospatial data collection, including collaborating with UCLA, UC, and statewide university stakeholders on collecting, storing and preserving spatial research, purchased and open data. Reporting to the Director of the Library Data Science Center, the SDSL will play a leading role in defining the vision of geospatial services needed to support research and education at UCLA.

Position Duties

Reporting to the Director of the Data Science Center, the incumbent is responsible for the following duties:

Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Develop services that support and enable geospatial research at UCLA.
  • Teach researchers and students mapping and geospatial analysis skills using GIS tools.
  • Provide individual consultations involving the use, processing, and analysis of geospatial data to UCLA students, faculty, and staff, as well as off-campus users.
  • Develop the Library’s geospatial collections; identify and pursue new collecting opportunities.
  • Serve as the Library expert on geospatial technologies, including GIS software, geospatial repositories and databases, geospatial data discovery interfaces, geospatial data acquisition and methods.
  • Engage with researchers to make digital and scholarly data openly discoverable, accessible, and reusable.
  • Coordinate the Library’s GIS services with other campus GIS initiatives and cooperate with UC-wide GIS initiatives.
  • Works closely with Library Development to identify and steward donors, collections, and endowed gift funds.

Required Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in Library or Information Science OR significant graduate-level coursework toward such a degree OR equivalent education and experience (subject expertise combined with professional library education and/or experience).
  • Demonstrated GIS experience.
  • Extensive knowledge and expertise with geospatial data and relevant software, such as, GDAL, ESRI ArcGIS applications, QGIS, and ENVI.
  • Experience with Python or R and their application to geospatial data.
  • Competence with data preparation, analysis, visualization, and storytelling.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Significant experience and demonstrated interest in education, outreach, mentoring, consulting, community-building, and/or formal communication activities.
  • Contribution to a Software Carpentry or Data Carpentry workshop or other data- or computation-focused training efforts.
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative and inclusive environment, one that values and leverages the benefits of diverse perspectives.

Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or equivalency in Geography, Geographic Information Science, or other relevant field, or relevant work experience.
  • Experience with data management planning.
  • Experience with SQL and spatial databases, such as PostGIS and SpatiaLite.
  • Knowledge of a data repository, such as Dataverse, Dryad, or Zenodo.
  • Knowledge of statistical reasoning and its application in geospatial science.
  • Experience working in an academic, research, or special library.
  • Experience working in higher education.
  • Experience in donor relations and stewardship.

General Information

Professional librarians at UCLA are academic appointees. Librarians at UCLA are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, University Council – American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT). This is a represented position. They are entitled to appropriate professional leave, two days per month of vacation leave, one day per month of sick leave, and all other benefits granted to non-faculty academic personnel. The University has an excellent retirement system and sponsors a variety of group health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans in addition to other benefits. Relocation assistance may be provided.

Appointees to the librarian series at UC shall have professional backgrounds that demonstrate a high degree of creativity, teamwork, and flexibility.  Such background will normally include a professional degree from an ALA-accredited library and information science graduate program.  In addition to professional competence and quality of service within the library in the primary job, advancement in the librarian series requires professional involvement and contributions outside of the library, and/or university and community service, and/or scholarly activities.  Candidates must show evidence or promise of such contributions.

Application Procedures

Anyone wishing to be considered for this position should apply here:

Applications must include:

  • a cover letter describing qualifications and experience;
  • a current resume/vitae detailing education and relevant experience; and
  • the names and contact information for three professional references, including a current or previous supervisor.

Candidates applying by August 29, 2019 will be given first consideration for this position.  UCLA welcomes and encourages diversity and seeks applications and nominations from women and minorities.  UCLA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the people of California, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning.

Description of Institution and Library

As one of the world’s great public research universities, UCLA integrates education, research, and public service so that each enriches and extends the others. From its beautiful neighborhood campus in a uniquely diverse and vibrant city on the Pacific Rim, teaching and research extend beyond the classroom, office, and lab through active engagement with communities, organizations, projects, and partnerships throughout the region and around the world.

UCLA’s diverse community of scholars encompasses nearly 30,000 undergraduates pursuing 125 majors, 13,000 graduate students in fifty-nine research programs, and 4,000 faculty members including Nobel Laureates; Rhodes Scholars; MacArthur Fellows; winners of the Fields Medal, National Medal of Science, Pritzker Prize, and Pulitzer Prize; and recipients of Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, and Golden Globes. UCLA ranks tenth in the Times of London Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, twelfth in the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and fifth in the U.S. by Washington Monthly. The National Research Council ranks forty of its graduate and doctoral research programs among its top ten.

To enable these accomplished students, faculty, and staff to create, disseminate, and apply knowledge for the benefit of global society, the UCLA Library is re-envisioning how it is acquired, synthesized, and shared across academic audiences and with the public.  It was among the first academic libraries to develop subject-specialist librarians and to launch a program to enhance students’ research skills. Its Special Collections pioneered the acquisition by public institutions of rare and unique books, children’s literature, pulp and detective fiction, works by or about women and minorities, screenplays, architectural plans, and Los Angeles-related materials and today leads the way in collecting archival resources in digital format such as emails and manuscripts.  It has launched innovative data management services and an affordable course materials initiative that have served as models for other libraries.

The Library serves UCLA students, faculty, and staff whenever and wherever they need its resources and expertise. Reconfigured, high-tech spaces and services in its ten campus libraries enable users and librarians to explore and work with print and digital materials collaboratively or individually, pursue new lines of inquiry, and develop new pedagogical approaches as well as novel forms of scholarship.  More than 3.5 million people visit annually, while an additional 3.4 million visitors enter online through its virtual front doors.

Whether on campus or online, the Library forms the intellectual heart of UCLA, a hub for cutting-edge discovery, scholarship, and instruction.

Description of Unit

The Data Science Center (DSC) supports researchers with acquiring, cleaning, using/reusing, publishing, and preserving data. Our team provides consulting and instruction on tools and leading practices supporting data and computationally intensive scholarship, including: R, Python, data management, and reproducible science. We develop, operate, and maintain research applications that help researchers and learners collaborate on, manage, and share their research objects. The Data Science Center manages the Library’s membership with the Carpentries and are a focal point for reproducible science education at UCLA.  We manage and steward the Social Science Data Archive historic data collections and continue its archival mission.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.  For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:  UC Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy at

Under federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally authorized to work in the United States as established by providing documents specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.  Employment is contingent upon completion of satisfactory background investigation.

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