Searching for a "University Librarian" at UC Davis; plus request for reading material on modern library challenges and opportunities

Well, I have trouble saying no.  And thus I have a new committee role at UC Davis.  I am a member of the University Librarian Recruitment Advisory Committee at UC Davis tasked with coordinating interviews for, well, the University Librarian position which was just advertised (I have reposted the text of the ad below).

I am writing this post for two reasons.  First, I want to encourage qualified candidates to apply (and also encourage people to share the posting with qualified candidates).  Second, I am requesting help in gathering material for me (and others) to read about new developments in library activities, especially in a University setting.  Any good reviews of the challenges facing University libraries as well as any discussions of new opportunities for libraries would be greatly appreciated.

The Job Ad (taken from a PDF and converted to text/html by me)

The University of California, Davis, invites nominations and applications for the position of University Librarian. The campus seeks an innovative and effective leader to serve as its chief strategist and visionary in developing its next- generation library, combining the traditional strengths of a major research library with new information resources and technology programs that enhance its research, teaching and learning activities. The University Librarian provides overall leadership of the UC Davis General Library in support of University research, instruction, patient care, and community outreach and is responsible for transforming the General Library into an Academic Hub that promotes the effective and innovative use of digital information resources in discovery and learning for the future.

The University of California, Davis is a highly selective, research-intensive institution of approximately 32,000 students, including 7,500 graduate and professional students, an annual research budget that exceeds $600 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools. UC Davis is one of the nation’s top public research universities and an integral part of the world’s pre-eminent public university system, the University of California. For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research, and public service that matters to California and transforms the world. The City of Davis, located in in the heart of the Central Valley, in an environmentally aware and socially innovative community of 65,000 people, is close to the state capital and San Francisco Bay area, and is a unique college town where close relationships between the campus and the local community are valued.

The General Library of the University of California, Davis, is a major U.S. academic research library, operating as an integral part of the University while recognizing obligations to a wider public, particularly the people of California. The University Librarian reports to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor and serves as a member of the Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors.
The colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science; the schools of Education, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Veterinary Medicine; and the UC Davis Health System are all served by the UC Davis General Library, both in Davis and in Sacramento. The Library houses comprehensive, world-class agricultural and veterinary medicine collections, especially in viticulture and enology, environmental sciences and ecology, and comparative medicine as well as broadly based humanities, social sciences, and sciences collections. The Special Collections feature a diverse range of topics from agricultural sciences, to Western Americana, to photographs of rural California and Oregon, and a rich University Archives showcasing the campus’s 100-year history. The UC Davis General Library is an active contributor to the highly successful University of California collective efforts of campus libraries and the California Digital Library, providing system-wide online services and access to a wealth of books and journals (~33 million titles), electronic journals (~34,400 titles), large digital image and special collections via Calisphere and the Online Archive of California, and over 422 million web sites in the Web Archiving Service.

Already highly ranked among U.S. public universities, UC Davis aspires to raise its profile even further and recognizes the Library as a key contributor to that achievement. The successful candidate will position the UC Davis Library as a leader among research university libraries and introduce new digital programs to enhance the university’s research and teaching activities.

Specific responsibilities of the position include

  • Strategic planning for and leadership in development of information resources and related programs and services, both print and digital, in collaboration with other organizations at Davis, across the UC system, and with relevant national and international organizations;
  • Development of advanced, innovative e-research and educational technology information and publishing services;
  • Oversight of library operations in support of the university’s strategic goals and current research and teaching activities;
  • Lead the development of Library digital services, including digital reformatting of existing collections, creation of unique and original digital resources in various formats, and development of web-based interfaces to these resources;
  • Leadership of a 120-plus member staff and responsibility for a budget of $24.7M, as well as philanthropic cultivation and stewardship;
  • Strategic planning, including long-range planning for service, staffing, automation, and physical facilities to meet the needs of the greatest number of users with an eye to the rapidly evolving patterns of users’ preferred modes of access;
  • Representing the library with the UC Davis administrative and academic departments and Davis in UC system- wide discussions, national and international research library and academic technology initiatives.

The University of California, Davis seeks outstanding candidates who have a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing research university libraries, especially those involving new technologies for research and teaching; successful library management experience in a complex higher education setting; extensive experience conducting research on and implementing innovative library-based services in support of a major research university’s mission of teaching, research and public service; demonstrated knowledge of state-of-the-art information technologies and successful implementation of IT-based services; entrepreneurial experience and a record of success obtaining external funding through grants and resource development; strong analytical, interpersonal, oral and written communication, and collaboration skills; commitment to and record of promoting diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace; and the ability to be an effective spokesperson for the UC Davis General Library and a fully contributing member of the UC Davis senior leadership team. A Master of Science in Library and Information Science or other advanced degree is required.

Initial screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made; however, to receive full consideration, applications must be submitted by no later than November 11, 2011. Nominations (including the nominee’s contact information and materials) should be provided to Linda Fairfield at the following address by November 11, 2011:

          Linda Fairfield
          Senior Management Group Administrator
          Human Resources Administration Building
          Phone: 530-752-3954

Application materials should include a letter addressing how the candidate’s experiences match the position requirements, a resume and contact information for at least five references. Submission of materials as PDF attachments is strongly encouraged.

For more information about University of California, Davis, please visit the Web site at

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

2 thoughts on “Searching for a "University Librarian" at UC Davis; plus request for reading material on modern library challenges and opportunities”

  1. Some info that might be useful: — there is an e-Science Day event at UCDHS on Dec. 6 (after the application deadline, Nov. 11, unfortunately). Perhaps attendees of that conference, and/or those who registered for this conf, may be or know of qualified candidates. URL:
    — Katy Borner of Indiana Univ and the various programs she is involved with is probably an good conduit for access to candidates. Her contact information is included below. She is involved with VIVO conference, and many other initiatives in mapping science, science of science (Sci2), etc.

    Katy Borner
    Victor H. Yngve Professor of Information Science
    Director, CI for Network Science Center,
    Curator, Mapping Science exhibit,

    School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University
    Wells Library 021, 1320 E. Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
    Phone: (812) 855-3256 Fax: -6166


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