Spatial Data Science Librarian

Department: Data Science Center

Rank and Salary: Associate Librarian – Librarian ($59,276 – $90,921)

Position Availability: Immediately

Application deadline for first consideration: October 10, 2018

The UCLA Library seeks a Spatial Data Science Librarian (SDSL) to develop and extend the Library’s role in providing services centered around the acquisition, development, and utilization of research collections of geospatial digital assets. The Spatial Data Science Librarian is tasked with facilitating geospatial research, and enabling its use through research support, exhibitions and programming, and community building, facilitated by collaboration with colleagues within and beyond the Library. Reporting to the Director of the Library Data Science Center, the SDSL will play a leading role defining a vision of geospatial discovery and representation services needed to support research and use.

Position Duties

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

  • Envisions, develops, and evolves geospatial services and programs that promote, support, and inspire geospatial research methods and use of geospatial resources as part of an emerging suite of services offered in the Data Science Center. These services include research facilitation, instruction, and community building with colleagues within and beyond the Library.
  • Provides strategic planning and practical decision-making for the technical infrastructure for spatial components of data science and geospatial digital projects in support of both teaching and research across the campus. Develops short-term and long-term goals and objectives to achieve the envisioned services and programs.
  • Provides leadership and planning support for geospatial and data research projects with spatial components.
  • Engages with researchers and creators on campus in new uses of spatial data, especially in conjunction with large, convergence research and inter- and transdisciplinary endeavors.
  • Contributes to the development of the Library’s geospatial collections, drawing on an understanding of the collection’s strengths, its use, scholarly trends, and the identification and pursuit of new collecting opportunities.
  • Serves as the Library expert on geospatial technologies, including discovery interfaces, GIS software, geospatial repositories and databases, geospatial data acquisition and methods.
  • Represents and promotes the collections, projects, and services of the Library through outreach and advocacy at conferences and consortia related to geospatial resources and research.
  • Serves as an advocate for adopting appropriate practices locally for the preservation and enduring utility of geospatial resources, including contributing to larger policy development and revisions related to the Library’s digital preservation policy.
  • As a member of the Library’s Data Science Center, advises UCLA scholars on geospatial data management and data lifecycle. Serves as a general advisor on data management in support of the mission of the Data Science Center.
  • Provides individual consultations involving the use, processing, and analysis of geospatial data to UCLA students, faculty, and staff, as well as off-campus users.
  • Coordinates the Library’s GIS services with other campus GIS initiatives and cooperates with UC wide GIS initiatives.
  • Works with Library Development to cultivate and steward donors, collections, and 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, Carto, ENVI, and QGIS.
  • Experience with Python or R and their application to geospatial data.
  • Experience with data visualization tools, software, and concepts related to geospatial information.
  • Competence with georeferenced data wrangling, analysis, visualization, and storytelling.
  • Fluency in best practices for the preservation and enduring utility of geospatial resources.
  • Commitment to fostering an inclusive educational environment and workplace and ability to work with a diverse student and faculty population.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to initiate and maintain collaborative working relationships with co-workers, supervisors, and managers.  Ability to work harmoniously and as a team player and to thrive in a team-based environment. Demonstrated skill in fostering teamwork among others.


Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or equivalency in Geography, Geographic Information Science, or other relevant field, or relevant work experience.
  • Knowledge of common Machine Learning algorithms such as Decision Trees and Neural Networks and common implementation libraries such as scikit-learn.
  • Experience with data management planning.
  • Experience with SQL and spatial databases, such as PostGIS and SpatiaLite.
  • Knowledge of statistics and its application in geospatial science.
  • Ability to work across varied disciplines including Arts and Architecture, Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM fields.
  • Demonstrated teaching experience.
  • Experience working in an academic, research or special library.
  • Experience working in higher education.
  • Demonstrated project management skills.
  • 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 October 10, 2018, 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. The DSC provides consulting and instruction on a range of tools and leading practices supporting data-intensive scholarship, including R, Python, research data management, and reproducible science. The DCS develops, runs, and maintains research applications that help researchers and learners collaborate on, manage, share, and steward their research objects. The DSC manages the Social Science Data Archive historic data collections and continues its archival mission as part of the Library.


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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