Los Angeles, CA; Visualization Specialist, USC


The University of Southern California (USC) Libraries seek a dynamic and innovative librarian to take the lead in developing programs and services to support the evolving research visualization needs of students and faculty. Reporting to the Head of the Von KleinSmid Center (VKC) Library, the Visualization Specialist will partner with librarians and departments across the University, particularly in the humanities and the social sciences, as well as with the USC Libraries Center for Advanced Study and the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, in developing services that promote use of the libraries’ primary and disciplinary collections and engage students and faculty in new modes of presenting their research. The successful candidate must be knowledgeable of relevant trends and practices in spatial analysis (GIS), data visualization, and scholarly communication and publishing and be able to apply this understanding to make a significant, positive impact on the USC community.

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This position requires a commitment to developing student-focused services and a combination of skills and confidence that will contribute to the transformation of instruction, outreach, reference, and collections at USC Libraries. We seek candidates motivated by a passion to develop transformative library services and invested in the future of librarianship. The successful candidate is expected to be creative in identifying and solving problems within a collegial and collaborative environment. 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 http://www.usc.edu.


The USC Libraries actively support the discovery, creation, and preservation of knowledge. We develop collections and services that support and encourage the academic endeavors of faculty, students, and staff; value serving a culturally diverse community; build a community of critical consumers of information, and help develop engaged world citizens. Through these means, we contribute to the continued success of the University of Southern California. The USC Libraries includes the Doheny Memorial Library and fourteen specialized libraries with an operating budget of approximately $41 million. Through an active outreach program, librarians and staff at USC Libraries conduct orientations, workshops, and instruction sessions that reach thousands of undergraduate and graduate students annually. For more information, visit libraries.usc.edu. For information about the VKC Library, visit libraries.usc.edu/locations/vkc-library.


Reporting to the Head of the VKC Library, the specialist will:

  • Spearhead the library’s support of digital, spatial, and data visualization scholarship projects across the disciplines
  • Work with students and faculty to identify the visualization frameworks and methods for their research
  • Serve as Library liaison to the Spatial Sciences Institute
  • Partner with the USC Libraries emerging Center for Advanced Study and with the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study to support visualization of research
  • Work collaboratively with other librarians, faculty, and students in instruction and curricular developments
  • Develop and maintain an outreach program with faculty, students, and staff in assigned disciplines
  • Participate in library and other committees as assigned
  • Provide evening and weekend service as assigned
  • Engage in professional and/or subject discipline organizations, research, or publishing that will have a significant, positive impact on the VKC Library, and advance 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:
  • Experience providing instruction or consultations in a research or library setting
  • Demonstrated knowledge of data extraction, analysis, and visualization methods including spatial analysis
  • Experience working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds
  • A strong commitment to user-centered services
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Experience in solving problems independently and collaboratively

Desirable qualifications:

  • An advanced academic degree in the humanities, social sciences, computer sciences, or data sciences
  • Experience with proprietary and open-source digital technologies, such as geographic information systems, statistical software, visualization tools
  • Knowledge of research data management and digital preservation
  • Experience providing student-focused services in an academic environment
  • Experience in assisting scholars in the development of digital scholarship and scholarly communication projects
  • Experience managing projects in a library, academic, or information environment
    Understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and ethical issues in humanities and social sciences research.


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 (Word or 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.

Position open until filled.

For more information about this position, contact Steve Hanson, Chair of the Search Committee, at shanson@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.

Link to job posting: https://usccareers.usc.edu/job/-/-/1209/3984819

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