Social Science Data Librarian

Posted to IASSIST on: 2007-05-25

Employer: University of Southern California

Employer URL:


The University of Southern California (USC) is seeking an energetic, creative, and committed librarian to select, acquire, manage, and deliver statistical data in the social sciences. This position will suit a recent MLS graduate or early career professional. Reporting to the Assistant Social Sciences Team Leader, the incumbent will receive training and mentorship from senior social sciences librarians, from other members of the library faculty, and from staff with technology or administrative assignments. The successful candidate will be encouraged to participate in professional development activities and professional associations, or sections of associations, devoted to data librarianship. Working closely with the assistant team leader and other librarians, the data librarian will engage in a full range of reference, instruction, collection development and management, and outreach activities relating to social sciences data services. After training, the successful candidate will assume a leadership role in the libraries and at the university for social sciences data collections. The data librarian will work closely with the Government Documents Librarian to help develop a complementary suite of collections and services for USC’s faculty, staff, and students. This position will help build and provide access to social sciences statistical data collections and government data sets, with special emphasis on the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The data librarian also will serve as the libraries’ liaison to USC’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Research Laboratory, based in the Department of Geography.

Reporting to the Assistant Social Sciences Team Leader, the Social Sciences Data Librarian will work closely with other subject librarians, with coordinators for outreach, collection development, reference, and instruction, with the Chair of the UPIA Interdisciplinary Center, and with technical staff to build statistical data collections, facilitate access to data collections outside USC, and provide additional services to data users.

After training, the data librarian will have primary responsibility for identifying, locating, selecting, acquiring, and providing access to both quantitative and qualitative (text analysis) data sets. He or she will also assume responsibility for collaborating closely with USC’s teaching faculty and graduate students to collect, store, preserve, manage, and make widely accessible data sets created or otherwise owned by faculty and students. The librarian will assist users of electronic numeric data with reading and transferring files, and with importing data into statistical software packages. The successful candidate also will evaluate the use of statistical data collections and related electronic resources to support collection development and management decisions. The librarian will work closely with metadata specialists, other technical services librarians and staff, computer services consultants, and public services personnel to ensure that users are able to access sources of statistical data easily and reliably.

The data librarian will provide in depth reference, consultation, and instructional services and will create and maintain research-oriented web pages. He or she also will facilitate web-based access to data resources in a new research commons environment under development within the UPIA Interdisciplinary Center. The successful candidate will be responsible for USC’s active participation in the Inter Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), and for developing relations with the U. S. Bureau of the Census. The librarian also might be asked to assist with supervising a staff member or student assistants assigned to support data services.

The data librarian will be expected to become an active participant within the Social Sciences Team. Besides representing the interests of statistical data users on the team, the successful candidate will work collaboratively with other librarians to establish, prioritize, and pursue ambitious goals and projects in the social sciences. The data librarian also will participate in general in-person and virtual reference and instructional services within the UPIA Center and in other USC libraries with collections in the social sciences. For more information on the Social Sciences Team, see:

BENEFITS The position is full-time on a 12-month contract. Benefits include a choice of university sponsored retirement programs, 22 paid vacation days per year, a choice of medical and dental plans, and tuition assistance.

Required: BS in a social science discipline and MLS from an ALA-accredited program. Applicants about to graduate with an MLS in the spring or summer of 2007 will be given full consideration. The position requires excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills; a strong customer-service orientation; and knowledge of trends in social sciences data, digital technology, and electronic resources.

Preferred: Statistics coursework; experience with importing statistical data into software packages such as SAS, SPSS, and STATA; academic or research library internship or student worker experience; subject masters degree in one of the social sciences; ability to work in a collegial, team-based, consultative environment; experience providing reference, instruction, collection development and management in an academic or research library. The ideal candidate should have an ability to interact effectively with students, faculty and staff from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Archived on: 2007-06-18