Appointment of Virginia Steel as University Librarian

April 19, 2013

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To: Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Faculty, Library Staff, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Virginia Steel as UCLA’s University Librarian, effective July 15, 2013.

A library director for more than 11 years with significant leadership experience within the University of California system and at Association of Research Libraries (ARL) institutions, Ms. Steel brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and perspective to this critical role. She currently serves as university librarian at UC Santa Cruz and previously served as director of libraries at Washington State University (2001-05), overseeing the libraries on the Pullman campus and coordinating library services across the four WSU campuses. She has also served as associate director for public services at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1997-2001) and in various positions at UC San Diego (1988-97) and Arizona State University (1981-87). While at UCSD, she was selected for a Council on Library Resources academic library management internship, for which she spent a year at Brown University working closely with senior library and campus administrators.

Throughout her career, Ginny has focused on understanding the information needs of faculty, students and staff, and enhancing and building services and collections to meet those information needs. Ginny has a deep commitment to maintaining strong links to libraries’ campus and external constituencies; in her various roles she has established and fostered strategic partnerships with campus organizations, philanthropists, corporations and foundations to improve services and support for students and faculty and to provide physical and virtual spaces that foster creativity, engagement and a wide range of intellectual pursuits. During her tenure at UCSC, Ginny oversaw a $100 million expansion and renovation of the largest library on campus. After the project’s completion, library use more than doubled and it continues to grow. Ginny was also instrumental in bringing the Grateful Dead Archive to UCSC.

In her role at UCSC, Ginny has been actively engaged on a number of systemwide committees. She currently chairs the UC Council of University Librarians and has played a lead role in the development of a systemwide strategic plan for the UC libraries. She also serves on the Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee and the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, and she was a member of the Online Education Pilot Project Advisory Board (2011-12) and the California Digital Library External Review Committee (2010-11). She is also active in the American Library Association and other professional organizations. She was president of the Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA) in 2004-05 and has served on the boards of LAMA and the Greater Western Library Alliance. Her professional contributions include editorships, articles, invited papers, numerous presentations and a video production. She holds a B.A. from the University of Rochester and an M.A. from the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago.

I want to thank the search/advisory committee for assembling an outstanding pool of candidates and for its role in recruiting Ginny. The committee was chaired by Alessandro Duranti, distinguished professor of anthropology and dean of the Division of Social Sciences; other members were Johanna Drucker, professor of information studies; William P. Edwards, president of Westwood Investments and member of the UCLA Library Board of Visitors; Alicia Gaspar de Alba, professor of Chicana/o studies, English and gender studies; Lynn K. Gordon, professor of ophthalmology and associate dean for academic diversity in the David Geffen School of Medicine; Kendall N. Houk, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Beverly Lynch, professor of information studies; Kelly Lytle Hernandez, associate professor of history; Jonathan F.S. Post, distinguished professor of English; Todd Presner, professor of Germanic languages, comparative literature and Jewish studies; Timothy Rice, professor of ethnomusicology and director of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music; and Francis F. Steen, associate professor of communication studies.

I also want to express our gratitude to Gary Strong for his exemplary service as university librarian since 2003.

We all recognize that our libraries play a critical role in the academic enterprise at UCLA, and I am confident that Ginny will provide outstanding leadership as university librarian. Please join Chancellor Block and me in welcoming her to UCLA and this important role.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost