UBC hires new university librarian

Susan Parker, the current deputy university librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is the new UBC university librarian.

She replaces Melody Burton, who has served as both interim university librarian and deputy university librarian since July 2016, to start her five-year term on September 1.

This appointment came after a three-month search by the president’s advisory committee for the selection of a new university librarian, with Provost and VP Academic pro tem Angela Redish serving as chair.

According to the executive brief for the search, this position prioritizes “attaining UBC’s mission and goals as outlined in the university’s strategic plan” and “fulfilling UBC Library’s mission to advance research, learning and teaching excellence by connecting communities, within and beyond the university, to the world’s knowledge.”

The responsibilities also include managing the current resources, delivering “a sustainable technology plan” and “building strong engagements with faculty, staff, students and wider communities.”

During her time at UCLA, Parker has been appointed to multiple deputy and interim roles, according to a statement from the Provost and VP Academic’s office.

Since 2005, she has overseen “operations, HR, budgeting, strategic planning, capital project planning, fundraising and assessment” as UCLA deputy university librarian.

She later took on similar responsibilities as the interim director of the Rosenfeld Management Library from 2012 to 2013, and as the interim director of the UCLA library special collections from 2015 to 2017.

“Being named University Librarian at UBC is an honour, and the highlight of my career,” said Parker in a press release by UBC. “I look forward to partnering with UBC’s excellent library staff, students, and faculty as we continue to develop and deliver outstanding services, scholarly resource collections and welcoming library facilities for the UBC community.”