University Librarian

June 14, 2017

Ms. Susan E. Parker Photo: Don Liebig, UCLA Photography 

The Provost is pleased to announce that the Board of Governors has accepted the President’s recommendation to appoint Ms. Susan E. Parker as the new University Librarian for a five-year term commencing September 1, 2017. Ms. Parker is currently Deputy University Librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles.  

Ms. Parker received her B.A. (History and American Literature) from Earlham College in Indiana, her M.A. in History from the University of Indiana, and her M.L.S., with a specialization in academic librarianship, from Queens College of the City University of New York.   She then held a number of leadership roles at Tufts and Harvard Law School before moving to California in 1997, to take a post at California State University, Northridge, as the Associate Dean of the Oviatt Library and Associate Professor. Since 2005, she has served as the Deputy University Librarian and Chief Financial Officer at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Since becoming the Deputy University Librarian at UCLA, Ms. Parker has led operations, HR, budgeting, strategic planning, capital project planning, fundraising, and assessment.  She has held a number of interim roles in parallel with the Deputy Librarian position. Three years ago, she played a critical role in the successful transition to a new University Librarian and has worked with the UL on a complete reorganization that recently launched. As the Interim Director of the UCLA Library Special Collections from 2015 until early 2017, and of the Rosenfeld Management Library in 2012 and 2013, she provided leadership, vision, and direct administrative responsibility for those departments.

Ms. Parker has conducted research into higher education leadership around the theme of “credible optimism,” in other words, the importance of positivity in the pursuit of realistic and sustainable goals. This work speaks to her style as a leader, and will serve the UBC Library and the institution well as it implements its new strategic plan and vision for UBC community.  

The Provost would like to thank librarians and archivists, staff, students, and external stakeholders for participating in the search process and for providing valuable feedback to the advisory committee.  I am grateful to the members of the President’s Advisory Committee for their commitment of extensive time and energy throughout the search.               

She also wishes to express her gratitude to Ms. Melody Burton for her service as the Interim University Librarian since July, 2016.  Ms. Burton has agreed to continue in this interim role until September 1, when Ms. Parker joins UBC.   

The Provost is sure that the UBC Library—the second largest research library system in Canada--will continue to build its strengths under Ms. Parker's leadership.