GIS Specialist Position in UIUC Library

Geographic Information Science (GIS) Specialist – Scholarly Commons

Academic Professional

University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign

Position Available: Position available immediately. This is a 100% time, 12 month appointment academic position in the University Library.

Position Function/Summary: The Geographic Information Science (GIS) Specialist plays a critical role in the development, growth, and stability of the University Library’s geospatial program. The GIS Specialist has interests in all facets of a geospatial program–hardware, software, data access, and user services–and the ability to support and move forward the Library’s geospatial endeavors in all of these areas. From a strong technical foundation, the GIS Specialist is adept at and enthusiastic about communicating technical information to non-technical users. GIS consultation and assistance is provided primarily in the Scholarly Commons but may also occur in the Map Library, other University Library spaces, and in academic department settings. The position is based in the Scholarly Commons ( and reports to the Head, Scholarly Commons. The GIS Specialist collaborates with Scholarly Commons personnel and campus partners, as well as personnel throughout the library, to meet the campus’s needs for geospatial services, collections, and infrastructure. Key collaborators in the library will be the Map Librarian, Library Information Technology staff, metadata librarians, Research Data Service, and Digitization Services.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:  The Library’s GIS Specialist, in coordination with the Data Discovery and Access Librarian and the Map Librarian, will promote the use of geospatial data and methodologies in instruction and research, consulting with and assisting a campus-wide spectrum of users with a broad variety of needs, interests, and abilities.

The University Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign values diversity of thought, perspective, experience and people, and is actively committed to a culture of inclusion and respect. We are dedicated to the practices of social justice, diversity, and equality, and strive to overcome historical and divisive biases in our society and embrace diverse points of view as assets to the fabric of our community. All positions will be called on to contribute to building this environment in the Library and throughout the campus community, and we encourage candidates to apply who share these values.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit

Specifically, the GIS Specialist’s responsibilities will include:

Instruction and Research

  • Develops and teaches instructional sessions  for credit courses and workshops on geospatial data and proprietary and open-source GIS and remote sensing applications
  • Refreshes and develops new instructional content based on research about new developments in GIS and user needs
  • Researches and incorporates into instruction and consultation recent developments and trends in GIS and related technologies
  • Leads one-on-one or small group research and application consultations
  • May serve as substitute instructor for academic department-offered courses as needed

GIS Community and Professional Development

  • Serves as University Library’s liaison to UIUC campus GIS organizations and research groups
  • Contributes to grant-funded projects across campus with approval of supervisor
  • Acts as University Library’s liaison to the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal Project
  • Actively participates in campus, statewide, and national GIS organizations and events

Consultation Services

  • Provides exceptional user experience by joining knowledge of geospatial data and software and an understanding of GIS applications with an analysis of user needs and abilities
  • Provides general and specialized assistance with digital geospatial data and use of GIS software
  • As an expert in geospatial data and technology, guides users engaged in a wide variety of tasks including geospatial data selection and analysis, manipulation, customization, and modeling
  • Advises researchers developing data management plans
  • Researches, writes, and maintains content-rich website and online guides describing GIS services and data offered through the Library and data and web-mapping applications offered elsewhere

Data, Software, and Hardware Management

  • Improves the discoverability and accessibility of digital geospatial resources held by the Library (either created on campus or purchased) by following standards and best practices for creating web mapping services and metadata
  • Researches and evaluates geospatial data available for acquisition
  • Plans and implements long-term preservation of digital geospatial assets
  • Maintains collection of geospatial data and populates an ArcGIS server through data migration and upload
  • Develops and writes documentation of processes and procedures for geospatial data and server management
  • Collaborates with Library Information Technology staff to (i) define, obtain, and configure server space devoted to GIS software and geospatial data storage and access; and (ii) install and update GIS server software and maintain the Library’s GIS servers

Academic Professional employees are encouraged to use “investigation time” to pursue areas of interest, not directly in support of an immediate program need, in accordance with the University Library’s policy on Investigation Time for Academic Professional Employees <>. Some investigations originating in this manner may evolve into regular work assignments or production activities.

Environment: The University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign is one of the preeminent research libraries in the world. With more than 14 million volumes and significant digital resources, it ranks second in size among academic research libraries in the United States and first among public university libraries in the world. As the intellectual heart of the campus, the Library is committed to maintaining the strongest possible collections and services and engaging in research and development activities in pursuit of the University’s mission of teaching, scholarship, and public service. The Library currently employs approximately 90 faculty and 300 academic professionals, staff, and graduate assistants. The Library consists of multiple departmental libraries located across campus, as well as an array of central public, technical, and administrative service units. The Library also encompasses a variety of virtual service points and “embedded librarian” programs.

The Scholarly Commons supports the traditional and emergent needs of students, faculty, and other scholars at Illinois by providing information resources, expert assistance, and technology resources that support teaching, research, and public engagement. GIS is a core service, along with digital humanities, scholarly communication and publishing, data discovery, and data visualization. Other important services, such as statistical consulting and survey research, are provided by campus partners. Consultations and workshops are the primary ways that the Scholarly Commons delivers its services.



  • Masters with a concentration in GIS; or a graduate-level or post-baccalaureate GIS certificate with two years GIS-related work experience including diverse GIS projects
  • Ability to explain technical topics to a non-technical audience
  • Customer service or teaching experience
  • Demonstrated commitment to working with a diverse clientele
  • Ability to work independently while balancing needs of diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrated research and discursive writing skills
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly in writing and in person
  • Demonstrated interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and to work collaboratively and effectively in a team environment


  • ALA-accredited Masters of library/information science; or academic library experience
  • Evidence of increasing GIS-related responsibilities
  • Knowledge of GIS server needs and ability to work collaboratively to maintain and update server
  • Experience with ESRI products such as ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS for Server
  • Programming languages such as Python or PHP and an understanding of how they are used in conjunction with GIS tools
  • Experience with open-source GIS
  • Ability to evaluate and implement access tools for geospatial data
  • Interest in preservation of geospatial data
  • Experience with software licensing

Terms of Appointment: Twelve-month appointment; 24 annual vacation days; 11 annual paid holidays; 12 annual sick-leave days (cumulative), plus an additional 13 sick-leave days (non-cumulative) available, if needed, each year; health insurance requiring a small co-payment is provided to employee (with the option to purchase coverage for spouse and dependents); required participation in State Universities Retirement System (SURS) (8% of annual salary is withheld and is refundable upon termination), with several options for participation in additional retirement plans; newly-hired employees are covered by the Medicare portion of Social Security and are subject to its deduction.

Campus and Community: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a comprehensive and major public land-grant university (Doctoral/Research University-Extensive) that is ranked among the best in the world. Chartered in 1867, it provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study, conducts theoretical and applied research, and provides public service to the state and the nation. It employs 3,000 faculty members who serve 31,000 undergraduates and 12,000 graduate and professional students; approximately 25% of faculty receives campus-wide recognition each year for excellence in teaching. More information about the campus is available at The University is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, which have a combined population of 100,000 and are situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 120 miles west of Indianapolis, and 170 northeast of St. Louis. The University and its surrounding communities offer a cultural and recreational environment ideally suited to the work of a major research institution. For more information about the community, visit: or

To Apply: To ensure full consideration, please complete your candidate profile at and upload a letter of interest, resume, and contact information including email addresses for three professional references. Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For questions, please call: 217-333-8169.

Deadline: In order to ensure full consideration, applications and nominations must be received by February 22, 2019. Interviews may occur before the closing date; however, no decisions will be made prior to the closing date.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.