Virginia Steel

Headshot of University Librarian Ginny Steel
Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian
  • Administration


Virginia “Ginny” Steel became UCLA university librarian in July 2013. In 2016 UCLA alumnus Norman Powell endowed the position, which is now known as the Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian.

Throughout her career Steel has focused on understanding the information needs of faculty, students and staff and enhancing and building services and collections to meet those needs. She has established and fostered strategic partnerships with campus organizations, philanthropists, corporations and foundations to improve services and support for students and faculty; to expand open access to library holdings and published research; and to provide physical and virtual spaces that foster creativity, engagement and a wide range of intellectual pursuits.

Steel is well-versed in the complex national and international landscape of policies affecting academic and research libraries. She has been a vocal advocate for national and state level public access policies and legislation.

Steel has a long history of strong leadership and service in the library community. She is currently a member of the OCLC(opens in a new tab) Board of Trustees. She has served as chair of the board of the Center for Research Libraries(opens in a new tab), chair of the Association of Research Libraries(opens in a new tab) advocacy and public policy committee, president of the Library Administration and Management Association(opens in a new tab), and on the board of the Greater Western Library Alliance(opens in a new tab). Her professional contributions include editorships, articles, invited papers, numerous presentations and a video production.

Steel holds a BA from the University of Rochester and an MA from the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago.


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