USC Marshall Appoints Gary Shaffer to Lead Library Management Program

Shaffer joins USC from Tulsa, where he serves as CEO of the Tulsa City-County Library system

LOS ANGELES--()--The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business has appointed Gary Shaffer, CEO of the Tulsa City-County Library, as director of the USC Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) program. Shaffer, who holds a Ph.D. in managerial leadership from Simmons College in addition to a master of library and information science from the Pratt Institute, has led the Tulsa public library since 2011.

Shaffer brings a distinctive educational and management background to the MMLIS directorship that uniquely complements the program’s focus on library leadership in academic, digital, and large urban environments. An expert in triple bottom line sustainability, Shaffer’s research aims to establish best practices in libraries that account for economic, environmental, and social factors in determining organizational value.

Among Shaffer’s other areas of research is emotional intelligence, specifically how library directors tap into it to be more effective in their roles.

“The USC MMLIS is exciting to me for many reasons, not the least of which is its one-of-a-kind approach to leadership education across the curriculum,” Shaffer said. “USC-educated library leaders—expert librarians with a solid foundation in entrepreneurial management—are poised to shape the future of our field. I’m honored and grateful for this opportunity to participate in such an exciting enterprise.”

Shaffer added that he sees a future rich with potential for professional librarians in digital preservation of and access to our cultural heritage, creating new kinds of library services across many types of academic, public, and corporate institutions, and developing services, collections, and library cultures that meet the needs of 21st-century communities.

“Marshall welcomes Gary Shaffer to his new position as the MMLIS director,” said Sandra Chrystal, USC Marshall Vice Dean for Online Education. “His achievements at the Tulsa City-County Library will inform our students and colleagues and align with our entrepreneurial academic programs.”

Shaffer describes his time leading Tulsa City-County Library as one of learning and collaborative accomplishments. “I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished,” he said. “Our strategic planning, our fundraising, our facilities, our people, our collections—everything came together in service of the citizens of Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin presented the Oklahoma Quality Foundation Award to the Tulsa library to honor the system’s accomplishments under Shaffer’s leadership.

“Gary’s leadership experience and his interdisciplinary research on management strategy will help the USC MMLIS build upon the excellent work Ken Haycock has done as the program’s founding director,” said Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries. “The Marshall School is known for its excellent student experience and for graduates that make tangible impact in their areas of research and practice. Gary will help make certain that our MMLIS graduates take their place among Marshall alumni who advance their fields in world-changing ways.”

In addition to leading the 24-location Tulsa library system, Shaffer was a Public Urban Library Service Education (PULSE) Fellow at Brooklyn Public Library and held librarian and managerial positions in the County of Los Angeles and Sacramento public libraries. He is an active member of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE); the American Library Association (ALA); the Public Library Association (PLA); the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA); and Reforma, a national organization that promotes library services to Spanish-speaking communities.

Through IFLA, he serves as a delegate to the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.

Shaffer officially assumes his responsibilities as director of the USC MMLIS program as of January 1, 2017.

About the USC Marshall School of Business

Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.


USC Marshall School of Business
Julie Tilsner, 213-740-9170

Release Summary

USC Marshall School of Business Appoints Gary Shaffer to Lead Library Management Program


USC Marshall School of Business
Julie Tilsner, 213-740-9170