MacKenzie Smith is the University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship at the University of California, Davis, with responsibility for creating and leading the strategic vision of the UC Davis Library, one of the top academic research libraries in the U.S.
One of the nation’s leading experts in digital libraries, Smith has defined and implemented a strategic framework to integrate digital resources and information technology with traditional library services, to better serve the university’s community of students and scholars. She has created new programs in scholarly communications, data science and digital scholarship, data management, institutional digital asset management, diversity, communications, and fundraising for the library. She also oversees operations for UC Davis’ four main libraries: Peter J. Shields Library, the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library, the Carlson Health Sciences Library, and the Blaisdell Medical Library in Sacramento.
As vice provost of digital scholarship, Smith defines and leads major university initiatives involving information technology, data science and informatics, data governance, knowledge management, research computing and digital publishing. Smith helped launch and continues to oversee UC Davis’ Data Science Initiative, which supports research in every discipline and coordinates with data technology and analytics units across the university.
Smith has been an academic research librarian since 1985, specialising in information technology and digital knowledge management. Originally from Seattle, she spent the first few decades of her career at the libraries of Harvard University and MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There she played a leading role in adapting their libraries, research, and teaching programs to the emerging technological landscape. She concluded her time in Cambridge as the Research Director for the MIT Libraries, leading cutting-edge research projects in digital libraries and archives; Web applications for online scholarly communication; and digital data curation in support of e-science. At MIT, in collaboration with HP Labs, she led the development of the DSpace open source software platform for digital archives, now used by hundreds of universities world-wide and managed by the DuraSpace non-profit company.
Smith has consulted widely in the library field, including the Association of Research Libraries to design and lead an E-Science Institute, helping research libraries to develop strategic plans to support digital research data curation. As a research fellow for the Creative Commons organisation, Smith worked on intellectual property policy for scientific research data and advocacy for open science. In collaboration with the California Digital Library and other library partners around the country, Smith led the Pay It Forward project, a 2016 study funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that shed new light on the financial viability of “gold” open access to scholarly journals; she is continuing that work with projects to accelerate that publishing transformation. Smith has also led research to define opportunities for library technical operations, such as cataloging, to leverage the efficiencies of the Web. She is committed to advanced teaching, learning and research through better use of technology and to transforming libraries to support 21st Century universities and their communities of scholars.