Research Assistant

Library Foundation of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Hours: Flexible p/t. Average 10 hours/week from July 2021 to December 2022.
Pay: $40/hour (fee for service contract)
Reports to: Todd Lerew, Director of Special Projects
To Apply: Submit résumé/CV, cover letter, 3 references, and an existing 3-5 page
writing sample OR research project bibliography to: [email protected]
Deadline: June 13, 2021

Position Description
The part-time Research Assistant will be involved in the concept development phase of a major
exhibition, publication and free public program series taking place at Los Angeles Public
Library’s downtown Central Library and branch libraries across the city in 2024 as part of the
Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time (PST) initiative.
The theme for this round of PST is the intersection of art and science. Our project, entitled ‘No

Prior Art’ and presented in partnership between the Library Foundation of Los Angeles (LFLA)
and the LA Public Library (LAPL), takes off from the Central Library’s extensive patent
resources, looking at the idea and process of invention as common ground amongst many
artists and scientists. We are interested in documenting and celebrating diverse historic and
contemporary inventors and inventions, across disciplines and from Southern California and
beyond, as well as highlighting opportunities for creative invention freely available to all in our
public libraries.

Research areas will include but are not limited to: patents issued to inventors based in Southern
California; art-related patents, or artists who have received patents; inventors in
underrepresented communities; holdings and resources at relevant institutions in preparation for
research visits; and the fundamental nature of invention and creativity.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
With the guidance and support of assigned LFLA and LAPL staff, tasks will include:

● Conduct deep dive research into vast public and institutional archives--such as online
patent databases, relevant art & tech museum collections, newspaper archives, and
LAPL’s IP-related collections in the Science, Technology and Patents Department at
Central Library--to identify trends and threads that connect to our research priority areas.
The US Patent & Trademark Office recently issued the 11 millionth patent!

● Produce a list of inventors, inventions, artists, scholars and popular writers,
organizations and cultural institutions that relate to our outlined research areas, for
further research or possible inclusion in the final exhibition, publication, and public
● Direct communication with possible partner institutions and collaborators.
● Frequent check-in meetings with supervisor and regular reports (submitted monthly and
as needed) on progress, relevant connections/discoveries, and new directions or
● Additional duties as required.

● Proficiency with word-processing, databases, and spreadsheets.
● Proven ability to work across disciplines, solving problems and making connections.
● Ability to organize, process and distill large amounts of information.
● Detail-oriented, reliable, and efficient.
● Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
● Strong written communication skills.
● Interest in the intersection of art and science and the process of invention.
● Interest in curatorial/art historical work in a not-for-profit organization and at the public
● Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university preferred. An equivalent
combination of education, work experience, and independent or non-traditional pursuits
will be considered.
● Ability to travel locally and commute to the downtown Central Library as needed.
● Multi-lingual/multi-cultural background is desirable.

About the Library Foundation of Los Angeles
The Library Foundation of Los Angeles supports the Los Angeles Public Library in its effort to provide all
3.8 million Angelenos with equitable access to thousands of free programs, resources, and services.
Through fundraising, advocacy, and innovative programs, the Library Foundation strengthens the
Library's commitment to educate and empower every individual in our city’s diverse communities. At the
Foundation, we are committed to keeping the Library thriving for generations to come and to providing all
Angelenos with the tools to enrich and improve their lives.

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