CINF Member Profile – Michael Qiu

by Donna T. Wrublewski

Welcome to a new feature of the CIB – Member Profiles. Find out more about your CINF colleagues, what they find valuable about CINF, and even identify potential collaborators! If you’re interested in being interviewed for an upcoming CIB, please e-mail Donna at


Who are you?

Michael Qiu

What do you do?

I am a Science and Engineering Librarian at the University of Southern California (USC). I serve as the subject librarian for the Department of Chemistry and the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. My core job duties include:

  1. Reference services at the Science and Engineering Library, Leavey Library (undergraduate), Doheny Library (main research library on campus) and virtual chat and e-mail through QuestionPoint
  2. Outreach to faculty, students, and the greater USC community
  3. Subject-specific instruction in chemistry and general instruction for the Writing program
  4. Collection development in my subject areas.

In addition, we have faculty responsibilities to serve on appointed and elected library and university committees. I also am one of the faculty advisors to the USC Libraries Ambassadors, a group of undergraduates that works closely with the library to promote and market library services to undergraduates.

Why are you in the chemical information field?

I received my Masters in Library and Information Science from UCLA in 2013 before starting my position at the USC. Before that, I received my BS in Chemistry from Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa) in 2011. When I was an undergraduate I started as a biochemistry major and I really, really, really wanted to go to medical school, but soon realized that I did not enjoy biology and biochemistry. I ultimately pursued chemistry because I enjoyed the field and the career possibilities after graduation. In addition, when I was in school, I was involved with my university library’s special collections and the local public library. I decided that I wanted to pursue librarianship as a way to work with people, but also stay in a scholarly and academic environment. I only learned during graduate school that science librarians were in high demand and that having a science background was a strength. I was lucky enough to have several opportunities to become a science librarian, specifically a chemistry librarian, after graduate school. Being a librarian, specifically my university’s chemical information specialist, has brought together everything I was looking for in a career. I not only get to be involved in the science I enjoyed so much as an undergraduate, but I also get to use my expertise as a librarian to help further research and education at USC.

What makes CINF valuable to you?

In general, I believe that professional organizations are extremely important and they have the ability to bring leaders, movers and shakers, and novices and newbies (like me) into the same space where we are able to network, learn, and advance our field together. ACS CINF is a leading group for chemical information professionals and chemistry librarians and the most logical place with which to affiliate myself. In addition, CINF has provided me the opportunity to take on a role that is challenging, but also extremely valuable serving on the Fundraising Committee for 2014.

Want to learn more about Michael?

Get in Touch! 

Michael Qiu
Science and Engineering Librarian
University of Southern California