Characterizing the molecular diversity of the cell surface is critical for targeting gene therapy. Cell type-specific binding ligands can be used to target gene therapy vectors. However, targeting systems in which optimum eukaryotic vectors can be selected on the cells of interest are not available. Here, we introduce and validate a random adeno-associated virus (AAV) peptide library in which each virus particle displays a random peptide at the capsid surface. This library was generated in a three-step system that ensures encoding of displayed peptides by the packaged DNA. As proof-of-concept, we screened AAV-libraries on human coronary artery endothelial cells. We observed selection of particular peptide motifs. The selected peptides enhanced transduction in coronary endothelial cells but not in control nonendothelial cells. This vector targeting strategy has advantages over other combinatorial approaches such as phage display because selection occurs within the context of the capsid and may have a broad range of applications in biotechnology and medicine.