Reference Librarian, Koerner Library, UBC Library | Vancouver Campus

Reference Librarian Koerner Library, UBC Library | Vancouver Campus
Full-Time Term ending December 31, 2017
Anticipated Start Date: April 17, 2017

The University of British Columbia Library is one of the largest academic libraries in Canada and consistently ranks among the top university research libraries in North America. UBC Library has 14 branches and divisions, two campuses (Vancouver and Kelowna), one off-site hospital library, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – a multi-purpose teaching and learning facility.

The Library’s collection of over 7M items includes 1.4M ebooks, 229,020 electronic journals, 850,000 maps, audio, DVD/video and graphic materials, and 1,703 bibliographic and fulltext databases.

More than 300 knowledgeable employees—librarians, management and professional staff, support staff and student staff—provide users with the excellent resources and services that they need to further their research, teaching and learning. Find the UBC Library Strategic Plan 2015-2017. To learn more about working with UBC Library and to explore our aspirational values visit UBC Library – Why work with us.

Position Summary

The Koerner Library and UBC Library Research Commons provide services and collections to support the research needs of students, faculty and staff, with a focus on the humanities and social sciences in the Koerner Library collections and services, and prioritization for graduate students in the interdisciplinary Research Commons.

The Liaison Librarian provides instruction, information services and reference assistance to faculty, students, staff and community users, and assumes responsibility for designated subject areas and liaison with relevant departments. The librarian develops and maintains collections and learning resources, including online course and subject guides, and other appropriate tools within the designated subject areas. The librarian participates in the planning and implementation of Library services that support the needs of faculty and students. The librarian works cooperatively with other faculty and staff in the unit, at UBC Library, and in the humanities and social sciences, to develop and maintain high quality Library services and collections in all formats. The librarian participates in the development of Library policies, procedures and services. The librarian assumes responsibility for coordination and management of projects, services, staff and students, as required.

Specific subjects and areas of responsibility will include Linguistics, English and Digital Humanities. Other subjects may be assigned as required.



  • A graduate degree from an accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science
  • Experience providing research assistance and public services (reference, instruction, and liaison)
  • A strong educational background in the humanities or social sciences • Demonstrated ability and enthusiasm for developing, delivering and updating instructional sessions and workshops
  • Strong information technology and digital literacy skills
  • A solid understanding of the research process and the ways in which new tools and technologies are affecting the production, dissemination, and reception of research in the humanities and social sciences
  • Demonstrated ability and interest in exploring and evaluating emerging technologies
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, plan and carry out projects, both independently and as a member of a team
  • Familiarity with current trends in library services, instruction, and bibliographic management tools within libraries and academic institutions • A proactive, user-centred vision of services
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships and engage in workplace culture.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • A strong service commitment, flexibility, and willingness to assume a variety of assignments
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills
  • Experience developing partnerships and evidence of successful collaboration around the provision of programs and services
  • Ability to recognize, respect and work effectively with individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Takes initiative in learning about language and issues relating to equity and diversity.
  • Models and demonstrates good communication through active listening and appreciative inquiry and open to providing and receiving timely, constructive feedback.
  • Listens to, encourages and expresses creative and innovative ideas. Open to experiment and improvise with new ways of approaching processes, tasks or problems.


  • An academic background or related experience in Linguistics or Digital Humanities
  • Work experience in an academic library or educational setting relevant to the position


Reports to the Head of Koerner Library. Consults and works collaboratively with colleagues both within the unit and across the UBC Library in the provision of services, as required. Works with a high degree of planning, collaboration and coordination with the Research Commons Librarian, Advanced Research Computing (ARC) Analyst in the Social Sciences & Digital Humanities, UBC Library faculty and staff, UBC IT staff, UBC campus and external partners. Works and interacts with faculty, students, staff, and the public. Works with colleagues at other libraries on shared initiatives. May supervise the work of library staff and students in the provision of services.


Reference, Instruction and Liaison

  • Initiates and maintains strong working relationships and collaboration with faculty in assigned departments and subject areas. Collaborates with faculty to provide service and course-integrated instruction to students in assigned liaison areas. Engages with faculty to identify collection needs.
  • Using the Library’s content management tools, develops and maintains a wide range of web-based resources to deliver information to users, including the creation of web pages, instructional materials, subject and research guides, tutorials, and other learning objects, within assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Provides research assistance, consultation, and support to users in assigned liaison areas, specialized research assistance and consultation in the digital humanities, and across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences in general.
  • Creates and teaches workshops in relevant areas of responsibility and collaborates with researchers and scholars to provide the same.
  • Participates in a community of practice with UBC researchers and librarians to support digital humanities research needs and projects.
  • Participates in program and service development and delivery in the UBC Library Research Commons. Designs, develops, and delivers workshops targeted to graduate students and faculty on relevant topics and tools, including the digital humanities. May supervise graduate student employees in the UBC Library Research Commons in the development and delivery of workshops and consults.
  • Engages in a range of liaison and outreach activities across the UBC campus, including with the Office of the Vice President, Research and the Advanced Research Computing (ARC) Analyst in the Social Sciences & Digital Humanities, as well as other interested academic departments and individuals.
  • Participates on the UBC Library Digital Humanities Working Group, and other University, Library and campus committees, planning groups, and task forces as appropriate. Participates in relevant conferences and meetings, and makes presentations where appropriate. Assists with special projects or other temporary assignments as required.

Collection Development

  • Selects materials, both print and electronic, and cooperates with other bibliographers in the selection of material for the collections.
  • Assists in special projects and the development of collection policies. Proactively accesses the use of the collections, adjusting purchasing activities to align with users interests.

Supervision and Management

  • In consultation with the Head, plans and implements services for users, or other activities as assigned, which may include supervisory responsibilities.
  • Initiates and participates in needs assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation for the provision of services for the Library.
  • Undertakes, or assists with, special projects, committee work, or other temporary assignments as required.

Current Awareness

  • Keeps up with research developments and literature in the areas of specialization through scanning of journal literature, monitoring of electronic sources, and engagement with scholars.
  • Maintains expertise in electronic information resources and technologies.
  • Keeps current with changing professional expectations, services requirements, and developments in academic libraries.


This is a full-time, term appointment ending on December 31, 2017.

We are seeking applications from Librarians with up to 2 years of experience. However, all internal candidates will be considered regardless of years of experience and are encouraged to apply. Salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. The University especially welcomes applications from visible minority groups, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply. However, Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

Applications will include: a letter of application that includes a statement of citizenship/immigration status and indicates the candidate’s education, training and work experience in the areas listed above; a detailed and current curriculum vitae.

To view the complete job description and to submit an application, please visit the UBC Careers page by midnight on March 19, 2017.

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