Art and Visual Literacy Librarian, UBC Library | Vancouver Campus | Full-time, ongoing

Art & Visual Literacy Librarian
UBC Library | Vancouver Campus
Full-time, ongoing General Librarian position
Anticipated Start Date: May 1, 2021


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. The UBC Library Strategic Framework can be viewed at To learn more about working with UBC Library and to explore our aspirational values visit UBC Library – Work with us.

summary of responsibility:

Due to the MAA Library’s location in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC), adjacent to the Chapman Learning Commons and as the main service point for the Automated Storage & Retrieval System (ASRS), the Art & Visual Literacy Librarian provides reference and information services to a broad range of faculty, students, staff, and community users in the IKBLC. The position assumes responsibility for designated subject areas, including but not limited to art history and visual art, and liaison with assigned departments, including but not limited to the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory (AHVA). The Art & Visual Literacy Librarian participates in the development and assessment of the library collections and leads the development, preservation, and evolution of UBC Library’s art history and visual art collection. As the Visual Literacy lead at UBC Library is a partner and resource person for librarians and specialists involved in visual literacy intstruction that enables students to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media. The position provides web-based and classroom instruction and assistance in the use of information and visual resources; plans and implements services that respond to the needs of our users; participates in the development and review of library policies, procedures, and services; and is responsible for the coordination and management of services and projects as required.



  • A graduate degree from an ALA accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science
  • Experience with art history and visual art resources
  • Experience with the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
  • Demonstrated ability and enthusiasm to teach classes as well as initiate, plan, and carry out projects both independently and as a member of a team
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Comprehensive information technology and digital literacy skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work creatively and effectively as a member of a team
  • A high-level service commitment and flexibility and willingness to assume a variety of assignments
  • Ability to recognize, respect, and work effectively with individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Demonstrated knowledge of issues related to equity and inclusion.
  • Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships and engage in workplace culture.
  • Ability to recognize and appreciate the contributions of colleagues.
  • Committed to demonstrating respect for colleagues at every level by trusting in their abilities and knowledge to perform their roles and earning respect through meeting commitments.
  • 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 experimenting with and improvising new ways of approaching processes, tasks or problems.


  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in art history or related discipline
  • Library experience in the additional disciplines of architecture, music, and/or planning
  • Reading knowledge of French and at least one other foreign language
  • Experience with outreach, promotion, and marketing of library services and resources

Working relationships:

Reports to the Head, Music, Art & Architecture (MAA) Library. Works cooperatively with librarians and support staff in the MAA Library, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Rare Books & Special Collections, Technical Services, Digital Initiatives, and other UBC Library Librarians, Archivists and Staff. Builds relationships with faculty, students, and the community as part of Reference, Teaching, Collections, and Liaison duties.



Provides in-person reference and information services to a broad range of faculty, students, and other users at the Information Desk in the centrally located Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Provides in-person and online reference and information services to faculty, students and staff in designated liaison areas, including advising and assisting in difficult or extensive searches for related subject areas of responsibility. Employs the full range of internet, electronic, and print sources.


Teaches classes to students and faculty in the use of the Library’s resources, including the Library’s databases, print resources, and e-resources. Teaches Visual Literacy classes enabling students to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media. Participates in orientation tours and other Library instruction programs. Prepares handouts, research guides, and informational brochures in appropriate formats.


Selects art resources across all formats with consideration of the art collection’s role supporting research, faculty teaching, and identity as a major local, provincial, and national art resource. Develops and maintains the art collection policies and procedures. Oversees the art collection’s budgets to ensure allotments are spent out on time and encumbrances kept within funding allocations. Proactively assesses the state of the collection to align purchasing activities with users’ needs. Liaises with UBC Library Development Office, UBC Development Office, donors, and AHVA to coordinate receipt of gifts-in-kind.


Initiates and maintains contact with faculty, staff, and students in assigned departments.  Attends departmental meetings as needed. Informs faculty of services and instruction offered. Liaises with faculty on issues of collection development. Responds to faculty requests for accreditation/review, new course proposals, etc., in consultation with the Head, MAA Library. Represents MAA Library on library committees and working groups. In collaboration with other Library employees and adhering to UBC Library Communications & Marketing standards, plans, develops, delivers and assesses orientation, promotional, and event-based initiatives. Participates in the advancement and support of UBC Library scholarly communications initiatives, including copyright, open access activities, open education resources (OER), data management, and institutional repository.


In consultation with the Head, plans and implements services for users, processing tasks in the Branch, or other activities as assigned. Initiates and participates in needs assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation for the provision of information services for the Library. Undertakes, or assists with, special projects, committee work, or other temporary assignments as required. Acts on behalf of the Head Librarian as required. Supervises MAA Library student librarians, including hiring, training and mentoring.


Remains up-to-date with new literature and research developments in areas of specialization. Maintains expertise in electronic information resources and technologies. Keeps current with changing professional expectations, services requirements, and developments in academic libraries.


Professional and responsive liaison with the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory. Effective provision of reference/research service and instructional workshops. Current and comprehensive knowledge of specialized subject areas. Expert development of the collection for the purpose of supporting user needs. Innovative and efficient service development and delivery. Effective use of electronic information and technologies. Familiarity with the Library’s policies, procedures, and operations. Good working relations with staff and users across Library and campus units. 


Salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications.

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.

Applications will include: a detailed and current curriculum vitae; and 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.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

To view the complete job description and to submit an application, please visit the UBC Careers page at by midnight December 18, 2020.