Reference Librarian, UBC Library | Vancouver Campus | Full-time, 12 month term General Librarian

Reference Librarian
UBC Library | Vancouver Campus
Full-time, 12 month term General Librarian position
Anticipated Start Date: March 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:

The Woodward Science Librarian provides liaison to designated subject areas and departments. Actively engages in integrated information literacy, and collaborates on scholarly communication and data services initiatives and other new library initiatives as they arise. Develops re-usable learning objects, designs, develops and maintains digital materials to support information literacy instruction in print and online environments. Conducts assessment of resources, and provides input on collections management.

Participates as a member of the Woodward Library team to provide liaison, reference, instructional programs and information services to faculty, students and community users. Assumes responsibility for designated subject areas and liaison with assigned departments.  Provides web-based and classroom instruction and assistance in the use of information resources. As a member of the Woodward Library team, plans and implements services that respond to the needs of the sciences communities.  Participates in the development and assessment of library collections for designated subject areas. Participates in the development of library policy, procedures, and services.  Assumes responsibility for coordination and management of staff, services or projects as required. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required. The nature and scope of responsibilities for this and other library positions are expected to change as the Library organization evolves.



  • Graduate degree from an accredited programme in Library Science
  • Knowledge of electronic information technologies and their applications to reference, as well as knowledge of best practices in online learning pedagogies
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, plan and carry out projects, both independently and as a member of a team
  • Evidence of a proactive, user-centred vision of services
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Ability to adjust and accommodate changing demands within Libraries and academic institutions
  • Dedicated to cultivating an inclusive environment that recognizes barriers faced by people and encourages and incorporates contributions from diverse groups and individuals.
  • Contributes to the Library’s sense of community and achievement of common goals through cooperation across units/groups and encouragement of equitable and balanced involvement in decision making.
  • Promotes and fosters a supportive environment built on appreciation, recognition, learning and professional growth.
  • Works to build a team environment built on positive working relationships, provides guidance and resources to teams while trusting them to excel.
  • Creates a supportive and open environment where everyone is able to listen, contribute and engage with colleagues and ideas and provide and receive timely, constructive feedback.
  • Creates an environment that embraces curiosity, ideas, creativity and innovation and provides opportunities and flexibility to explore new initiatives.


  • Academic background in health sciences or relevant library work experience
  • Familiarity with current trends in instruction, knowledge synthesis methodologies and expert searching in the health sciences, data curation, open access, and bibliographic management tools

Working relationships:

Reports to the Head, Woodward Library or her designate Head in the branch and consults with colleagues and Library staff as required. Works with all other UBC Library Divisions as required, assessing and trouble-shooting information technologies, scheduling and marketing information literacy sessions, etc. May be required to supervise student librarians, student assistants and library assistants for assigned projects or for group-related functions.



  • Provides reference and research services to University of British Columbia students, staff and faculty members; and members of the public.
  • As the librarian responsible for particular subjects, advises and assists in difficult or extensive searches in these areas.  Employs the full range of Internet, electronic and print resources.
  • Participates in collection development in liaison areas.
  • Works with others to develop and maintain the Woodward Library presence on the UBC Library webpage and throughout the UBC campus, as appropriate.
  • Provides Information/Reference training for support staff and UBC iSchool student librarians.


  • Organizes and teaches classes in the use of the Library’s resources, including the Library’s catalogue, print resources and e-resources.
  • Undertakes specialized instructional programs; including planning, designing and organizing and including various formats for presentations.
  • Participates in library-use instruction programs.
  • Prepares handouts, research guides and informational brochures in appropriate formats.
  • Provides instruction/presentations to faculty and students (in the library, online and in the faculty departments).


  • Initiates and maintains contact with faculty in assigned departments. 
  • Informs faculty of services and instruction offered.
  • Works with faculty on the development of information and research modules and courses for students.
  • Selects print and electronic materials to support assigned liaison areas.
  • Liaises with faculty on issues of collection development.
  • Responds to faculty requests for accreditation, new course proposals, etc., in consultation with the Head of Woodward Library.
  • Attends faculty meetings and participates in faculty committees.


  • May be required to supervise staff in the absence of the supervisor(s).
  • May be assigned supervisory responsibility for building maintenance, collections management and storage.
  • May be assigned coordination of reference or instruction services within Woodward Library: reference, information desk scheduling, teaching and instruction, web presence, subject guides and/or information guides, etc.


  • Represents Woodward Library on library committees and working groups.
  • Liaises with librarians in other areas of the library system.
  • Maintains an awareness of new literature and research developments in areas of specialization and emerging trends in sciences libraries.
  • Keeps abreast of public services developments in the rest of the Library.


Competent, professional and courteous reference service. Effective instruction and teaching, both in library lab and classroom settings.  Current and comprehensive knowledge of specialized subject areas. Effective use of latest technology in all aspects of the position.  Innovative and creative approach to improvement of services.  Ability to develop strong relationships with faculty and maintain excellent working relations with all user groups.  Responsive to needs of faculty, students, and other users. Effective supervision of student assistants as required. Effective, cooperative working relationships with support staff, colleagues and managers. Knowledgeable about UBC sciences programs and research. Familiar with UBC library policies, procedures and operations.


This position will be filled as a full-time, 12 month term position.

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

The UBC Faculty Collective Agreement can be viewed at

Please note that the work associated with this position is currently being performed remotely in response to COVID-19. Work in the longer-term is expected to be conducted through a combination of both remote and on campus presence.

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. We welcome colleagues with the experiences and competencies that can contribute to our principles of inclusion, equity, and diversity.

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 January 23, 2021.