Reference Librarian – University of British Columbia Library – Vancouver, BC

UBC Library


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 Plan 2010-2015 can be viewed at


The Education Library collections serve as the foundation for teaching and research in the Faculty of Education. The Library’s development is unique and changing and the relationships between practice, theory and research have resulted in building a distinctive collection.  For nearly twenty years, materials supporting practica and basic pedagogical courses comprised the core holdings of what was a Curriculum Laboratory.  Now, the Education Library collections are comprised of children’s books, school texts, and multimedia for K-12, as well as, professional monographs, serials, microfiche and electronic resources dealing with teaching strategies, ideas and research in Education.  A high priority is placed on materials that reflect Canadian content and approach and materials pertaining to BC Education.  For more detailed information see the Branch website at


Overview of the position:


Provides reference and information services to faculty, students, and community users and assumes responsibility for designated subject areas and liaison with assigned departments.  Participates in the development and assessment of the library collections and oversees technical services assistants and local branch processing activities related to technical services. Maintains close liaison with Cataloguing, Serials and other Technical Service units to review current practices. Provides web-based and classroom instruction and assistance in the use of information 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.  Is responsible for the coordination and management of staff, services and projects as required.





  • A graduate degree from an accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science
  • 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
  • Strong information technology and digital literacy skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • A strong service commitment, flexibility and a willingness to assume a variety of assignments


  • An academic background or related experience in the education sector
  • Familiarity with current trends in instruction, data curation, open access, and bibliographic management tools within libraries and academic institutions




Provides reference and information services to faculty, students, and community users at the reference desk and by appointment.  As one of the librarians responsible for our particular subject area, advises and assists in difficult or extensive searches in these areas.  Employs the full range of online and print sources.


Teaching & Orientation

Teaches classes in the use of the Library’s resources, including the Library’s catalogue, print resources and e-resources. Participates in orientation tours and 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 or in the faculty departments)


Collections Development

Selects reference and professional materials, both print and electronic, and cooperates with other bibliographers in the selection of material for the stacks. Monitors and evaluates the Branch periodical collection.  Assists in development of collection policies and proactively accesses the use of the collections, adjusting purchasing activities to align with users interests.



Initiates and maintains contact with faculty in assigned departments.  Attends departmental meetings as needed.  Informs faculty of services and instruction offered.  Discusses collection needs with faculty. Works collaboratively with faculty to gain participation in open access activities including cIRcle.  Collaborates with the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) regarding digitization projects and their use in the K-12 curriculum.


Supervision Management

In consultation with the Head, plans and implements services for users, processing tasks in the Branch, or other activities as assigned, which may include supervisory responsibilities.  Initiates and participates in needs assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation for the provision of information services for the Library. Works with technical services to align current practices with new initiatives and services, focusing on management of electronics materials.  Undertakes, or assists with, special projects, committee work, or other temporary assignments as required.


Current Awareness

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

Working Relationships:

Reports to Head of the Education Library.  Assumes responsibility for the Branch in the absence of the Head as requested. Works closely with staff in other public service divisions/branches as necessary.  Supervises technical service assistants. Maintains close liaison with Technical Services unit, Digital Initiatives and cIRcle. Participates in programs aimed at maintaining liaison with faculty.

Terms of Appointment and Salary:


This position will be filled as a full time ongoing position. If eligible and qualified, the successful applicant may be appointed with a confirmed appointment. Otherwise, there will be an initial three-year probationary appointment.  Normally, such an appointment is reviewed by the end of the second year of appointment, and a recommendation is made at that time to grant or not to grant a confirmed appointment.


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


We are seeking applications from Librarians with up to 5 years of experience.  However, all internal candidates will be considered regardless of years of experience and are encouraged to apply.


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 at by midnight on March 14, 2015