Humanities & Social Sciences Librarian (Digital Scholarship)

at The University of British Columbia Library
Published August 28, 2023
Location 1958 Main Mall, Vancouver, Canada
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
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Minimum Compensation in Local Currency $76,356 CAD
Hourly or Salary? Salary
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As one of the world's leading universities, the University of British Columbia creates an exceptional learning environment that fosters global citizenship, advances a civil and sustainable society, and supports outstanding research to serve the people of British Columbia, Canada and the world.

We honour, celebrate and thank the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam) and Syilx Okanagan peoples on whose territories the main campuses of the University of British Columbia have the privilege to be situated.

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 across two campuses (Vancouver and Kelowna), including an off-site hospital library; a multi-purpose teaching and learning facility, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre; and the Xwi7xwa Library, a centre for academic and community Indigenous scholarship. Over 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 is committed to being a respectful, healthy environment that encourages leadership, collegiality, diversity, individual growth and opportunity. Explore our aspirational values that we strive to uphold and actively incorporate into all aspects of our organization. We are committed to eliminating institutional and structural systems of oppression and power (such as colonialism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and white supremacy).

Learn more about the UBC Library Strategic Framework and about working with us.

About the Walter C. Koerner Library

The Walter C. Koerner Library is home to the humanities and social sciences at UBC Library, offering a wealth of collections and services to support research, teaching, and learning in these subjects. Koerner Library is also home to the Research Commons, which provides support for researchers across campus in the areas of data visualization and analysis, GIS / geospatial data, digital scholarship, research data management and citation management. Along with these two units, Koerner Library houses the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office, Borrower Services, and University leadership.

Koerner Library provides a welcoming learning and research-driven environment for students, faculty and community members. Our service model is user-focused and includes offering one-to-one assistance and classroom instruction for our users. The Koerner Library is named in honour of Walter C. Koerner, recognizing his lifetime commitment to and support of the University and the Library and his substantial gift toward the construction of Koerner Library.

Position Overview

As a member of our exceptional Koerner Library team, the librarian will provide integral support and services in a global centre for teaching, learning, and research. The librarian cooperates with other librarians and staff in Koerner Library, and across UBC Library to provide outstanding reference, information, and instruction services for faculty, students, staff and community users. The librarian will be responsible for assigned disciplines and will collaborate on in-depth research projects requiring complex and sophisticated information services and solutions. The ideal candidate will take a creative and service-oriented approach in order to maintain and innovate excellent Library services and collections in all formats, drawing on their passion for and knowledge of the humanities and social sciences. The librarian will critically assess existing collections and learning resources and will develop these accordingly, updating online courses, subject guides, and other appropriate tools. The librarian fosters relationships with internal and external partners to support and produce events. Through this role, the librarian will be responsible for the coordination and management of projects and services, as well as staff and student employees, as required.

The librarian prioritizes principles of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in their work and participates in the planning and implementation of Library policies, procedures and services that support the diverse needs of UBC’s international community. The librarian’s disciplinary responsibilities will include Economics, International Relations, Philosophy and Political Science.The librarian will provide disciplinary support for 70% of their time and will assume Digital Scholarship duties for the remaining 30% of their time.

Working Relationships

Reports to the Head of Koerner Library. Consults and works collaboratively with colleagues within Koerner Library and across the Library in the provision of services. A high degree of planning, collaboration and coordination, especially with the Research Commons and with campus and external partners, is required. Works with faculty, students, staff and members of the public. May supervise the work of Library staff and/or students in the provision of services.



  • Masters-level degree from an accredited program of library or information science, or equivalent internationally accredited program. Applicants who are scheduled to complete their programs by 31 December 2023 may also apply.
  • Academic background or work experience in humanities and/or social sciences disciplines.
  • Knowledge of reference and research consultation services, including the reference interview.
  • Ability and enthusiasm to develop, deliver, update, and evaluate instructional content.
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, plan and carry out projects, both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Familiarity with digital scholarship research tools and approaches (e.g., text mining, minimal computing, data analysis and visualization, text encoding, digital exhibits, machine learning), and the ability to provide research and consultation services to researchers with varying levels of technical expertise.
  • Understanding of data and metadata issues in the research lifecycle.
  • Flexibility and willingness to assume a variety of assignments.
  • Ability to write professional reports and to deliver presentations in English.
  • Ability to build relationships and work collegially in a diverse, proactive, and team-oriented environment, in keeping with the UBC Respectful Environment Statement.
  • Willingness to respect diverse perspectives, including perspectives in conflict with one’s own.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to enhancing one’s own awareness, knowledge, and skills related to equity, diversity, and inclusion.


  • Demonstrated capability in humanities and social sciences research methods and tools such as quantitative or qualitative data skills, knowledge synthesis, or other related 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.
  • An advanced degree in a humanities or social sciences discipline.
  • Reading / writing competency in languages relevant to the collections.
  • Reference experience via walk-in, phone, email, and other communication channels; understanding of how changes in technology, networking, and bibliographic structure impact reference services; ability to advance and develop reference skills and services.
  • Experience with collections development for both print and electronic resources.
  • Experience and understanding of budgets when planning and executing projects and collection development.
  • Commitment to responsive and innovative information services and trends in digital scholarship.
  • Experience developing a multifaceted outreach program for a multidisciplinary constituency.
  • Computer programming or scripting experience for digital scholarship.
  • Interest in leadership as related to committee and project work.
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in participating or leading community engagement activities.
  • Ability to provide proactive, user-centred services.
  • Strong information technology and digital literacy skills.
  • Familiarity with current trends in instruction and best practices in learning pedagogies.
  • Evidence of curiosity, creativity and innovation, pursuit of opportunities and exploration of new initiatives.
  • Experience with outreach, promotion and marketing of library services and resources.


Disciplinary Responsibilities

  • Initiates and maintains strong working relationships and collaboration with faculty in assigned disciplines.
  • Creates creative on-line and in-person learning tools to support the research and learning of students, faculty and staff with varying levels of expertise and diverse learning styles.
  • Collaborates with faculty to provide service and course-integrated instruction to students.
  • Provides research assistance, consultation and support to users in assigned disciplines and across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Develops and maintains a range of web-based resources to deliver information to users, including the creation of web pages, instructional materials, subject guides and tutorials.
  • Develops and maintains relevant baseline expertise and discipline-specific instructional materials related to research data management, focused on assigned disciplines.
  • Participates in program and service development and delivery in Koerner Library.
  • Engages in a range of liaison and outreach activities with departments in areas of assigned responsibility and across the UBC campus with other interested departments and individuals.
  • Selects materials in all formats and cooperates with other librarians in the selection of materials for the collections. Engages with faculty to identify collection needs.
  • Identifies and engages with community members to collaborate on discipline-specific programming, events, and resources.
  • Assists in collections special projects and the development of policies. Proactively assesses the use of the collections, adjusting purchasing activities to align with user needs and

Digital Scholarship Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with the Digital Scholarship Librarian, provides expertise to scholars and students across disciplines on digital techniques and tools that will advance their
  • Develops and delivers workshops on digital scholarship Creates new workshops in collaboration with liaison librarians on subject-specific digital scholarship needs.
  • Identifies and evaluates current and emerging digital tools and methodologies that support the interdisciplinary work of digital
  • Develops strategies for collaboration, program planning and support for interdisciplinary digital
  • Provides input on collection development around resources that directly support digital scholarship work (e.g. text and data mining). Reviews licenses and contracts for appropriate terms of agreement in cooperation with e-Resources staff as
  • Coordinates with appropriate colleagues and committees to ensure ongoing assessment of the scope and value of digital
  • Stays current with the latest developments in digital scholarship and suggests changes to the Library’s

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

  • Works to embed EDI within public services, instruction, collection development and overall professional practice.
  • Contributes to the continued development of a library environment and culture that supports and celebrates EDI.
  • Supports EDI by pursuing appropriate professional development opportunities and maintains an awareness of EDI initiatives at the departmental, campus, institutional and provincial level such as but not limited to UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan and Indigenous Strategic Plan.

Supervision and Management

  • Interprets and communicates UBC Library policies and procedures to faculty, staff, and students and keeps up-to-date on the latest Library policies and procedures.
  • Participates on UBC Library teams, working groups, and communities of practice to further the Library’s strategic directions.
  • Participates on University or Faculty-level committees.
  • May be assigned coordination of services or projects such as reference, teaching and instruction, collections, web presence, subject guides and/or information guides, etc.
  • May supervise student employees and staff.

Professional Development and Service

  • Accepts responsibility for personal continuing professional education.
  • Willingly develops and maintains skills, and assumes appropriate leadership relevant to the position.
  • Keeps up-to-date on developments in library service, resources and technology and on broader issues that affect the practice of librarianship.
  • Participates in appropriate professional organizations.
  • Performs other duties as required.


Appointment: This is a full-time confirmation-track appointment with an anticipated start date of January 2024. The successful candidate will hold an initial three-year appointment, normally followed by an ongoing confirmed appointment. In most cases confirmation-track appointments are reviewed following the second year of appointment, and a recommendation is made at that time to grant or not to grant an ongoing confirmed appointment.

The successful candidate will be a member of The University of British Columbia Faculty Association and the terms and conditions of appointment are governed by the Collective Agreement between UBC and the UBC Faculty Association (

Eligibility: We are only considering applications from librarians with a maximum of 2 years of professional library experience. However, all internal candidates will be considered regardless of years of experience and are encouraged to apply.

Salary: Starting salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications, and will meet or exceed the minimum salaries outlined in the Collective Agreement. Information about salary increases can be found in the Collective Agreement:

Benefits: Librarians and their dependents are eligible for an extensive benefits package including extended health care coverage, dental coverage, Employee and Family Assistance Program, life insurance, pension and travel benefits. To support families, UBC provides a top-up for eligible employees on maternity or parental leave. Tuition assistance is also available for qualifying employees and dependent children. In addition, librarians/archivists are eligible for professional development funding to support career growth at the university, as well as study leave. Details are available in the Collective Agreement, and for more information see UBC Human Resources:

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply.

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.


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. One consolidated PDF is preferred.

Please visit the UBC careers website to view the full position description and on how to apply. The application deadline will be at 11:59pm on September 15, 2023.