Technical Services Student Librarian Position

UBC Library – Xwi7xwa Library
Job Title:  WL W17 TS Information & Research Services Student Librarian

Number of Openings: 1

Desired Skills: cataloguing

$20.60/hr, 10 hours a week

To apply, email your resume and supporting documents to

Additional Documents Requested:  Cover Letter, Class Schedule



The Xwi7xwa Library provides information and library research services relating to Aboriginal topics to UBC Aboriginal students and researchers, members of the University community, Aboriginal people and organizations, and the general public. The mandate of the Xwi7xwa Library is to “echo” the voices and philosophies of Aboriginal people through its services, collections, and programs. The position supports Indigenous information services on campus and in the wider community, and contributes to diversity through fostering Indigenous and Indigenous studies information professionals graduating from the UBC School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (iSchool) with specialized skills and experience relevant for Aboriginal organizations and communities, and for public institutions in Canada.

Job Description:

The First Nations House of Learning Xwi7xwa Library plans to hire 1 Information School (iSchool) graduate student for collections and technical services duties relating to the development, organization and description of our Indigenous distributed print and digital collection. Comprehensive training for the position includes: UBC library cataloguing practice, Xwi7xwa library cataloguing practice and metadata design, diverse Indigenous collections and specialized training on Indigenous knowledge organization protocols in public institutions.

This position will have several (but not all) of the following duties and responsibilities which are relevant to professional information services:
*Cataloguing: use MARC and RDA to format records in compliance with UBC Library bibliographic standards, and locally developed Indigenous metadata standards (at bibliographic record and holding record levels).
* Indigenous controlled vocabularies: Develop and maintain vocabularies including the internationally recognized First Nations House of Learning subject headings.
* Preparation: Participate in assessment and preparation of materials
* Additional related duties may include: collections assessment; technical writing and other technical service projects.

Xwi7xwa librarians supervise student librarians, with assistance from the Cataloguing and Acquisitions Assistant. Scheduling and payroll will be coordinated by the Access Services Assistant. Project report writing and occasional project and/or staff meetings provide opportunities for reflection and problem-solving skills. The projects are diverse and require the ability to evaluate materials and work independently. The Xwi7xwa team of librarians and knowledgeable staff are available to address questions or problems that arise relating to duties or projects


This position is suitable for graduate students who have completed iSchool MLIS (Library Studies) basic coursework. Ideal candidates are self-directed, flexible, independent workers who are also able to work in a team environment; are well organized; have a good eye for detail; and strong interpersonal and IT skills. Academic coursework in Indigenous Studies or a related discipline and/or experience working in Indigenous contexts are assets.

Job duties can be adapted to build on existing experience and skills. Also desirable are: technical services experience; cataloguing training; experience using Indigenous subject-related databases; knowledge of Indigenous contemporary issues, history and culture in Canada; MAS (Archival Studies) basic course work; knowledge of metadata principles, theory and standards; public services or customer services experience; and familiarity with library use of social media. Demonstrated experience or skills in technical writing, the design of information tools and WordPress are assets.

Student Learning Components

All skills learned and applied at Xwi7xwa are relevant workplace skills for other libraries, and are based on students’ MLIS/ MAS program core coursework. They are able to document application of their interpersonal skills in relevant workplace situations. By the end of term, the student will have demonstrated and documented additional workplace skills.

Training for this position includes orientation to the First Nations House of Learning, and the Xwi7xwa Library as an Indigenous Library; UBC Library technical services work; Xwi7xwa branch-specific practices; and specialized library software. Comprehensive onsite training provides the student with a guided hands-on learning experience wherein s/he applies professional Library & Information Studies education in a workplace environment.

Students gain training and experience with specialized library software including Voyager ILS (integrated library system) modules, Springshare LibGuides, as well as social media channels. Training will include local implementation of UBC policies and practices.

The student librarian has opportunities for ongoing consultation and project supervision with the Xwi7xwa team and will be mentored by the Xwi7xwa librarians. Xwi7xwa has opportunities to liaise with other units within the wider library system. Training in advanced levels can be provided as students demonstrate mastery in basic levels. Formal reviews are scheduled at the end of each term to discuss performance and learning progress. The student librarian positions provide opportunity for valuable peer to peer interactions, and professional experience in developing and practicing one-on-one teaching skills, modeling best practices, and encouraging student learners (including themselves) to become self-directed in their learning paths and research. Students’ projects are determined based on branch needs and students’ interests and personal learning goals.

The positions offer work experience in an interdisciplinary academic library; intercultural teaching and learning within Indigenous contexts, and sensitivity to diversity and equity issues. Experience is acquired in effective use of a large research library catalogue and databases, and the Voyager software in an increasingly digital environment that is shaped by Indigenous approaches at this library. Knowledge is gained in identifying, and critically evaluating various types of Indigenous information sources; proficiency with Indigenous knowledge organization (Xwi7xwa classification and subject vocabularies); website development and social media experience; the opportunity to work with Xwi7xwa librarians, as well as with all staff in this full services small branch with a diverse clientele and collection (e.g. special collections, archives, digital collections, circulating collections).

Application Procedures

Email application with Cover Letter, Writing Sample, Class Schedule to

Work Learn Project Number


W17 TS job description Jan-Mar2018

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