Head, Technical Services
UBC Library, Vancouver Campus
(Full-time, ongoing Librarian position with 5 year renewable Head term)
Anticipated Start Date: September 8, 2015

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 www.library.ubc.ca/strategicplan/. To learn more about working with UBC Library and to explore our aspirational values visit UBC Library – Why work with us.

Overview of the position:

The University of British Columbia Library seeks a creative and forward-thinking professional to develop a unified library-wide Technical Services approach across UBC Library units in order to address the rapidly evolving and changing services in support of library collections. This position represents a key opportunity to steward an integrated collection philosophy across the library and to lead, shape and oversee the work of staff and librarians engaged in acquiring, selecting, managing and making accessible research resources in many formats for the UBC Library community.

Reporting to the Associate University Librarian (AUL), Collection Development and Management Programs, this role will oversee the operational management of UBC Library staff engaged in technical services activities, including acquisitions, receiving, cataloguing, e-resource management, collection management, storage management, preservation and metadata creation. This role is also responsible for the overall administration and coordination of work and for establishing and implementing technical services policies, standards and procedures for the entire library system. In addition this role will:

  • Liaise with division heads, who manage any decentralized technical service operations, in order to ensure consistency and best practices implementations across the Library.
  • Manage, empower, motivate and lead colleagues and staff.
  • Contribute to Library-wide strategic planning, and unit goal setting, and to all initiatives and projects that advance the Library’s evolution as the preeminent research library of the 21st century. Communicate the unit’s priorities, accomplishments and achievements by sharing and disseminating information on a regular basis within the TS unit and library-wide.

Support and adhere to the Library’s aspirational values as a staff member and supervisor.


  • A graduate degree from an accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science.
  • Demonstrated supervisory and management skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership and creativity in building strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders and fostering a positive environment of innovation and continuous improvement and skill development within the unit.
  • Effective problem-solving and organizational skills.
  • Ability to create and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues.
  • Strong verbal and written communications skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership and innovation in a team environment
  • Familiarity with recent developments and trends in technical services and academic research libraries in North America.
  • Familiarity in one or more of the key areas in Technical Services such as cataloguing, acquisitions, descriptive metadata services, storage, collection management, preservation or e-resource management.
  • Experience in negotiating with suppliers and vendors regarding terms and conditions of contracts for the acquisition and delivery of library materials.
  • Experience in financial planning, analysis and management of a complex budget.
  • Ability to resolve conflicts, provide disciplinary measures where needed and have an understanding of a unionized environment.
  • Ability to monitor multiple projects that serve a range of stakeholders.
  • Commitment to creativity, innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Demonstrable experience leading progressive initiatives and projects preferably within Technical Services related areas.
  • Proven track record in leading high-performing teams and in spear-heading transformational change.
  • Experience in leading, developing and implementing strategic priorities, preferably within a large academic research library.
  • Working knowledge of academic institutions, academic calendars, varied planning cycles and experience responding to faculty expectations.

Working Relationships:

Works under the general direction of the Associate University Librarian (AUL), Collection Development and Management Programs. Works in cooperation with the Library Administrators (AULs and Directors), Digital Programs, Library Fund Managers, Library Finance, Library division/branch heads, and colleagues. Supervises a team of librarians and support staff.


  1. Provides vision and strategic direction for technical services functions across the Library – as directed by the Library’s strategic plan. Responsible for planning annual and multi-year projects across the library system and securing support from key constituents and stakeholders.
  2. Oversees all activities relating to the ordering, receiving, description, management, preservation, storage and processing of library materials.
  3. Prepares and monitors budgets, allocates and is accountable for the use of resources.
  4. Leads the planning process within the unit; coordinates the work-flow between departments as well as between Technical Services and other library departments; oversees the process of evaluating and improving workflow efficiency.
  5. Promotes and facilitates the coordination of technical services across the Library; ensuring the programmatic integrity and cooperative planning that strengthen access to the collection.
  6. Ensures regular reviews of best practices; undertakes continuous improvement of stakeholder-focused services and technical services practices across the library system. Formulates and recommends to the AUL, Collection Development and Management Programs, policies for the administration of the Library’s technical services activities.
  7. Ensures high quality, productivity, and adherence to standards for acquisitions, preservation, resource access and descriptive frameworks for all formats throughout the Library. Works with colleagues to agreed levels of service and ensures that agreed standards of technical services are provided. Coordinates the identification and implementation of opportunities to both improve service to stakeholder groups and increase efficiency within all Technical Services areas on a continuous basis.
  8. Stewards the Library Wide Technical Services review recommendations and leads staff in the operationalization or completion of work associated with these recommendations.
  9. Fosters a creative and innovative approach to the implementation of strategic change
  10. Participates in the selection and recruitment of faculty and staff for the unit. Manages workforce planning, performance management reviews, assessing and recommending training and learning opportunities, performing annuals reviews of staff, making merit recommendations and engaging with employees through open dialogue and discussion.
  11. Assists in guiding the administration and operation of the Library’s integrated library system
  12. Communicates about unit priorities and activities regularly to Technical Services staff and library-wide through various communication channels including in-person meetings and presentations.
  13. Contributes and may lead in the negotiations with suppliers and vendors regarding terms and conditions of contracts for the acquisition and delivery of library materials and bibliographic utilities.
  14. Participates in the regular meetings of the Library Operations Team as well as in other general Library, university, or professional committees as requested.
  15. Represents the Library’s interests through active participation nationally, provincially and locally in groups relating to technical services. Maintains informal contacts with counterparts in other academic libraries. Represents the Library as its Chief Technical Services officer in external forums at the provincial, regional and national levels.

Terms of Appointment and Salary:

This position will be filled as a full time ongoing position with a five year renewable administrative term as Head, Technical Services. 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 the 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.

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 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.  

To view the complete job description and to submit an application, please visit the UBC Careers page at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/careers-postings/faculty.php by midnight on July 27, 2015.

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