Rare Books & Special Collections, UBC Library
Full-Time, Ongoing | Vancouver Campus
Anticipated Start Date: November 14, 2016


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 2015-2017 can be viewed at http://about.library.ubc.ca/strategic-plan/ To learn more about working with UBC Library and to explore our aspirational values visit UBC Library – Why work with us.


The Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) Division holds and manages the majority of the Library’s rare books, maps and manuscripts with a special emphasis on material related to British Columbia.  The archival collections at RBSC include the world-renowned Chung Collection, the archives of artist and author Douglas Coupland and the Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs, containing over 18,000 images of B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. More information about Rare Books and Special Collections can be found under http://rbsc.library.ubc.ca/.


Working in collaboration with the RBSC Head and the Archivist, this position is responsible for the management of rare books and map collections in support of the core collection areas of RBSC.  This position also works with the RBSC Head to manage significant portions of the print collection including Canadian, English and children’s literature as well as maintaining and overseeing the historical map collection. This position also provides reference, instruction and outreach of RBSC’s archival and book collections; participates in the development of policies and procedures; maintains the RBSC website; and participates in Library committees and working groups, especially those related to RBSC collections and services.


  • Joint Graduate Degree in Archival Studies (MAS) and Library and Information Studies (MLIS) from an accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science.
  • Experience working with library and archival materials in all formats.
  • Experience providing reference services and instruction in an academic library environment.
  • Experience working in a rare book or library special collections environment would be an asset.
  • Understanding of cataloguing principles and bibliographical description .
  • Experience in core archival functions and knowledge of library and archival descriptive standards, particularly Resource Description and Access (RDA) and Rules for Archival Description (RAD).
  • Demonstrated ability to act in a proactive manner with a user-centred vision of services.
  • Experience with computer technology and software, particularly library and archival management systems.
  • Strong interest in and demonstrated broad knowledge of B.C. and Canadian history as well as current affairs.
  • Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships, participate in workplace culture and engage in a professional manner with faculty, staff and the public.
  • Ability to recognize, respect and work effectively with individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Takes initiative in learning about language and issues relating to equity and diversity.
  • Ability to recognize and appreciate the contributions of colleagues.
  • Committed to demonstrating respect to colleagues at every level by trusting in their abilities and knowledge to perform their roles and earning respect through meeting commitments.
  • Models and demonstrates good communication through active listening, appreciative inquiry and open to providing and receiving timely, constructive feedback.
  • Listens to, encourages and expresses creative and innovative ideas. Open to experimenting and improvising with new ways of approaching processes, tasks or problems.


Reports to the Head, Rare Books & Special Collections.   Consults with colleagues and Library staff as required. Works with all other UBC library divisions as required. 


  1. Provides reference and research services to students, staff, faculty, and members of the public.
  2. Develops the library / book and pamphlet collection in assigned subjects. Selects appropriate new books and pamphlets from various sources per RBSC collecting guidelines and researcher needs. Selects antiquarian publications from dealers’ catalogues and online sources.
  3. Assists with the selection, assessment, and processing of gifts in assigned subjects. Assists in the de-accessioning of unneeded duplicate materials.
  4. Manages the historical map collection; selects maps for the collection from a variety of sources.
  5. Provides reference services for the RBSC map, cartography and cartobibliography collections.
  6. Organizes and teaches classes in the use of RBSC resources, including the Library’s catalogue, print resources and e-resources, as well as archival resources and materials.
  7. Coordinates reference or instruction services in RBSC including: reference, teaching and instruction, web presence, subject guides and/or information guides, etc. Prepares handouts, research guides and informational brochures in appropriate formats.
  8. Provides instruction/presentations to faculty and students (in the library, online and in the faculty departments).
  9. Provides information/reference training for support staff and supervision for UBC iSchool student librarians.
  10. In co-operation with other RBSC staff ensures the physical security, preservation, and conservation of RBSC collections. Participates in the development of policies and procedures and assists the RBSC head to implement them and to interpret them to staff and clientele.
  11. May be asked to assist the RBSC archivist with projects
  12. May be required to supervise staff in the absence of the supervisor(s).
  13. Liaises with librarians and archivists in other areas of the library system and participates in Library committees and working groups, especially those related to RBSC collections and services.


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 facultycareers.ubc.ca/23906 by midnight on August 7, 2016.

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