UBC Learning Exchange

The UBC Learning Exchange is situated in the VP External Relations portfolio and the Academic Director reports to the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic. The Learning Exchange was established in 1999 and pursues its mandate by providing a place in the community where UBC students and faculty, and Downtown Eastside (DTES) residents and organizations connect, pursue common interests and learn from each other with the long-term goal of bringing about social change. At its DTES premises, the Learning Exchange offers a unique learning environment, supporting key components of UBC’s strategic plan. The Learning Exchange acts as a hub in three interrelated areas: 1) providing free community-based programs for residents and organizations, primarily in the DTES; 2) facilitating student experiential learning on site and in some community partner organizations in the DTES, in collaboration with faculty; and 3) supporting community-based research and knowledge exchange activities, in partnership with researchers and DTES organizations.

The relationship between the Learning Exchange and UBC Library has been formalized, with the foundation being the Making Research Accessible in the Downtown Eastside initiative (MRAi). This initiative is a campus-community collaboration, led by the Learning Exchange that seeks to improve access to academic research and community-generated materials with a focus on Vancouver’s DTES.  MRAi provides a multifaceted approach to knowledge exchange developed in collaboration with the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC Library, UBC iSchool, SFU Library, Vancouver Public Library, researchers, and DTES organizations.

Recent highlights of the Library’s collaboration with the Learning Exchange include an increase in the number of items in cIRcle’s DTES collection from 40 to 400, a successful community digitization pilot project, co-op employment for iSchool students, and participation in the iSchool’s successful 3-year SSHRC Partnership Development Grant application for the Supporting Transparent and Open Research Engagement and Exchange (STOREE) project that builds on the work of the MRAi.



Participates in the planning, development, delivery of partnerships, programs, services, and the assessment of outreach and community engagement activities at the Learning Exchange. This position has been developed to enable deeper connections between the UBC Library and local DTES community, with a focus on the MRAi. The Outreach Librarian would work across various disciplines to support the Learning Exchange through community-driven projects, liaison work and community engagement.  



Reports to the Assistant Director, IKBLC and works under the general direction of the Academic Director of the Learning Exchange. Works closely with the Director of the Learning Exchange, other members of the Learning Exchange team, and librarians and staff focused on community engagement at UBC.  Collaborates with UBC Library units, UBC departments, and external institutions and organizations in the development of programs, partnerships and services. Works with Library IT and the marketing and communication teams in the VP External Portfolio and UBC Library.



  1. Plans, delivers, and evaluates outreach services. Identifies and develops best practices for outreach and engagement in academic libraries.
  2. Keeps content current on the MRAi web application, the DTES Research Access Portal (DTES RAP). Solicits feedback from community to inform planning of the MRAi, and contributes to its ongoing development. Works with the DTES community to fulfil needs for preservation of local materials and/or public access on the DTES RAP.  Identifies and develops new partnerships and collaborations in the Vancouver DTES for the MRAi.
  3. Leads and participates in the digital engagement efforts of MRAi (social media, blog, etc.). Designs literacy programs for students, faculty and community that foster community-university knowledge exchange using the DTES RAP.
  4. Designs, delivers and assesses instructional programs and related assistance to community groups, using a variety of methodologies, including in-person workshops and online tutorials. Applies new and emerging technologies such as social, mobile and interactive media, and open access to the development of resources and delivery of services.  Promotes UBC library services and resources.
  5. Demonstrates the value and impact of Learning Exchange outreach programming and works with others to promote engagement efforts and successes. Shares information on programs and services through appropriate channels such as presentations and publications.
  6. Provides research assistance embedded in the DTES community or on campus, as needed.
  7. Hires, supervises and manages student employees, as required.
  8. Assists in the evaluation of the DTES RAP, which is led by the Supporting Transparent & Open Research Engagement & Exchange (STOREE)
  9. Supports existing grant funded projects and participates in seeking new grant funded opportunities.
  10. Supports the development of a DTES Librarians’ Community of Practice with Vancouver Public Library, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Community College, and others.
  11. Stays current on developments and emerging trends in community engagement and knowledge exchange.
  12. Participates in relevant working groups and committees, including the MRAi steering committee. Participates in project work and other initiatives, as assigned.



A graduate degree from an ALA accredited program in library and information science is required with a minimum of one year of experience in providing services to a broad community of users. 

Demonstrated commitment, experience, and application of best practices in developing, delivering and assessing collection and information services, research support, literacy instruction, and outreach that emphasize access and inclusion to a broad community of users. Demonstrated ability to teach and present effectively, both in-person and online, to individuals and groups. Excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills are required. Demonstrated ability to establish and foster productive and effective working relationships.

Ability to recognize, respect and work effectively with individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Experience working with people who belong to marginalized groups or with Indigenous communities are assets. Experience in developing partnerships and evidence of successful collaboration around the provision of programs and services. 

Strong information technology and digital literacy skills, including instructional technologies, social media, content management systems, digital projects, and productivity tools. General knowledge of online information resources and systems, as well as an excellent understanding of online tools such as UBC Blogs, UBC CMS (WordPress) and UBC Wiki. 

Ability to hire, train, and manage graduate students. Demonstrated ability to manage a diverse set of responsibilities and to initiate, plan and carry-out projects, both independently and as a member of a team. Willingness and flexibility to be based primarily at the Learning Exchange in the DTES and commute to the library at UBC Vancouver Point Grey Campus as needed. 

Takes initiative in learning about language and issues relating to equity and diversity. Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships and engage in workplace culture. Promotes and fosters a supportive environment built on appreciation, recognition, learning and professional growth. 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 and appreciative inquiry and open to providing and receiving timely, constructive feedback. Listens to, encourages and expresses creative and innovative ideas. Open to experiment and improvise with new ways of approaching processes, tasks or problems.



Tactful and diplomatic interactions with patrons and program participants as well as people from UBC and external community and government organizations. Courteous and effective provision of services that are appropriately designed and delivered. Adherence to policies and procedures relating to confidential information. Demonstrates excellent communication skills, including timely and well organized written documentation. Effective training and supervision of student assistants. Stays informed about current developments in the field and shares this knowledge with colleagues and others. Commitment to and competence in culturally safe engagement and program delivery with Indigenous peoples and other community members.



This position is a full time, term appointment for one year with a possibility of an extension for a further year.

We are seeking applicants from Librarians with up to 3 years of experience. However, all internal candidates will be considered regardless of years of experience and are encouraged to apply. Salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications.

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.

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.

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 January 21, 2020.

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