Shirin Eshghi is the new Head of Asian Library, holding past experience in librarianship with this branch. As a previous UBC graduate student, Shirin considers herself an advocate of the Asian Library, having benefitted from its resources during her studies. She brings a valuable perspective to her work, as her experiences as a prior student help to inform growth and development at this branch.

Enhancing Research at UBC

Shirin was drawn to librarianship as a career because of an appreciation for a range of academic disciplines: her background is in Modern Japanese Literature. Shirin appreciates that in her new role she draws on a cultural studies perspective to frame her work. As Head of Asian Library,  she has the opportunity to support and enhance research across different faculties.

Community Outreach and an International Perspective 

A key priority of her role moving forward will be to draw in an international perspective: Shirin will share the value of the Asian Library collections as it extends to a number of faculties and areas of research. A lesser-known fact about Asian Library is the wide variety of scholars and researchers the branch supports, as well as the branch’s involvement in community events, digitization projects and teaching and learning at UBC.

New Programming at Asian Library

Some new programming to look out for in the fall at Asian Library will include an alumni supported bookclub, which will expand on the branch’s aspirational goals to support life-long learning and language learning. Another goal is to create a space at Asian Library for intercultural communication. Library culture is also a priority moving forward for Asian Library: staff are supported to grow in their roles and engage with the wider UBC community.

Get to Know Shirin

A little known fact about Shirin is that she is a self-professed ‘trekkie’: she is a fan of the recent Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond, in particular the character of Commodore Paris, a military commander played by Persian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo. Shirin appreciates that the Star Trek series brings together different cultural communities in pursuit of a common goal, and develops strong, diverse female leads.

You can find Shirin in her office at the Asian Library, or possibly catching a moment of calm in beautiful Nitobe Gardens, a favoured spot at UBC.

Congratulations Shirin!

Reference Librarian
David Lam Library, UBC Library
(Full-time, one year term)
UBC Library

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 To learn more about working with UBC Library and to explore our aspirational values visit UBC Library – Why work with us.

The David Lam Management Research Library and Canaccord Learning Commons is an integrated unit which provides collections and services to support Sauder School of Business students, faculty and staff at the University of British Columbia, as well as others who require use of the collection.


The Reference Librarian provides instruction and reference assistance in business resources and research strategies in support of Sauder School of Business students, faculty and staff and to others who require use of the collection and services. The librarian develops and maintains learning resources including online course and subject guides and other appropriate tools. The librarian assists in developing and maintaining the electronic collection, working with librarians and staff in the unit, as well as in Acquisitions, Licensing and Technical Services to coordinate subscriptions to the electronic resources of the David Lam Library. The librarian works cooperatively with other librarians and staff in the unit, and in the UBC Library System, as well as faculty and staff in the Sauder School of Business to develop and maintain high quality business library collections in all formats. The librarian participates in the planning and implementation of library and learning commons services that support the needs of Sauder faculty and students. The librarian assumes responsibility for coordination and management of staff, services and projects, as required.


  • A graduate degree from an accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • The enthusiasm and ability to teach users about business resources and research strategies and to carry out projects, both independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong information technology and digital literacy skills
  • A strong service commitment, flexibility and a willingness to assume a variety of assignments.
  • A degree in commerce and business administration or experience in an academic business library
  • Extensive knowledge of business and financial resources in all formats, and of the research process in business disciplines
  • Familiarity with the UBC Library system
  • Experience with collection development and management
  • Experience working with and building relationships with vendors



Contributes to the provision of library services, including reference consultations, orientations, tours, and bibliographic and research skills instruction. Participates in and contributes to the creation of online course guides, research guides and tutorials and other learning objects.


Develops and maintains strong working relationships with Sauder School of Business faculty divisions and academic units, as assigned. Consults with faculty on their needs for collection, research and instructional support. Keeps abreast of trends and developments in resources relevant to assigned subject areas and communicates new relevant resources, as well as any changes to existing resources when appropriate. Responds to faculty requests including collections, new course proposals, etc. in consultation with the Head. Contributes to Sauder Faculty database wish list. Liaises with relevant Sauder committees and Sauder program offices and students in specific graduate programs, as assigned. Liaises with electronic resource vendors, as assigned.


Coordinates branch website maintenance, in consultation with colleagues in the unit, as well as in collaboration with colleagues in Systems and Web services.

Manages and supervises relevant processes related to collections, as assigned. Consults with David Lam Library staff and Technical Services and Systems colleagues to resolve issues related to the life cycle of relevant electronic resources. Participates in technical troubleshooting and maintenance of David Lam Library’s online resources as needed. Contributes to monograph selection and collection development, as assigned. Contributes to other collections-related projects, as needed.


In consultation with librarians and staff, as well as Sauder faculty, supports the selection and acquisition, evaluation, maintenance and cancellation of electronic resources in accordance with faculty and subject area needs. Liaises with colleagues in Technical Services and Systems. Liaises with database vendors. Contributes to collection policy development. Consults and communicates with faculty affected by collection decisions or significant changes in platforms.


Undertakes or supports special projects, new services or assignments deemed necessary by the Head. Contributes to planning and policy development for the unit, as required.


Serves on Library, Sauder and other committees where appropriate. Participates and contributes to the Library’s evolving initiatives (cIRcle, Data Management, Open Access, Digital Initiatives etc.) Keeps current with changing professional expectations, service requirements, and developments in academic libraries, academic business libraries and learning commons.


Reports to the Head of the David Lam Management Research Library and Canaccord Learning Commons. Consults with colleagues both within the unit and the UBC Library system, as required. Works with faculty, staff and students at the Sauder School of Business and the University of British Columbia, as well as members of the public. May supervise the work of library assistants and student assistants working in areas for which the librarian is responsible.


This position will be filled as a full-time one year term position with a possibility of extension.

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 by midnight on October 16, 2015.


Librarian teaching students

Librarian Julie Mitchell helps students with their research skills.


In this digital age, one of UBC Library’s priorities is continual support to staff who serve a growing international base of new faculty and students.

Library staff have benefited from career development in the areas of public service training and leadership programs, and have access to annual professional development awards programs. Helping staff hone their intercultural knowledge, attitudes, and skills is another integral part of the Library work environment.

Understanding intercultural differences

All library staff were invited to participate in an intercultural fluency training program during Summer 2015, led by Alden Habacon, Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development at UBC. Sponsored by the Library’s Diversity Inclusion Team (DIT), Habacon distinguished the need for all Library staff to communicate and act intentionally as they work with culturally sensitive collections and distinct communities, within and beyond the campus. An understanding of differences, empathy and compassion are a focus of the program. “The emphasis needs to be on not just doing good, but doing more good – effectively and appropriately,” he notes.

Creating opportunities

The Library acknowledges that individual employees and teams have unique ways in which they learn, contribute, and thrive. These diverse perspectives and backgrounds ultimately enrich our environment when growing and collaborating together. Members of DIT underscore that “our commitment to making UBC Library a campus leader on diversity means actively creating diversity-focused opportunities for engagement.”

Setting a precedence

The program’s curriculum will be used in training other service-oriented campus units, including UBC REC and Security. Putting an academic library at the forefront of intercultural fluency training sets a baseline standard for the University and signifies shifts into the civic realm. Our future sees people gravitating to libraries as a public square, Habacon says, a realm for human touch and dialogue. Staff training in intercultural fluency, therefore, is key to building positive experiences for users as diverse as at UBC Library’s.

More than 50 Library staff across all branches participated in this training program, which consisted of presentations, interactive break-out sessions, and open discussions. More workshops are planned for Fall 2015.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Library





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