Position Description:

The McLaughlin Library at the University of Guelph invites applications for a dynamic, creative, collaborative archivist or librarian to fill the position of head, Archival & Special Collections (A&SC), and digital archivist. This senior leadership position reports to the Associate University Librarian, Research, and is a member of the library’s management team. The head, A&SC, and digital archivist will provide strategic leadership and oversight for the A&SC team, while also establishing strategies and workflows to support the acquisition, appraisal, processing, curation, preservation, discovery of, and access to born-digital and digitized materials.

A&SC supports research and teaching on campus, offering a passageway to the cultural, social, physical, and political history of the Guelph region and the University's founding colleges. The collection, measuring approximately 8000 linear meters, includes eight main collecting areas: agricultural history and rural heritage, culinary, Lucy Mau d Montgomery, the LW Conolly Theatre Archives, landscape architecture, Scottish studies, rare books, and regional and early campus history. The department recently re-opened a newly renovated reading room and exhibit gallery on the second floor of McLaughlin Library, as well as newly expanded storage space and the Scottish Studies Foundation Digitization room on the lower level.

The head, A&SC, and digital archivist promotes the vision of the library as being central to the University community as a valued facilitator, partner, and catalyst on campus. The core values that drive our vision are learning, service, intellectual freedom, stewardship, access, innovation, communication, and integrity. At the McLaughlin Library, we have recently implemented a new management framework to provide clarity around the expectations of library managers and to develop a shared understanding of library management practices. In support of this framework, the Library Management Team (LMT) is committed to supporting the incumbent to develop the necessary skills and aptitudes to succeed in the role by providing training, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.


Head, Archival & Special Collections

Oversee a team of eight to thirteen that includes professional librarians and archivists, assistants, support staff, and part-time student staff.
Provide strategic leadership and oversight for the staff and operations of the A&SC team, including collection development; organization, maintenance and preservation of collections; reference and instruction; promotion and outreach services; development of digitization projects; cultivation of donor relations; budget management; workflow coordination and human resources management; and operational management of the department’s physical facilities.
Act as a primary contact with donors, academic and community users and visitors, vendors, library and University personnel and a broad range of other library and archival organizations in all matters relating to the acquisition, preservation, and use of the library’s archival and special collections.
Manage budgets for acquisitions, endowments, appraisals, and archival supplies.
Develop and foster collaborations and partnerships with key stakeholders in the library, on-campus, and the wider community on projects that will promote and enhance the University of Guelph’s print and digital archival and special collections.
As a member of LMT, participate in the collaborative management of the library, including strategic planning, administrative coordination that includes policy development, alignment of services and programs with strategic objectives, assessment, and organizational culture and development.

Digital Archivist

Develop strategies, policies, procedures, and workflows for acquiring, appraising, accessioning, describing, managing, processing and organizing, preserving, making discoverable, and providing access to born-digital and digitized materials.
Collaborate with the Digital Strategy & Technology team on the integration of technologies, tools, software, and media for appraising, capturing, preserving, and providing access to digital collections.


An ALA accredited (or equivalent) master's degree in Archival Studies or Library Science, with a strong specialization in archives and records management.
Minimum of five years of experience as an archivist or librarian in an archival setting, with increasing levels of responsibility (e.g. managing projects, resources, staff, budgets).
Experience with all aspects of archival operations, including understanding of contemporary archival practices, issues, standards, trends, donor relations, and emerging technologies.
Demonstrated understanding of and appreciation for the purpose and structure of archival-related discovery, metadata, and access environments.
Experience with metadata content, structure, and preservation standards including MARC, Dublin Core, EAD, RAD, ISAD(g), MODS, XML, archival linked data, etc.
Knowledge of Canadian copyright, privacy, and accessibility standards and legislation.
Demonstrated experience leading and managing complex projects, including developing proposals, timelines, budgets, and staffing plans.
Experience leading reference and research services for users, with a demonstrated user-centered service philosophy and client focus.
Exceptional ability to build partnerships with colleagues, users, and partners on campus and beyond, and to articulate priorities and values across a diverse constituency.
Excellent written and verbal communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
Evidence of participation in the community and a well-established record of scholarly activity.

All librarians at the University of Guelph are expected to engage in professional practice; scholarship, which includes research, study, professional development and scholarly and creative activities; and, University service and academic or professional service.

The University of Guelph is the second-largest employer in Guelph, a city of approximately 130,000 people, located about an hour drive west of Toronto, Ontario. University of Guelph is a top-ranked comprehensive university in Canada with an enrolment of about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across over 40 academic units. The University is known for its commitment to student learning, innovative research, and collaboration with world-class partners. It is a unique place, with transformative research and teaching and a distinctive campus culture. People who learn and work here are shaped and inspired by a shared purpose: To Improve Life. Reflecting that shared purpose in every experience connected to our university positions us to create positive change, here and around the world. Our University community shares a profound sense of social responsibility, a drive for international development, and an obligation to address global issues.

Application Process

Interested applicants should submit the following materials: (1) A statement of interest in the position demonstrating how qualifications and experience relate to the responsibilities, duties, and required qualifications of the position, (2) A curriculum vitae, and (3) the names of at least three references, including, where possible, one direct supervisor, one peer/collaborator, and one direct report.

Please submit applications as a single PDF file to [log in to unmask]  by November 1, 2019. We anticipate that the first round of interviews (video conference) will take place the week of December 9, 2019 and on-campus interviews will take place the week of February 10, 2020. A position description is available upon request (email [log in to unmask] ).

The digital archivist position is a Continuing Appointment-track position that will be filled at the Assistant or Associate Librarian level. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and a comprehensive benefits package is provided. The head, Archival & Special Collections, role is a five-year term administrative appointment (renewable once) with a stipend at the Administrative Librarian II level.


All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University recognizes that applicants may have had obligations outside of work that have negatively impacted their record of achievements (e.g., parental, elder care, and/or medical). You are not required to disclose these obligations in the hiring process. If you choose to do so, the University will ensure that these obligations do not negatively impact the assessment of your qualifications for the position.

The University of Guelph resides on the ancestral lands of the Attawandaron people and the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit and we offer our respect to our Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Métis neighbours as we strive to strengthen our relationships with them.

At the University of Guelph, fostering a culture of inclusion  is an institutional imperative. The University invites and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in employment, who may contribute to further diversification of our Institution.

If you require a medical accommodation during the recruitment or selection process, please contact Occupational Health and Wellness at 519-824-4120 x52674.

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