Humanities and Social Sciences Library - Head

McGill University

Location: Quebec
Date posted: 2012-11-01

Humanities and Social Sciences Library

Appointment: Tenure track Assistant or Associate Librarian depending upon experience
Duration: Initial three-year appointment with possibility for renewal
Salary: Commensurate with experience


The McGill Library seeks an innovative, autonomous and resourceful manager to lead the Humanities and Social Sciences Library programs at one of the world's most prestigious research universities.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Library (HSSL) is the central library of the McGill Library system located on the downtown campus of McGill University. Reporting to the Senior Director of Client Services, the Head of HSSL supervises 45 staff, including 12 liaison librarians responsible for outreach, consultation and collection oversight of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The Library promotes innovation in service, has organized services into a single service point and is open, based upon user demand, 24 hours five days a week. McGill Library operates in a culture of assessment, risk taking and welcoming of change in a rapidly developing information world.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Library is the largest of 12 library branches, 11 located on the downtown campus and one on the Macdonald campus. The McGill Library provides outstanding collections and client focus services based upon a philosophy of the fundamental importance of service to users. The Library proactively supports the teaching, learning and research needs of faculty and students to ensure that the university's strategic mission of excellence as a research intensive, student-centred university is satisfied. Collection building is based upon the premise of preference for electronic versions.

Information for Prospective Staff

Information about the University and employment at McGill University is at the University's web site ( and ). Information about the McGill Library is available at As a tenured stream appointee, the successful candidate is expected to devote himself to the full range of academic duties as defined in the Evening and weekend work may be required.


Primary Purpose of Position

To lead and manage the services and collecting activities in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library and particularly to support teaching, learning, research and outreach activities for the Humanities and Social Sciences Library at McGill University.

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead and manage the delivery of library and information services in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library.
  • Participate in the recruitment, selection, deployment, development and performance management of staff.
  • Assist in fundraising, development and outreach activities as appropriate
  • Ensure compliance with staff conduct and occupational health and safety requirements
  • Assist in ensuring that the design and maintenance of library facilities meet client and staff needs.
  • Attend various Library, Institute, Faculty and University wide committees and represent the Library on these or external committees as required
  • Develop and maintain communication links and appropriate liaison with designated academic departments, university centres, such as to ensure library and information needs are understood and met
  • Promote and market Humanities and Social Sciences Library initiatives, products and services through tours and presentations, physical and online exhibitions, digitization, and other innovative ways
  • Participate in general planning and policy development in the support of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, McGill Library and McGill University strategic directions
  • Provide service to on-site and remote clients in information resource discovery and access in relation to specific teaching, learning or research needs Work in partnership with other library and University staff and sections, as well as external groups on specific projects
  • Ensure that information literacy/skills classes for clients are provided and integrated into teaching programs of the various relevant departments
  • Ensure appropriate collection development and management for Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines


The Head Librarian, Humanities and Social Sciences Library reports to the Senior Director - Client Services.

  1. ALA-accredited master's degree in library or information science. Advanced degree in a field served by the Humanities and Social Sciences Library. Professional experience in an academic or research library.
  2. Capacity to thrive in the exciting, ambiguous, future-oriented environment of a world-class research institution and to respond effectively to changing needs and priorities.
  3. Demonstrated experience in supervising staff and coordinating workflows.
  4. Experience in articulating vision and goals, managing multiple projects; and developing services to clients.
  5. Demonstrated information and communication technology skills and knowledge.
  6. Demonstrated experience in collection development of print and electronic resources, and commitment to develop and provide greater access to the collection, particularly in electronic formats.
  7. Creative and analytical thinking skills and good problem solving ability.
  8. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Working knowledge of French.
  9. Excellent organizational, client service and teamwork skills.
  10. High level of professionalism and commitment to the organization and its mission and the ability to work flexibly in a changing environment.
  11. Proven ability to promote the Library and its services to clients and present a positive image of the library to clients.
  12. Ability to understand and respond to priorities and trends in the Library and University environments.
  13. Commitment to professional issues, demonstrated through strong interest in local, national or international committee work, research, publishing, etc.
  14. Knowledge of equity principles, University occupational health and safety policies and Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety requirements for work areas.


Applications should address the above selection criteria, be accompanied by a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses of three referees and should be submitted by November 26, 2012 to:

Isabelle Roberge
Office of the Trenholme Dean of Libraries
McGill University
3459 McTavish Street
Montreal, Qc H3A 1Y1
Fax: (514) 398-3561

McGill University is committed to equity in employment and diversity. It welcomes applications from Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, visible minorities, women, and others who may contribute to diversification. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


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