HEAD, XWI7XWA LIBRARY
UBC Library, Vancouver Campus
(Full‐time, ongoing General Librarian position with 5 year renewable Head term)
Anticipated Start Date: February 1, 2018
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 full‐text 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. To learn more about working with UBC Library and to explore our
aspirational values visit http://about.library.ubc.ca/work‐with‐us/why‐work‐with‐us/.
The Xwi7xwa Library is located on the ancestral and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓‐speaking
Musqueam people. It is adjacent to the UBC’s First Nations House of Learning, (FNHL) and is the only
separate library dedicated to Indigenous collections and services at an academic institution in Canada.
An agreement outlines the relationship between the First Nations House of Learning and Library.
Xwi7xwa Library’s work is guided by the UBC Library strategic plan, the 2009 UBC Aboriginal Strategic
Plan, ongoing University initiatives, and responses to the Calls to Action in the report of the Truth and
The Xwi7xwa Library is a world leader in the effective organization and respectful use of Indigenous
knowledge and information in academic inquiry. The Library is key to developing UBC’s capacity for
advanced work in Indigenous studies and engagement by providing expert staff, unique collections and
collaborative space for supporting respectful academic inquiry through teaching, research, and
The Xwi7xwa Library provides leadership and support across the UBC Library to develop improved
access to collections and services that support Indigenous perspectives in all fields of study and research
and to further the development of the skills to do so in all units of UBC Library. In collaboration with UBC
Library Technical Services, Xwi7xwa Library leads in the development of descriptive systems that are
based in Indigenous Knowledge Organization, an evolving and emergent area of research and
operations. The Library fosters collaborative relationships with Indigenous programs and services at UBC
and works closely with the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, other academic units,
and community partners to ensure respectful access to materials and critical understanding of Canadian
and Indigenous history.
Through building and maintaining relationships with a vibrant network of current and former faculty,
staff and students, the Xwi7xwa Library connects the intellectual life of the campus with diverse
communities, and serves as a facilitator to many longstanding collaborative knowledge‐based projects
and initiatives. Community scholars and educators entrust Xwi7xwa Library with locally developed
resources, which form many of the unique materials in the collection. Xwi7xwa Library has an active
and well‐regarded profile in public programming at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and other
venues that helps to increase campus awareness of Indigenous issues and their relevance, depth, and
complexity. The Library participates with the Museum of Anthropology, the Barber Centre, the First Nations House of Learning and many other campus units and community partners in information dissemination and service initiatives.
Xwi7xwa Library has a close relationship with the First Nations Curriculum Concentration, (FNCC) in the
iSchool. It draws students from FNCC to work as graduate academic assistants while at the same time
acting as a draw for applicants to the iSchool. The Library actively supports FNCC students by
participating in the experiential learning programs offered at the iSchool ‐ through hosting class visits
and guest lecturing, as well as offering co‐op placements, professional, and practicum experiences.
The Xwi7xwa Library has an important and ongoing role in strategic initiatives in Indigenous research
and knowledge organization, and the role of Head Librarian is critical to that function. The nature and
scope of this position are expected to change as Indigenous studies, the Library’s organizational
structure, and the Library’s strategic position evolve. For more information see the Branch website at
The Head, Xwi7xwa Library, is responsible for providing strategic leadership for people, services and
operations including the development of collections, services, and user spaces and is charged with
positioning the Xwi7xwa Library as a vital resource in advancing Indigenous scholarship at the University
and beyond. The scope of this position includes the organization, administration, and operation of the
Xwi7xwa Library, for the development of its collection, for the provision of effective reference,
instructional, and circulation services, and for outreach to partners on and off campus, and to
Indigenous and library communities and organizations in Canada and abroad.
A graduate degree from an accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science.
An undergraduate degree in a subject area relevant to Indigenous studies or equivalent knowledge gained through professional experience in relevant subject areas.
A nuanced understanding of Indigenous histories, initiatives and subject materials.
Demonstrated understanding of the experiences of Indigenous people and communities and
experience working with Indigenous people and communities.
Demonstrated effective administrative, management and leadership skills developed and
demonstrated by progressively responsible work experiences.
Managerial and supervisory experience.
Strong verbal and written communication skills.
Experience in managing a complex budget.
Dedicated to cultivating an inclusive environment that recognizes barriers faced by people and encourages and incorporates contributions from diverse groups and individuals.
Contributes to the Library’s sense of community and achievement of common goals through cooperation across units and encouragement of equitable and balanced involvement in decision making.
Promotes and fosters a supportive and open environment built on appreciation, recognition, learning and professional growth.
Works to build a team environment built on positive working relationships, provides guidance
and resources to teams while trusting them to excel.
A graduate degree with an Indigenous focus.
Experience with knowledge‐based description systems such as Brian Deer Classification and subject headings used in an Indigenous context.
Relevant professional experience, familiarity with bibliography, faculty‐library liaison, electronic services, collection development and library instruction.
Experience in leading, developing and implementing strategic priorities, preferably within a
large academic research library.
The Head, Xwi7xwa Library works under the general direction of and is responsible to the University
Librarian, or designate, and the Director of the First Nations House of Learning. The Head supervises a
team comprising a public services librarian, an Aboriginal engagement librarian in a position shared with
the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, two support staff and several part‐time graduate academic
assistants. The Head consults with the appropriate AUL/Manager/Director/Head concerning the budget
for collections, ordering and processing of Library materials, and collection development and
preservation; financial and facilities matters; systems issues; human resources; and development. The
Head cooperates with the Heads of other branches and divisions in the provision of services and the
development of collections, and ensures that relevant issues are discussed with the Director, the
Associate Director, or other administrators within the First Nations House of Learning. The Head
consults with other members of the UBC Library, First Nations House of Learning, community members,
and an advisory committee. The Head also works with relevant external organizations and community
The nature and scope of this position are expected to change as Indigenous studies, the Library’s
organizational structure, and the Library’s strategic position evolve.
1. Provides vision and leadership for the Xwi7xwa Library operation and services. Develops and
implements strategies, goals, and objectives that support the UBC Aboriginal Strategic Plan and
UBC Library’s strategic plan, and are responsive to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
Calls to Action. Creates a supportive environment for the librarians and CUPE staff in Xwi7xwa
Library. Plans for staff development and training by determining the needs of the unit including
individual staff needs. Allocates time for training and development.
2. Provides a welcoming environment for Indigenous faculty, staff, students and community
3. Assesses the needs of Xwi7xwa Library users by consulting broadly with UBC’s Indigenous
community and faculty, researchers, staff and students engaged in First Nations research and
scholarship. Maintain knowledge of curriculum changes, program development, and new areas
of research. Develop programs and services in response to expressed needs.
4. Establishes develops and works with a Library Advisory Committee comprised of key stakeholders.
5. Sets and implements branch priorities. Plans, organizes and manages the people, services and operation of Xwi7xwa Library to enable the successful fulfilment of the Library’s and UBC’s mission and vision regarding Indigenous peoples.
6. Plans, develops and manages the Xwi7xwa Library operating budgets annually. Develops a
programs‐based budget for the FNHL funds. Allocates and monitors resources by setting unit
priorities, allocating funds/human resources and monitoring expenditures.
7. Reviews curriculum changes and program development, maintaining liaison with faculty and participating in departmental and faculty meetings as invited.
8. Develops collections policies, determines the scope of the collection, and selects and orders
materials. Oversees Xwi7xwa special collections and archives in conjunction with Rare Books and
Special Collections and University Archives.
9. Works with UBC Library Technical Services in the development of descriptive systems that are
based in Indigenous Knowledge Organization.
10. Develops and maintains a plan for collection curation that maximizes the strategic value of the
Xwi7xwa Library building and leverages relationships with other facilities to support collection
distribution as required.
11. Oversees and participates in the provision of reference, circulation, cataloguing and instructional
12. Evaluates existing services, adjusts priorities, allocates human resources and seeks funding as
13. Develops and maintains a good knowledge of Indigenous issues, concerns, and programs to
ensure that the Xwi7xwa Library continues to meet the needs of UBC faculty, staff, and students,
and Indigenous communities and organizations, and groups and individuals with an interest in
14. Liaises with Indigenous groups to develop Indigenous library and information sciences capacity
and provides professional and technical advice as appropriate. Provides leadership to Indigenous
librarians, archivists, information managers, and researchers by participation in Indigenous and
information management organizations.
15. Supports fundraising initiatives for the Xwi7xwa Library and participates in the preparation of
grant requests and administration of grants. Initiates involvement with the Library Development
Office as appropriate opportunities occur
16. Participates in professional and university wide initiatives
17. Performs other duties as required.
TERMS OF APPOINTMENT AND SALARY:
This position will be filled as a full‐time, ongoing General Librarian position with a five year renewable
administrative term as Head, Xwi7xwa Library. 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 the
appointment, and a recommendation is made at that time to grant or not to grant a confirmed
Salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications.
Indigenous persons are encouraged to apply.
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.
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
http://www.hr.ubc.ca/careers‐postings/faculty.php by midnight on December 10, 2017.