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Liaison Librarian

Date: June 26, 2014
Reports to (Job Title): Head, Information Services and Resources (ISR), Dana Porter Library or Head, Information Services and Resources (ISR), Davis Centre
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Location: Library
Main Campus, Optometry, or Pharmacy

USG 8 - 13

35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

Liaison Librarians are the Library’s primary contact with the University’s Schools/Academic Departments. Each Liaison Librarian is a member of the Information Services and Resources Department and is responsible for one or more Academic Department/School. Liaison Librarians enhance the Library’s contribution to the University community through the development and delivery of library information services and resources to faculty members, students and staff.


In order to support research, teaching and learning at the University of Waterloo, Liaison Librarians are proactive in information resources development and management as well as the development and provision of instructional activities that support the curriculum and develop students’ research related literacies and lifelong learning. As appropriate, the Liaison Librarians contribute expertise in support of grant applications and the research process. Librarians are knowledgeable of, and engaged in activities related to scholarly research, inquiry, and publishing.

Liaison Librarians work closely with Library departments, committees, and others as appropriate to advance the Library’s strategic directions and lead projects and initiatives in their areas of responsibility and expertise.

Key Accountabilities:


As a Liaison Librarian, the incumbent:

  • Supports and advances the Library’s strategic directions to further the Library’s contribution to the campus Strategic Plan   for learning, teaching, and research in the campus community
  • Consults with the campus community to develop, implement, coordinate, and review initiatives/services/resources that support teaching, learning and research
  • Promotes the use of Library services and resources to the campus community, and as aligned to assigned subject areas or areas of expertise
  • Provides instruction in areas related to expertise
  • Remains current and conversant with trends and practices within the Library and campus community by:
    • Maintaining general awareness of trends and developments in librarianship and academia
    • Maintaining awareness in areas of expertise and exploring potential local impacts or applications
    • Transferring knowledge to Library committees and staff, as well as faculty, staff and students, as appropriate
  • Participates in, and at times leads, Library, University, and as appropriate, non-University committees and groups, and fosters collaboration, information sharing, partnerships and expertise as required
  • Works with colleagues at other TUG, OCUL, CARL and ARL member institutions, as appropriate, in collaborative ventures
  • Participates in professional development in areas such as research, courses, conference presentations, posters and ongoing skills acquisition

To ensure a thorough understanding of needs for information services and resources in the assigned subject areas and areas of expertise, the Liaison Librarian:      

  • Consults with Schools/Academic Departments to establish and prioritize their resources and services needs as well as to identify new opportunities for further collaboration
  • Promotes the use of Library resources and services to Schools/Academic Departments
  • Raises awareness of issues related to scholarly communication, including:
    • Maintaining general awareness of trends and development
    • Maintaining specific awareness in areas of expertise and exploring potential local impacts or applications
    • Transferring knowledge to School/Academic Department faculty, staff and students
  • Provides curriculum specific library instruction to enhance the student experience
  • Promotes lifelong learning
  • Participates in the development and review of new and existing programs by working with the School/Academic Departments to:
    • Complete the Library portion of academic and accreditation program review reports, including new program reports. This includes participating in the initial review team meetings to gain a thorough understanding of the needs, learning outcomes, and career paths for graduating students and representing the Library during program review on-site visits
    • Review the curriculum, and seek meaningful opportunities to enhance student research skills, specialized information seeking, and critical analysis of information
    • Participate in curriculum reviews with particular regards to research skills, specialized information seeking, and critical analysis of information, as possible
  • Remains well informed about the Library’s resources, services and policies and interprets and promotes these to faculty and students
  • Attends/participates in Faculty Council and Departmental meetings, as possible

As a Liaison Librarian accountable for the proactive management of the collection lifecycle in assigned subject areas, the incumbent:

  • Develops and maintains collection development and retention policies that reflect the needs of Schools/Academic Departments and support long term management and relevance of the collection
  • Selects materials, both print and electronic, for the Library’s collections in a fiscally responsible manner aiming to maximize the scope and depth of the collection
  • Analyzes the use of collections, and applies gained information to collection decisions
  • Evaluates the print and electronic collections  and recommends actions based on condition and relevance of the collection
  • Collaborates with other Librarians and Library Department Heads regarding the selection and evaluation of interdisciplinary collections  as well as the identification of locally unique, at times rare, collections
  • In co-operation with the Head, Collection Development and Heads, ISR, as appropriate:
    • Interacts and negotiates with publishers/vendors
    •  Assesses vendors platforms & products and service  
    • Develops and maintains approval plan profiles
    • Participates in the exploration and piloting of innovative collection development initiatives
  • Maintains current knowledge about the Acquisitions Budget and manages the budget allocations in a fiscally responsible manner, with particular attention to assigned Schools/Academic Departments

As a Liaison Librarian providing support for information services and instructional activities, the incumbent:

  • Participates in  Information Services delivery, including:
    • Trains other Library staff for information service delivery, with particular regard to their assigned subject areas or areas of expertise
    • Providing information services at virtual and/or physical service points
    • Consultations to faculty and students, and  staff
  • Participates in the Library’s instructional activities, by:
    • Developing, designing, delivering, and assessing instruction programs, including designing instructional materials, whether in person, online or in a blended environment
    • Developing modules for instructional activities as related to areas of subject expertise
    • Working with faculty to integrate the use of the collection, and research skills into course assignments and research activities
  • Designs, develops and maintains effective online and print content. Provides input to other Library departments into maintaining and improving the Library’s virtual user interface and face to face services, including active participation in working groups

As a Liaison Librarian who may be embedded in an academic School or Department that operates a Resource Centre, the incumbent:

  • Communicates with the Head, ISR (Davis or Porter) in regards to Resource Centre issues for discussion
  • Acts in an advisory capacity to Library and School on the functional operation of the Resource Centre, as appropriate. This excludes management of day-to-day responsibilities such as Circulation Services, Technical Services, troubleshooting equipment (printers, photocopiers, scanner, self-checkout unit), and management of employees
  • Advises on the implementation of Resource Centre policies to ensure that they are in keeping with Library and TUG-wide policies and practices
  • Participates with School/department staff in the coordination of activities for the delivery of information service
  • Oversees and makes decisions related to collection storage and maintenance
  • Communicates with School/department administration as appropriate

As a Liaison Librarian who may undertake supervision of Library Associates and co-op students, the incumbent:

  • Coaches, trains and develops employee(s) to assure growth and development of that(those) individual(s)
  • Conducts regular performance reviews with direct report(s), and supports achievement of performance goals
  • Makes decisions on the hiring of his/her direct report(s), in consultation with the Head, ISR (Davis or Porter)

As a Liaison Librarian and/or health information specialist who may have specialized areas of responsibility or expertise, the incumbent:   


  • Actively participates on specialized teams or working groups to support the unique needs and strategic goals at the University of Waterloo. Activities could include for example:
    • Participation in research projects and grant-funded projects as the information specialist
    • Provision of training as related to areas of subject expertise
  • Ongoing, proactive acquisition, maintenance, and provision of leadership in the development of associated skills and knowledge in areas of expected expertise
  • Liaise, as Library representative, with campus partners such as the Writing Centre, Student Success Office on special projects beyond the scope of normal liaison activities with these partners

Position Requirements


ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS degree, or equivalent  





MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate web content development, Intermediate instructional methods and technologies, Intermediate discovery and access interfaces

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, communicates with employees in all groups and departments throughout the University community and at all levels to gather ideas, envision, articulate, update and inform on projects s/he is leading or otherwise accountable for. Externally, communicates frequently with vendors and colleagues at other institutions in order to execute work.

Level of Responsibility:

The position is responsible and accountable for the development and maintenance of high quality user-focused information resources and services, with particular focus on the assigned subject areas. The position is fully accountable for assigned Department/School acquisitions funds.

Decision-Making Authority:

Responsible and accountable for the development, delivery, and assessment of instructional services and collection decisions as related to assigned subject areas and/or project leadership. As required, the position consults with the Department Heads, ISR, and members of the Library Managers Group.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal exposure to disagreeable conditions typical of an office environment.

Working Environment:

Exposure to stresses related to pressures and priorities related to typical librarian responsibilities.

Has or develops expertise in a specialization that can be shared within and beyond the University of Waterloo