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Associate University Librarian, Research & Digital Discovery Services

Date: April 21, 2015
Reports to (Job Title): University Librarian
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles):

Head, Cataloguing Department

Head, Digital Initiatives

Head, Library Technology & Facilities Services

Head, Special Collections & Archives

Bibliometrics & Research Impact Librarian

Department: Library


Main Campus


USG 16
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

 The Associate University Librarian, Research & Digital Discovery Services (AUL, RDDS) provides executive leadership for the strategic planning, development, provision and ongoing management of information technology and digital research services in the Library, metadata, and special collections & archives, ensuring such resources and services support and advance transformational research and remain responsive to the current and future needs of the University of Waterloo user community.  The AUL, RDDS serves on University and external committees, confers regularly with senior academic and administrative staff of the University and at other university libraries, and with senior representatives of information technology, metadata and research services vendors. The AUL represents the Library in senior decision-making circles, including external agencies and associations. 

Key Accountabilities:


As a member of the Library Executive Committee:

Provides executive leadership and support for the Library’s strategic planning, policy development, financial administration, and resource allocation in conjunction with the University Librarian; AUL, Information Resources & Academic Excellence; and the Director, Organizational Services

  • Contributes to and advances the development and execution of the Library's strategic goals and objectives
  • Supports and facilitates the work of members of the Library Managers Group, and in doing so shares overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Library with other members of the Library Executive Committee
  • Provides leadership and mentoring in support of managers, functions and activities in the Library, with primary emphasis on digital discovery and information technology services which facilitate discovery and access, digital research and special collections & archives (specific portfolios for members of the Library Executive Committee are subject to revision and refinement)
  • Serves as sponsor and administrative liaison to Library committees and workgroups at Waterloo and within the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (TUG)
  • Leads and/or mentors cross-functional task forces and/or working groups
  • Represents the Library and participates in campus, regional, provincial, national and international decision making forums (such as Senate Graduate & Research Committee, TUG, OCUL, CARL, CNI, and ARL)
  • Supports, communicates, and champions the mission, values, philosophy, and culture of the organization, with a particular focus on the umbrella themes of excellence, innovation and well-being (EIW) as articulated in the Excellence Canada EIW standard
  • Acts for the University Librarian in his/her absence


As AUL, Research & Digital Discovery Services:

  • Enables and develops an integrated approach to the provision of the Library's digital research, digital discovery, special collections & archives and information technology services at a strategic level
  • Collaborates closely with the AUL, Information Resources & Academic Excellence on strategic initiatives to enhance collections discovery, ensure protection of born-digital owned content, and to advance digital information services
  • Advises the University Librarian on matters particularly related to digital research and digital discovery services
  • Engages in strategic planning and direction-setting with respect to digital research and information technology and special collections & archives
  • Ensures, fosters and enables effective management, coordination, assessment and innovation with services around digital research and digital discovery
  • Supports and facilitates the work of members of the Library Managers Group, through the evaluation and revision of existing services, and through the development and implementation of new resources and services as appropriate
  • Coordinates with and supports managers and other Library members in the facilitation of functions, initiatives and activities, with primary emphasis on information technology and services that foster transformational research
  • Works closely with the Director, Library Advancement and Head, Special Collections & Archives with regard to strategic goals and donor development in Special Collections & Archives to integrate effective fundraising in the Library into University-wide campaign/priorities as these are established

Complexity, judgement, problem solving, planning and thought leadership:

  • Participates in strategic planning and operational goals with Library Executive Committee members, Library Managers, and senior members of campus units
  • Works with the Library Executive Committee members and Library Managers to ensure that campus and library policies and best practices are developed, reviewed and implemented, with a particular focus on the umbrella themes of excellence, innovation and well-being as articulated in the Excellence Canada EIW standard
  • Exhibits a very high level of leadership, negotiation and influencing skills, and the ability to apply them in highly varied situations, both on campus and beyond
  • Demonstrates political acumen and sensitivity to the needs and interests of units across campus and has the ability to successfully manage competing objectives
  • Proactively addresses challenges in the development and execution of multi-faculty/unit and campus-wide strategies, requiring a high degree of coordination and consultation
  • Builds and nourishes effective partnerships with for example associate deans, faculty members, unit heads, etc.
  • In consultation with the University Librarian and the Library Executive, determines the feasibility and implementation of new programs and services
  • Working in a collaborative team environment, works closely with Directors and Managers in IST, with senior IT managers from the Faculties and other campus units, and with the campus community (Senior Administrators, Deans, College Heads, faculty, staff, students, and volunteers) around shared IT ventures
  • Interacts with the University Librarian, Wilfrid Laurier University and Chief Librarian/Chief Information Officer, University of Guelph and associated Associate University Librarians in support of TUG shared systems and IT projects
  • Maintains a broad knowledge of future and current practices and related  technology and a deeper knowledge in specific areas relevant to research, teaching and learning  across campus
  • Provides expert advice to University management, Library Staff, and the University community with regard to research data management, research impact, and digital preservation
  • Provides leadership and assistance in support of the processes and strategic goals for the University and works closely and collegially with Faculties and Academic Support areas, along with Library Executive Committee, on the implementation and continued evolution of the Library’s Strategic Directions

Position Requirements


ALA-accredited Master of Library Science, or equivalent



MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate Significant experience with information technology services in an academic library context

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, communicates with members of the University community at all levels to, where appropriate, support, influence, and motivate them, and to address highly sensitive matters when needed.  Externally, this position will have significant contact with senior representatives of other university libraries, as well associations, vendors, and other parties; this position may be involved in settling highly sensitive, confidential matters that are critical to the organization.


Significant Internal Relationships


Significant External Relationships

Level of Responsibility:

The position is responsible and accountable for the overall results of the departments, committees, and task forces. This position is responsible and accountable for the Library’s IT, metadata, research services and Special Collections & Archives programs and activities. This position is a public representative for the Library within the university and with external audiences, particularly member organizations such as ARL, CARL, CNI, and NISO


The incumbent is a member of committees such as:

Decision-Making Authority:

Responsible and accountable as a member of the Library Executive Committee for developing and establishing Library-wide priorities and strategic plans, and for addressing changes to strategic plans by consulting with members of the Library Managers Group and others as appropriate.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of a senior administrator position operating within an office environment.

Working Environment:

Minimal exposure to disagreeable conditions typical of a senior administrator position exposed to stress and pressure associated with those responsibilities.