Latest Faculty of Information Jobs

askON Student Opportunity

Closes on Thursday, December 14, 2017
Ask Ontario, Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS)

askON Student Opportunity

Organization: Ask Ontario, Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS)

City: Virtual

Province/State: Ontario

Country: Canada

Category: Library (Academic)

Job type: Volunteer

Duration: Temporary

Description and duties:

The Ask Ontario virtual reference service, an opt-in service of the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS), delivers real-time chat and SMS reference services for 11 of the province’s college libraries.

askON is seeking to recruit first or second year MLIS/MI/LIT candidates to volunteer with askON and help partner libraries manage the traffic of the askON chat & SMS services. Under the direction of the Ask Ontario Project Manager and with the supervision and mentorship of askON library staff, students will be given the opportunity to learn and practice their reference skills in a collaborative chat & SMS reference services.

Students will receive instruction from the askON team and will be scheduled for at least two, one-hour shifts per week. There is flexibility within scheduling to fit with school, work and other commitments. Most shifts will be on evenings and weekends. We are seeking volunteers who can commit to both Fall and Winter semesters (Sept to Dec & Jan to Apr). askON shifts can be filled from any location as long as there is a high-speed Internet connection and computer available.

Desired Qualifications:

  • MI/MLIS/LIT candidate, with a special interest and/or coursework/experience in reference service
  • Familiarity with wide range of databases, e-resources, and publicly available internet resources
  • Experience in a post-secondary reference environment highly desirable but not required
  • Strong desire to work in a research and reference environment
  • Well developed interpersonal and communication skills
  • Self-directed, motivated, and reliable
  • Experiential knowledge of IM and SMS
  • Fast typing speed: 60 wpm+
  • Familiarity with the askON service
  • Computer and high speed internet connection required


This is a volunteer position. However, participants receive the opportunity to develop and practice virtual reference skills in a busy provincial-scaled service. Those who participate will receive a letter of reference testifying to their training and engagement with Ask Ontario.

Additional information:

What’s in it for you?
– Extensive training that will strengthen your reference skills.
– Experience in chat and SMS reference, a skill that may be desirable to employers.
– Opportunity to network with college library staff who will work on the service with you.
– Mentorship by professionals in the field.
– A reference letter from askON that testifies to your participation.
– A potential employment reference from askON staff.

What do you have to do?
– Be prepared to participate in several web-based, virtual training sessions (specified dates in interview)
– Commit to covering two, one hour shifts on the askON service during the Fall and Winter semesters of service. Most shifts will be scheduled on evenings/weekends. Scheduling is flexible.
– Sign a privacy & confidentiality agreement


Apply by email:

How to apply:

If you are interested, send your resume/CV and a cover letter to Jan Dawson, by December 14, 2017 4pm.

Due to the anticipated volume of responses, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. We thank everyone for their interest.

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