Latest Faculty of Information Jobs

Associate Chief Librarian for Special Collections and Director, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Closes on Sunday, November 04, 2018
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON
Full Time


POSITION:                           Associate Chief Librarian for Special Collections and Director, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
DEPARTMENT:                   University of Toronto Libraries

DATE REQUIRED:              As soon as possible


Are you looking for challenging, meaningful work in a supportive and diverse environment? Are you looking for a career at one of Canada’s top employers? Work where the world comes to think, discover and learn. Consider a career at the University of Toronto.


About the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is regularly named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. Fully committed to teaching and research as complementary facets of scholastic achievement, the University of Toronto is consistently ranked among the top 25 universities in the world for teaching, research, and innovation, and also leads in disciplinary excellence with top ranked departments in fields ranging from neuroscience to geography to philosophy. In 2017, U of T was ranked 13th in the world for the employability of its graduates. U of T alumni are major economic drivers, having founded 190,000 ventures across all major industries, generating hundreds of billions in annual revenues and employing millions of people globally. U of T graduates also include many thousands of distinguished researchers, teachers, creative artists, decision-makers, and persons of influence, including prominent federal, provincial, and municipal politicians, global business leaders, and eminent philanthropists. President Meric Gertler has identified enhancing undergraduate education, deepening international collaboration, and leveraging the University’s position in the Greater Toronto Area – one of the world’s most diverse urban regions – as the University’s top three strategic priorities.


Established in 1827, the University of Toronto today operates in downtown Toronto, Mississauga and Scarborough.
About the University of Toronto Libraries

The University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) system is the largest academic library in Canada and is ranked sixth among peer institutions in North America.  The system consists of 42 libraries located on three university campuses: St. George, Mississauga, and Scarborough. This array of college libraries, special collections, and specialized libraries and information centres supports the teaching and research requirements of over 280 graduate programs, including over 60 professional programs, and about 700 undergraduate degree programs. In addition to more than 15 million volumes in 341 languages, the library system currently provides access to millions of resources in various forms, including, for example, electronic, audio-visual, and geospatial materials. UTL also has over 31,000 linear metres of archival material. More than 150,000 new print volumes are acquired each year. The Libraries’ data centre houses more than 500 servers with a storage capacity of 1.5 petabytes.



The Opportunity

The University of Toronto Library system seeks a visionary, knowledgeable, innovative and experienced library leader to serve in this key position. Reporting to the Chief Librarian of the University of Toronto Libraries, the Associate Chief Librarian for Special Collections and Director, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library has leadership management, policy, planning and implementation responsibilities for rare books, archives, and media collections in the Central Library, and collaborates with the special collections communities in the University of Toronto to serve the research and instructional mission of the University. As a member of the Chief Librarian’s Executive Leadership Council, s/he also plays a key role in advancing the overall strategic goals of the Libraries.




  1. Provides leadership to a dynamic division of more than 35 skilled employees in three departments: Rare books and special collections, University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services, and the Media Commons including media archives. Fosters a culture of innovation, engagement and collaboration, and promotes continuous professional growth and learning at all staff levels.
  2. Advocates for the needs of the libraries in the portfolio to decision-making bodies within the Libraries, at the University and outside the institution. Formulates and implements divisional strategic plans in coordination with library and university-wide planning, and assesses and continuously improves service quality in the division. Prepares statistical, operational and budget reports as required.
  3. Leads a user-centered approach to the acquisition, processing and accessibility of special collections in traditional, digital and emerging formats. Collaborates with department heads in the three departments to build excellent research collections that meet the needs of faculty, students and the broader community both today and in the future, and that enhance the reputation of excellence of the University.
  4. Facilitates use of the collections in university-wide research and teaching at the graduate and undergraduate level. Promotes use of the collections in traditional and new methods of academic research, and through the exhibition program, and social media in broader outreach to the general public. Collaborates with libraries across the University of Toronto to build and promote use of special collections.
  5. Works with facilities administrators to manage the space planning and capital needs of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and the Media Commons housed in the Robarts Library.
  6. Actively builds relationships with collectors and encourages and facilitates gift-in-kind donations of print, archives and media collections. Builds collaborative relationships with researchers, faculty, students, donors and collectors and other communities of interest, with the shared goal of enhancing, preserving and promoting the Library’s world-renowned collections.
  7. Works closely with the Library Advancement team to build a robust program to engage, cultivate, and steward donors and other supporters. Manages disbursements from endowments, and other types of gift and trust funds in accordance with donor and institutional expectations.
  8. Serves as a member of the Chief Librarian’s Executive Leadership Council and participates on other administrative and senior management committees as required.
  9. Represents the Library on issues relevant to the portfolio and supports a leadership role for the University of Toronto Libraries nationally and internationally.

Required Qualifications

  1. A degree from an accredited Master’s level program in library and information studies.
  2. Expertise in at least one area of the portfolio, with the capacity to thoroughly understand the information and service needs in all areas of responsibility.
  3. A person of professional prominence in the fields of rare books, archives, media collections, or digital special collections and in their use in research, teaching and outreach.
  4. Demonstrated leadership abilities. Experience effectively managing and mentoring in changing environments. Capacity to thrive in an environment of change and to nurture that capacity in others.
  5. Demonstrated planning, decision making and problem solving skills. Flexible and able to manage multiple competing priorities in a timely fashion.
  6. Knowledge of best practices and emerging developments in special collections. Demonstrated understanding of the evolving scholarly communications environment and awareness of emerging technologies in support of digital research.
  7. Proven experience engaging stakeholders, including faculty, donors, library staff, students and other groups, in positive collaborative relationships.
  8. Experience developing successful user-centered programs and services such as exhibitions and digitization projects.
  9. Excellent speaking, writing and interpersonal skills.


Preferred Qualifications

  1. An advanced subject degree in a relevant subject area.
  2. At least five to seven years of direct management experience.
  3. Relevant research experience and expertise.
  4. Experience in collegial work environments and experience working in a unionized environment.
  5. Successful record of fund-raising and cultivating donor relations.
  6. Expertise in the legal and financial aspects of gift-in-kind donations.
  7. Experience with planning capital projects and library renovations.
  8. Experience with curation and preservation of born digital materials and records.
  9. Familiarity with the antiquarian book trade and a record of successful collection building.

Salary and Terms of Appointment

Salary and rank based on experience and qualifications. The successful candidate must qualify for appointment at the Librarian III or Librarian IV rank.


NOTE: Librarians at the University of Toronto are members of the University of Toronto Faculty Association.


Application Materials Required: A cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references of which at least two have supervised your work. Please send a single electronic file (MS Word or pdf) with a file name convention of [Surname, FirstName.ACL SpecialCollections] to Library Human Resources at; or to Room 1140, 130 St. George Street, University of Toronto Libraries, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A5; or by fax to (416) 946-5543 by November 4, 2018.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
The University strives to be an equitable and inclusive community, and proactively seeks to increase diversity among its community members. Our values regarding equity and diversity are linked with our unwavering commitment to excellence in the pursuit of our academic mission. The University is committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As such, we strive to make our recruitment, assessment and selection processes as accessible as possible and provide accommodations as required for applicants with disabilities. If you require any accommodations at any point during the application and hiring process, please contact
The University of Toronto Libraries thanks all applicants but will only contact applicants selected for an interview.

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