Latest Faculty of Information Jobs

Virtual Reference Operator

Closes on Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL)
Toronto, ON
Part Time

Virtual Reference Operator

September 2019 – April 2020

5-7 hours per week (flexible)


The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) is seeking library or information studies students (MLIS/MI) and recent graduates interested in providing English-language academic reference assistance through our virtual reference service, Ask a Librarian.

Each shift, virtual reference operators provide chat-based reference help to students alongside library staff from 16 participating Ontario universities. These reference sessions can be fulfilled from any location, as long as you have a computer and Internet access. Operators receive training in the principles of chat reference and academic research strategies, facilitated by experienced academic librarians working throughout OCUL.

Virtual reference operators will be expected to work between 5-7 hours per week on evenings and weekends during the fall and winter semesters (September 2019 – April 2020). Shifts can be scheduled to accommodate school or other commitments.

NOTE: OCUL is also seeking bilingual (English / French) virtual reference operators to work on the French version of Ask a Librarian, called Clavardez avec nos bibliothécaires. A separate job posting is available for this position on the University of Toronto’s iSchool jobsite and the OCUL website. Interested candidates who meet the qualifications are welcome to apply for either position.



  • Current student or recent graduate (2017 or later) of a Masters-level program in library or information studies (MLIS/MI)
  • Current students must have completed an introductory course in reference or public service
  • Familiarity with a range of research tools and resources, including library catalogues, databases, e-resources, research guides, and publicly available Internet resources
  • Excellent English-language verbal and written communication skills
  • Work is performed within the province of Ontario


  • Experience working in hospitality, public service, or a library environment (academic library experience preferred)
  • Experience providing in-person reference assistance or virtual reference services
  • Ability to work weekends



How to apply:

Please send a cover letter and CV highlighting relevant library or public service experience and courses completed to Guinsly Mondésir ( with the subject line “Virtual Reference Operator application.”

Application deadline:

May 14, 2019

We thank all applicants for their interest in the position. However, only those who are selected for further consideration will be contacted.

OCUL is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier free recruitment process to applicants with accessibility needs in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).  If you require an accommodation during this process, please inform COU of your requirements.

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