Head Librarian

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

Job Description

Assistant Librarian (tenure track) or Associate Librarian (tenured)
Duration: three years, with possibility of renewal
Salary minimum: salary commensurate with experience
Posting number: 18-AL9880-01

The McGill Library seeks an enthusiastic librarian committed to providing excellent reference services, research consultations, outreach, instruction services, and collection development for the Schulich School of Music. As Head of the Marvin Duchow Music Library, this position is also responsible for the overall management of the library, its programs and services, for building the collections and for supervising the

The Head Librarian will plan strategically to anticipate future library and user requirements, proactively developing creative new services and building collections that meet our users’ changing needs. The Head Librarian will be current with professional and scholarly activities impacting music scholarship and be able to apply this knowledge to have a significant, positive impact on the Schulich School of Music and the University’s community.


Within sight of one of Frederick Olmsted’s great urban parks, Mount Royal, McGill University is consistently cited as one of the world’s top universities and has been ranked first among Canada’s medical-doctoral universities by Maclean’s magazine for ten consecutive years. Established in 1821, and one of only two Canadian members of the Association of American Universities, (AAU), McGill University is located in Montreal, one of North America’s great urban centres. The University has been named one of the city’s Top Employers for the seventh consecutive year.

McGill Library & Archives has the largest collection in Quebec and is one of Canada’s largest academic libraries with over five million monograph titles and 100,000 e-journals and databases. The Library is a member of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI, formerly CRÉPUQ), and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and is the first Canadian member of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

The Schulich School of Music of McGill University embodies the highest international standards of excellence in post-secondary music education. It brings together multiple research paradigms for the study, performance, and creation of many different kinds of music. Programs up to the doctoral level feature professional training in composition, orchestral performance, opera, jazz, early and contemporary music as well as research in musicology, theory, music education, sound recording and music technology. The School combines training in performance equal to that of the top conservatories, with humanities scholarship equal to the best research universities, and science and technology equal to that of the great technical universities. The library also supports a research institute, the Centre for Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT), that brings together researchers from across Quebec and beyond.

Located on three floors of the Elizabeth Wirth Music Building, the Marvin Duchow Music Library is one of the most important academic music collections in Canada. The collection consists of approximately 300,000 musical scores, sound and video recordings, music books and journals, as well as online resources representing all formats. One of six branches of the McGill Library system, the Music Library provides resources and services to support the performance, composition, research, and teaching programs of the Schulich School of Music.

Facilities include a collection of historical recording and playback equipment and multiple special collections (, an audio archive, four seminar rooms, a music student computer room, a large circulating collection of audio and video production equipment, the McGill Concert Recordings Database of audio and video recording of the large ensemble concerts since 2008 (, an Audio Archive of historical sound recordings and The Open Lab, a circulating collection of equipment of audio and video production equipment.


 Information about the University and the McGill Library can be found on the University’s web site ( and Information about the Schulich School of Music can be found at; about the Marvin Duchow Music library at

As a tenure stream appointee, the successful candidate is expected to satisfy the requirements in the Regulations Relating to the Employment of Librarian Staff that can be found here:

The appointment to this senior administrative position is for a term of three years, renewable.


Under the general direction of the Associate Dean, User Services, the Head Librarian is responsible for working closely with administration, faculty, and students at the Schulich School of Music to support all aspects of learning, teaching, research, and performance; providing overall management and policy guidance; developing, implementing, and participating in service programs; hiring, developing, and evaluating personnel; overseeing development and maintenance of the Marvin Duchow Music Library collections; and contributing to the achievement of McGill Library’s objectives and the fulfillment of the McGill Library’s strategic plan and the Schulich School of Music’s vision. The Head Librarian is responsible for building effective relationships with faculty and students, and collaborations with campus and community groups and institutions and for working closely with administration, faculty, and students at the Schulich School of Music to support all aspects of learning, teaching, research, and performance.

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Provides leadership to a dynamic team of employees. Fosters a culture of innovation, engagement and collaboration, and promotes continuous professional growth and learning at all staff levels.
• Has overall responsibility for the administration of Library service programs including collection development, reference, instruction, circulation, which includes the circulating collection of audio and video production equipment and various databases, reserves and services such as the Student Computer Room.
• Responsible for the management and supervision of the dynamic staff. Supervises, trains, and evaluates the Liaison Librarian and is secondary supervisor to a team of specialized Library Assistants and casual employees.
• Leads a user-centered approach to the acquisition, processing and accessibility of special/music collections in traditional, digital and emerging formats. Develop the special collections and archives according to professional standards. Builds and maintains excellent research collections that meet the needs of faculty, students and the broader music community both today and in the future, and that enhance the reputation of excellence of the University.
• 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 wider music community. Collaborates units across the McGill University or the Library system to build and promote use of special collections.
• Responsible for outreach to faculty and students in conjunction with Liaison Librarian. Ensures that the Marvin Duchow Music Library’s primary clientele is provided with quality collection development, reference and research assistance, instruction, and other appropriate services and support.
• May participate in user education activities as part of the Library’s’ instructional programs.
• Maintains an awareness of current developments and trends in information and audio technologies and their impacts on music education and library services.
• Facilitates good communication and a positive work environment among Marvin Duchow Music Library staff.
• Maintains positive, effective, and collaborative working relationships with faculty and staff in the Schulich School of Music.
• Works with facilities administrators to manage the space planning and capital needs of Marvin Duchow Music Library.
• 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.
• As a unit head, maintains a broad understanding of the Library’s operations, policies, priorities, and objectives. Assists in the development and achievement of these by participating in Library initiatives as appropriate. Facilitates communication among Marvin Duchow Music Library staff and other Library’s units.
• Represents Marvin Duchow Music Library users and services within the Library. Actively contributes to discussions and planning for Library policies, programs, and services.

Reporting relationship
The position reports to the Associate Dean, User Services.



1. Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) or equivalent ALA-accredited degree.
2. A minimum of five years post-MLIS professional academic library experience in a music library, with
evidence of increased responsibilities.
3. A strong academic background or advanced degree in Music.
4. Demonstrated leadership skills. Relevant administrative, managerial and supervisory experience in an
academic music library setting. 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. Demonstrated commitment to diversity and understanding of the contributions a diverse workforce
brings to the workplace.
7. Evidence of a strong customer service focus and a passion for providing excellent reference and
information services to users.
8. Experience in providing information literacy instruction or other instruction experience.
9. Collection development and management experience in an academic music library.
10. Evidence of ability to work independently and with others in a demanding and rapidly changing
environment where consultation, collaboration, and cooperation are essential.
11. Demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills evidenced by the ability to establish and maintain
effective working relationships with colleagues, faculty, staff, and students.
12. Evidence of strong written and oral communication skills in English.
13. Proven ability to provide leadership for enhancing library collections, operations, and user-centered
14. Proven experience engaging stakeholders, including faculty, donors, library staff, students and other
groups, in positive collaborative relationships and a proven ability to work with others in a team
15. Experience developing successful innovative and user-centered programs and services such as
exhibitions and digitization projects.
16. Understanding of the new digital audio technologies used in sound recording, video, composition,
and research.
17. Solid working knowledge of one or more languages, preferably French, German, Italian or Spanish.
18. Ability to assume liaison/subject specialist responsibility for music collection.


19. Bilingual (English/French)
20. Experience in collegial work environments and experience working in a unionized environment.
21. Successful record of fundraising and cultivating donor relations.
22. Experience with curation and preservation of born digital materials and records.

How to Apply

Applications should address the above selection criteria, be accompanied by a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses of three referees and should be submitted by October 1,
2018, as one (1) .pdf document. Please indicate the number of the posting (18-AL9880-01) on the letter of interest and on the subject line of the email. Consideration of applications will commence on October
1, 2018
and will continue until the position is filled.

Isabelle Roberge
Office of the Trenholme Dean of Libraries
McGill University
3459 McTavish Street
Montreal, Qc H3A 1Y1
Fax: (514) 398-3561

McGill University is committed to diversity and equity in employment. It welcomes applications from: women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, visible minorities, and others who may contribute to diversification. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

JOb Categories

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/musiclib/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/caldera-easy-pods/classes/caldera-forms.php on line 389

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/musiclib/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/caldera-easy-pods/classes/caldera-forms.php on line 389