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  • Head, Archives and Special Collections, Wilfrid Laurier University Deadline: March 15, 2021

Head, Archives and Special Collections, Wilfrid Laurier University Deadline: March 15, 2021

19 Jan 2021 10:23 AM | Anonymous

Head, Archives and Special Collections
Wilfrid Laurier University

Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Compensation: The appointment will be made at a level commensurate with qualifications and experience. Salary, benefits and terms of employment are governed by the Collective Agreement between Wilfrid Laurier University and Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association for Full-time Faculty and Professional Librarians

Wilfrid Laurier University is an institution which prides itself on high-quality education and a close-knit university community. Laurier offers undergraduate and graduate programs through the Faculties of Arts, Education, Human and Social Sciences, Liberal Arts, Music, Science and Social Work, the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, and the through affiliations with Martin Luther University College and the School of International Policy and Governance.

The Laurier Library serves 19,000 students at three campus locations: Waterloo, Kitchener, and Brantford in conjunction with the Brantford Public Library. As part of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) OMNI partnership with 14 University Libraries in Ontario, Laurier students and faculty have easy access to materials from partner libraries.  The Library is undergoing a process of renewal and transformation and the current strategic plan can be found at

Description and Duties    

Wilfrid Laurier University Library is seeking a motivated, innovative, and collaborative leader to join our team in the position of the Head, Archives and Special Collections Department. Reporting to the University Librarian the incumbent will provide strategic leadership, oversight and management for the university's archival program that includes acquisition, appraisal, preservation and access to the University's institutional memory, university records and documents of administrative, legal, fiscal and historical value, private records, rare books, and special collections which focus on the environmental conservation movement in Canada, Lutheranism in Canada, and music in the community. The Head, Archives and Special Collections will establish strategies, processes and workflows for the acquisition, appraisal, processing, archival curation, preservation, and discovery of born-digital and digitized archival materials and special collections. Working in close collaboration with Laurier Development and Alumni Relations, the incumbent will be responsible for donor outreach and stewardship, and will identify and cultivate strong relationships with potential donors to build, maintain and promote donor and alumni relations. The Head, Archives and Special Collections will work with faculty, students, staff and library colleagues to foster broad engagement with the Archives and Special Collections, to encourage increased use and hands-on experience with primary sources in support of research and teaching, and to enable the discovery and use of archival content through the provision and use of sustainable and scalable digital research tools, methods and frameworks. She/he will develop programs to promote Laurier Archives and Special Collections, will prepare archival exhibits, and provide reference and research services.

Duties and responsibilities

•    Provides strategic leadership and oversight for the staff and operations of the Archives and Special Collections Department, including archival and special collection development in both analogue and digital formats; organization, maintenance and preservation of collections; reference and instruction; promotion and outreach services; development of archival digitization projects; cultivation of donor relations; budget management; workflow coordination and human resources management, including student employees.
•    Works collaboratively with the Office of General Counsel, academic departments, campus offices, and related organizations to plan and direct the transfer of University records as well as records of historical interest/value to the Archives, that includes archival record appraisals, establishing inventories and retention schedules to meet the University's legal, fiscal, and vital record keeping obligations.
•    Represents Archives and Special Collections campus-wide and externally and serves as a primary contact with donors, academic and community users and visitors, vendors, library and archival organizations in matters associated with the operation of Laurier Archives and Special Collections.
•    Manages budgets for archival and special collections acquisitions, grants and donations, appraisals, and archival supplies.
•    Appraises, acquires, accessions, arranges, and describes archival fonds. Prepares and supervises the preparation of finding aids for archival fonds, maintains and updates existing finding aids.
•    Develops policies for the appraisal, selection and de-selection of archival and special collections in both analogue and digital formats.
•    Responsible for planning and implementing the physical and descriptive cataloguing and processing of archival and special collections according to established professional standards and practices while ensuring the long-term preservation of the collections.
•    Develops strategies, policies, procedures, and workflows for acquiring, appraising, accessioning, describing, managing, processing, organizing, preserving, and providing access to born-digital and digitized materials.
•    Works in close collaboration with the Head, Digital Initiatives and Digital Projects and Curation Librarian on the integration of technologies, tools, software, and media for appraising, capturing, preserving, and providing access to digital collections, both born-digital and digitized.
•    Oversees the promotion of Laurier's analogue and digital archival collections and services, develops and fosters collaborations and partnerships with key stakeholders in the Library, at the University, as well as in the wider community on outreach events and projects to build awareness of and to enhance access to Laurier Archives and Special Collections.
•    Establishes and maintains relevant best practices, monitors developments and trends in archival practice, including copyright related issues and matters associated with Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
•    Writes grant applications to support archival projects, outreach programming, archival and special collections exhibition and events.
•    As a member of the Library Management Group (LMG), participates in the collaborative management of the library, including strategic planning, administrative coordination that includes policy development, alignment of services and programs with strategic objectives of the Library and the University.
•    Supports teaching by developing and conducting instruction sessions. Collaborates with faculty to integrate archival sources and research into course curricula, creates instructional materials, and delivers classroom instruction.
•    Responsible for archival collection maintenance and participates in space planning, including planning for remote storage.
•    Advances professional development through scholarship, publication and participation in professional organizations.


•    ALA-accredited Master's degree in Archival or Library Studies, or equivalent.
•    At least five years' experience as an archivist or librarian in an archival setting, with increasing levels of responsibility (e.g. managing projects, resources, staff, budgets).
•    Experience with all aspects of archival operations, including understanding of contemporary archival practices, issues, standards, trends, donor relations, grant writing, disaster planning and management, and emerging technologies.
•    Demonstrated knowledge of best practices, trends and issues in archives and in developing, managing and preserving born-digital and digitized content.
•    Knowledge of Canadian copyright, privacy, and accessibility standards and legislation.
•    Proven record of successful project management, with a demonstrated ability to initiate and advance projects to successful completion working collaboratively with a wide variety of stakeholders.
•    Experience with metadata content, structure and preservation standards such as Dublin Core, MARC, OAIS model, XML.
•    Experience providing reference services, with a demonstrated user-centered service philosophy and client focus.
•    Experience planning and delivering instruction.
•    Knowledge of technologies related to digitization, digital records and archives management, curation and preservation.
•    Strong computer literacy, the ability to learn new technologies quickly, and excellent technical troubleshooting ability.
•    Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
•    Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to successfully lead and collaborate with diverse groups of colleagues, faculty, students, and staff.
•    Successful experience in donor relations and building external community relationships.
•    Excellent oral and written communication skills including successful grant writing experience.
•    Demonstrated ability to take initiative and to develop creative ideas.
•    Demonstrated ability to manage a varied workload and to work in a changing environment
•    Demonstrated understanding of, and commitment to, diversity and equity, including archival decolonization and Indigenization.
•    Evidence or promise of scholarly and/or professional activity.


•    Work experience in an academic library.
•    Experience using digital content management systems (e.g. Archivematica, Drupal).
•    Experience hiring, training, and supervising employees.
•    Demonstrated effective experience in a management or leadership position.
•    Master's degree in a related discipline

Application information

Please email application package that includes cover letter, resume, along with the names and contact information of three references, in a single Word or PDF file, by March 15, 2021 to:

Gohar Ashoughian
University Librarian
Wilfrid Laurier University

If you are applying to this posting through the Wilfrid Laurier website you will be asked to upload your file directly and therefore do not need to also send your file to as noted above.

If you are unable to apply using one file please connect with Jennifer Knechtel at who can assist you.

Diversity and creating a culture of inclusion is a key pillar of Wilfrid Laurier University's Strategic Academic Plan and is one of Laurier's core values. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from qualified members of the equity seeking groups. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programming at Laurier are welcome to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Candidates from other equity seeking groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programming at Laurier are welcome to contact Equity and Accessibility at

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, as per Canadian immigration laws, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. To comply with the Government of Canada's reporting requirements, the University is obligated to gather information about applicants' status as either Permanent Residents of Canada or Canadian citizens. Applicants need not identify their country of origin or current citizenships, however, all applicants must include one of the following statements in their cover letter:

Yes, I am a current citizen or permanent resident of Canada;

No, I am not a current citizen or permanent resident of Canada

Members of designated groups must self-identify to be considered for employment equity. Candidates may self-identify, in confidence, to: Jennifer Knechtel ( Further information on the equity policy can be found at .

To obtain a copy of this job description in an accessible format, please contact Jennifer Knechtel (

The Library wishes to thank all applicants for their interest. All nominations and applications shall be reviewed and considered under a set of criteria established by the Search Committee and a short list of candidates shall be interviewed. Only those applicants selected for the short list will be contacted.

Application Webpage:
Application Deadline:  March 15, 2021

Job Poster: 86589542_head_archives_and_special_collections-wilfrid_laurier_university.pdf

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