Data Reference Services Librarian

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Created: October 21, 2014


Primary Purpose of Position:  To co-ordinate and lead the delivery of data reference services in the library to support teaching, learning and research activities at McGill University.

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Provide training to librarians on data-related information services, resources and problem-solving approaches to handle data-related reference questions.
  • Provide guidance to librarians in answering advanced or unusual data-related questions from patrons.
  • Assist librarians in updating and maintaining subject guides to include applicable data information sources.
  • Assist Collection Services staff in the acquisition, cataloguing and preparation of data for users (e.g., creating metadata for available datasets).
  • Work with Digital Initiatives to create and maintain a portal or service to facilitate user access various types of data.
  • Review data-related contracts and licenses to identify, and where necessary, escalate and resolve compliance issues for access to numeric data services
  • Develop and maintain awareness on best practices related to data collection, management and use within the academic library field.
  • Act as the representative to and provide internal support for the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) project.
  • Participate in the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) metadata project.
  • Attend various Library, local, national and/or international data organization forums and/or meetings and represent the Library as required.
  • Participate in the general planning and policy development of the unit, in support of the Library’s strategic directions.
Reporting relationship: The Data Reference Services Librarian reports to the Associate Dean, User Services.

  • ALA-accredited Master of Library of Information Science degree or equivalent. Equivalent combinations of training and experience may be considered.
  • Effective analytical, problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Expertise with numeric data information sources, resources and uses for one or more disciplines and willingness/interest in adding others.
  • Experience with common qualitative and quantitative research methods, descriptive statistics and data analysis tools & techniques.
  • Ability to develop and deliver training for both technical skills (e.g., creating Pivot Tables in Excel) and problem-solving skills (e.g., approaches to data) to a variety of users, including librarians, students, staff and faculty.
  • Exposure to or familiarity with common data manipulation/analysis software tools, including such as: GIS (e.g., ESRI ArcGIS), Quantitative and Qualitative Statistics (e.g., SPSS, SAS, STATA, NVivo, R), Databases & SQL (e.g., Microsoft Excel/Access/SQLServer, PostGRE), Data Visualization tools (e.g., Microsoft Excel Mapflow, Tableau), Data Delivery Systems (e.g., Equinox), Data Extraction/Transformation/Loading tools (e.g., OpenRefine).
  • Familiarity with government documents and common data-related metadata standards, such as the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI).
  • Ability to handle multiple concurrent projects and redefine priorities in a rapidly shifting environment.
  • Understanding of scholarly communication issues and trends.
  • Demonstrated commitment to user service.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Creative and analytical thinking skills and good problem solving ability.
  • Demonstrated project management skills both as a leader, and group member.
  • Working knowledge of French an asset.

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:42 UTC