Discovery Systems Librarian

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Created: July 25, 2018




Discovery Systems Librarian

Digital Initiatives


Assistant Librarian or Associate Librarian (tenure track)

Duration:  three years, with possibility of renewal

Salary minimum:  salary commensurate with experience

Posting number: 18-AL9885-10



The McGill Library seeks a technically-minded, collaborative, user-centred and highly motivated individual for the position of Discovery Systems Librarian. This member of the McGill Library & Archives Digital Initiatives department will contribute to the overall management of the Library’s discovery layer(s) and Library Services Platform, support the integration of these systems with others, and serve as lead in designing, implementing, and maintaining additional tools for user discovery and inventory of Library-managed resources.





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 Library is committed to the delivery of innovative information products, services and programs of the highest quality focused on client needs in support of the University's strategic mission and directions. The Library proactively supports the teaching, learning and research needs of faculty and students to ensure that the university’s strategic mission of excellence as a research intensive, student-centred university, is satisfied. Collection building is based upon the premise of preference for electronic versions. We are actively planning for a library catalogue migration to a Library Services Platform, a new collections management facility, and a re-imagined research library of the future.




Information about the University and the McGill Library can be found on the University’s web site ( and  As a tenure stream appointee, the successful candidate is expected to satisfy the requirements in the Regulations Relating to the Employment of Librarian Staff




Serves as a key player in management of the Library’s discovery layer(s) and Library Services Platform, together with relevant staff from other library units and appropriate library committees and working groups. Manages design, testing, deployment, and maintenance of other discovery-related and inventory systems including those built with APIs from vendors. Supports other selected systems managed in Digital Initiatives.


Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


·        Manage selected back end Library Services Platform (LSP), discovery, and inventory system configurations, such as loan periods, holds, and fines.


·        Test new functionality and systems upgrades for LSP, discovery layer, and locally managed discovery and inventory systems; communicate with staff on changes.


·        Manage integration of LSP with self checks and other peripheral equipment.


·        Implement customizations for layout and wording in configurable areas of the relevant systems, such as notices and error messages.


·        Troubleshoot problems reported with discovery-related and inventory systems.


·        File problem reports with system vendors or local development staff; follow up with both system provider and individuals reporting problems on resolutions; track reported problems internally.


·        Oversee outage communication with selected vendors, staff, and users


·        Provide feedback to vendors and open source development communities on development priorities.


·        Coordinate staff training and staff and user documentation on LSP, discovery layer, inventory, and locally managed discovery systems.


·        Serve as project manager for systems design and implementation of discovery and inventory tools using vendor APIs and other selected technology projects.


·        Provide overall support to staff using the LSP and locally-managed discovery and inventory systems.


·        Liaise with hospitals and other partner libraries on LSP and discovery layer.


·        Serve on Borrowing Advisory Committee.


·        Maintain an active and up-to-date awareness of initiatives and offerings in area of expertise, and apply this knowledge to local work.


·        May occasionally be required to work non-standard hours for system implementation and upgrades, and/or resolve system issues.


Reporting relationship


The position reports to the Associate Dean, Digital Initiatives.







1.       ALA-accredited master’s degree in library or information science or equivalent.

2.       Demonstrated experience with configuration and staff views of library management system components, including integrated library systems, library services platforms, and discovery layers.

3.       Deep knowledge of metadata standards and protocols used in modern library management systems and on the horizon, including MARC, BIBFRAME, holdings data, KBART, Dublin Core, Linked Data, RDF, and OAI-PMH.

4.      Experience writing new code in at least one programming or scripting language.

5.      Experience with HTML and CSS.

6.      Familiarity with XML and XSLT.

7.      Experience manipulating large data sets.

8.       Demonstrated project management skills for technical and service design initiatives, including ability to follow up on unresolved issues.

9.       Highly developed oral and written skills and ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Ability to effectively explain technical concepts in non-technical terms.

10.    Ability to interact productively and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including academics, technology staff, and public services staff.

11.    Creative and analytical thinking skills and good problem solving ability, especially for identifying and resolving systems problems.



13.    Ability to effectively participate in Quebec-wide committee work conducted primarily in French.

14.    Experience with Unix or Linux, and common Unix-based systems tools such as Cron jobs.

15.    Familiarity with authentication credential systems such as Shibboleth, Active Directory, and/or LDAP.

16.    Experience building services using HTTP-based software APIs.





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 August 20, 2018, as one (1) .pdf document. Please indicate the number of the posting (18-AL9885-03) on the letter of interest and on the subject line of the email.


Isabelle Roberge

Office of theDean 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

How to apply


Isabelle Roberge

Office of theDean of Libraries

McGill University

3459 McTavish Street

Montreal, Qc H3A 1Y1

Fax: (514) 398-3561



Published: Thursday, July 26, 2018 04:29 UTC

Last updated: Thursday, July 26, 2018 04:29 UTC