Head, Digital Initiatives

Waterloo ON Canada
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Created: February 8, 2019


The University of Waterloo Library seeks a creative and collegial Head, Digital Initiatives. Reporting to the Associate University Librarian, Collections, Technology, and Scholarly Communication, the incumbent will lead the department of six staff that has responsibilities for web development, discovery and access, digital curation and preservation, scholarly communication, and business analytics. The successful candidate will have a clear vision for web services, digital preservation, and scholarly communication and publishing services in academic libraries.

The Digital Initiatives department supports proprietary and open source software, both locally hosted and cloud-based. Currently, key systems include the library website with custom modules (Drupal/Waterloo Content Management System), institutional repository UWSpace (DSpace), the Waterloo Digital Library(Islandora), Open Journals @ uWaterloo (OJS), library services platform (Voyager), catalogue (Primo), finding aids (AtoM), and business analytics (Cognos). We are currently working on migrating Voyager and Cognos to the Alma platform and moving Primo to Primo VE, along with 12 Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) partners, with a go-live date of December 10, 2019. The incumbent will be part of the core implementation team at Waterloo.

Digital Initiatives also supports database-driven projects and automation initiatives. The department works closely with Library Technology and Facilities Services (LTFS) and campus Information Systems and Technology (IST) to bring projects into fruition and ensure ongoing support and maintenance.

The Library is taking a strategic review of its research and digital scholarship services and is highly engaged as the university develops a new strategic plan. The Library supports many campus priorities including student wellnesssustainability, and the development of Indigenous initiatives, recognizing the responsibility of truth and reconciliation as outlined in the 94 Calls To Action.

The University of Waterloo Library is a member of OCUL, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), and the Tri-University Group of Libraries (TUG). The Library is transiting towards enhanced collaboration on a shared library platform through the OCUL Collaborative Futures project.

The successful candidate will be responsible for:

  • Fostering a collegial and collaborative environment
  • Mentoring, coaching, developing and directing staff
  • Providing proactive leadership and oversight for the Library’s locally developed and hosted web and digital services
  • Providing forward-looking operational leadership for the Library’s web presence and to its web team
  • Working collaboratively to develop digitization, digital asset, and data management strategies, policies, standards and procedures that support discovery, access, management, storage and preservation of the Library’s digital assets and resources
  • Working with the Head, Library Technology & Facilities Services to develop, review and recommend production and test computing environments and plans to meet library and departmental needs
  • Leading and coordinating cross-departmental projects
  • Serving as a member of the Library Managers Group

For a full job description see: Head, Digital Initiatives (PDF)


  • ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS degree, or equivalent years of library experience plus advanced academic credentials
  • Demonstrated progressive responsibility and experience in leadership and management with a proven track record of achievement and success in a library setting, including staff development and coaching
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a service oriented environment, which values collaboration and collegiality, including interacting in a respectful and sensitive manner
  • Demonstrated ability to lead change, and to identify and evaluate new opportunities effectively and efficiently
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, coordinate, and implement effective projects
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current information technology standards and developments in libraries and higher education
  • Knowledge and understanding of emergent and best practices, standards, issues and trends relating to web technologies and digital initiatives in the library environment
  • Knowledge of web information architecture and usability best practices
  • Knowledge and understanding of library enterprise applications such as integrated library systems, discovery systems, and electronic resource management systems
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices for digital preservation
  • Familiarity with data and metadata standards prevalent in libraries
  • Familiarity with scholarly communication and publishing, including research data curation and management, in academic libraries
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Evidence of professional contributions in the LIS community
  • Asset: knowledge of business intelligence and analytics packages and their use in libraries


The salary for this position will be commensurate with experience and qualifications within the University Support Group (USG) level 13 salary. Hiring range:  $83,875 - $104,844

Additional information:

We welcome interested candidates to connect directly with Alison Hitchens, Associate University Librarian, Collections, Technology, and Scholarly Communication, to learn more about this exciting position. Alison may be reached at +1-519-888-4567 ext. 35980 or by email at ahitchen@uwaterloo.ca.

Librarians' Employment Handbook (PDF): This document outlines the rules and procedures around promotion and professional development.

To apply:

To apply go to external opportunities at Careers at Waterloo.

Deadline for applications: for assured consideration, applications should be received by March 21, 2019.

Employment equity: The University respects, appreciates and encourages diversity. We invite applications from all interested applicants. Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada will be given priority.

Interviews are expected to be held beginning in mid to late April 2019.

Waterloo has spawned thousands of commercial and social enterprises, is home to the world's largest co-operative education program and boasts a uniquely entrepreneurial culture that encourages experimentation and risk-taking.  The result is an outstanding learning and research experience for more than 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada — the anchor of Canada’s innovation corridor.

University of Waterloo — Canada’s top innovation university — is a research powerhouse and the engine of one of the world’s leading start-up ecosystems. Offering world-class scholarship and research, combined with unparalleled experience-based education, Waterloo builds a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow.

For more information about Waterloo, please visit the University of Waterloo website. 

Acknowledgment of traditional territory

We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of  the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometres on each side of the Grand River. 

How to apply


Alison Hitchens, Associate University Librarian, Collections, Technology, and Scholarly Communication +1-519-888-4567 ext. 35980; ahitchen@uwaterloo.ca.

Scholarly publishing Library assessment Integrated library system Scholarly communication Digital library Library technology Management


Submitted by: ahitchens

Published: Friday, February 8, 2019 19:25 UTC