Senior Director - Digital Initiatives

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Created: March 19, 2013


Appointment:  Tenure track, Assistant or Associate Librarian depending upon experience
Duration:  Initial three-year appointment with possibility for renewal
Salary:  Commensurate with experience

The McGill University Library seeks a forward-thinking, collaborative and energetic leader with a keen sense of the evolving 21st century research library, to provide leadership and coordinate the digital library initiatives and programs for the McGill Library.

Reporting to the Trenholme Dean of Libraries, the Senior Director, Digital Initiatives will work collaboratively with university faculty and administration to develop and advance digital initiative programs including web-based services, information technologies, programs supporting the integration of digital collections, and digital library services. The Senior Director, Digital Initiatives supervises 14 staff, including librarians and IT professionals. The McGill Library promotes innovation in service, has organized services into a single service point and is open, based upon user demand. McGill Library operates in a culture of assessment, risk taking and welcoming of change in a rapidly developing information world.


The Library takes as its motto: Information  Innovation  Service to demonstrate its commitment to the delivery of innovative information products, services and programs of the highest quality focused on user needs and supportive 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.

McGill Library has the largest collection in Quebec and is one of Canada’s largest academic libraries with a collection of over 6 million volumes and 80,000 online serials and databases. The library is a member of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Conférence des recteurs et principaux des universités du Québec (CRÉPUQ), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and is the first Canadian member of the HathiTrust Digital Library.


Information about the University and the McGill Library is at the University’s web site ( and  As a tenured stream appointee, the successful candidate is expected to devote himself /herself to the full range of academic duties as defined in the Regulations Relating to the Employment of Librarian Staff (

Primary Purpose of Position

To provide leadership and to work collaboratively with university faculty and administration to develop and advance digital initiative programs including web-based services, information technologies and programs supporting the integration of digital collections and digital library services. 

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Participating as a member of the senior  management  in McGill Library’s overall planning and policy development in the support of the university’s strategic plan.

• Setting policy for digital initiatives and programs.

• Participating in the recruitment, selection, deployment, development and evaluation of staff. Providing efficient and effective management and leadership of the library technology service to ensure the operational efficiency of day-to-day service delivery of approximately 14 librarians and staff.

• Actively participating in local, provincial, national and international efforts to integrate and standardize digital library resources and services.
• Coordinating marketing and promotion of digital library projects and services.
• Gathering data and writing reports as needed for decision and policy making within the library. Monitoring performance and quality through the collection of appropriate metrics, benchmarking and the application of quality assurance procedures.

• Evaluating arrangements and opportunities for contracting out services and managing service level agreements or contracts with providers of information and communications technology support services, hardware and software, ensuring appropriate management of relevant software licenses.

• Participating on Library and University committees dealing with information technology.
• Collaborating with Library staff and University community on digital library initiatives.
• Monitoring expenditure against targeted budget forecasts.

• Pursuing grants and other outside funding and collaboration opportunities for digital initiatives.
• Ensuring appropriate management of the Library’s integrated library management system various database applications, and other   mission critical software and systems within the Library.

• Ensuring appropriate information technology hardware, software, facilities, training and support is provided for all library staff and users.

• Representing the Library and the Trenholme Dean of Libraries as appropriate, and particularly on information and communications technology committees across the University.

• Ensuring fair and equitable treatment of staff, in accordance with the University's policies and procedures.


The Senior Director, Digital Initiatives reports to the Trenholme Dean of the Libraries and is a member of the Dean’s Cabinet.


1. A graduate degree in a related field, e.g., computer science, information science, information technology management, library and information studies.
2. A doctoral degree in a closely related area with research emphasis on digital libraries preferred.
3. Minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience in a user-centred service organization, with a minimum of 5 years of management and supervisory experience that demonstrates success in managing, motivating and leading complex, technology-driven teams.
4. Experience in or demonstrated understanding of academic or research library environments.
5. Substantive knowledge of digital assets and the technical infrastructure required for their life-cycle management, including metadata requirements and preservation.
6. Knowledge of library systems, digital libraries, and digital repositories.
7. Familiarity with modern software development methodologies and technologies.
8. Proven ability to manage complex, long-term projects, and flexibility in meeting objectives and implementing creative solutions.
9. Demonstrated service commitment and success in user-centered service delivery.
10. Excellent analytical and communication skills. Bilingual English and French highly desired.
11. Proven success in collaboration and strategic partnering at a regional level.
12. A strong commitment to diversity and inclusion both in supporting a diverse workforce and serving the needs of a diverse population.
13. Demonstrated awareness of and commitment to equity principles, organizational ethics, and knowledge of occupational health and safety policies and requirements

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 April 18, 2013 to:

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


Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:54 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:45 UTC