• Post Date:February 17, 2020
  • Apply Before: April 17, 2020
  • Views 61
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Job Description

Simon Fraser University Library invites applications for the one-year term position of Acting Head of the Research Commons.

Reporting to the Associate Dean, Learning and Research Services, this position provides leadership for a busy, dynamic division primarily serving SFU graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty working across disciplines at all campus locations.

This position offers a leadership opportunity that will be attractive to candidates with excellent communication and planning skills and those who are highly motivated to provide innovative and responsive services to faculty and students.


We acknowledge the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) peoples, on whose traditional territories Simon Fraser University’s three campuses stand. By recognizing the Unceded Traditional Coast Salish territories, we aspire to create space for reconciliation through dialogue and decolonizing practices.

Ranked by respected national surveys as one of Canada’s top three comprehensive universities for the past 20 years, Simon Fraser University has also been consistently named one of British Columbia’s Top Employers in recent years, as well as one of Canada’s Top 100 employers, and one of Canada’s top family-friendly employers. SFU offers more than 100 undergraduate major and joint major programs and more than 45 graduate offerings, spanning many disciplines in eight faculties, and has an international reputation for its innovative interdisciplinary and professional programs. The main W.A.C. Bennett Library is located on the Burnaby campus, while the Samuel and Frances Belzberg Library is on the Vancouver campus, and Fraser Library is at SFU Surrey.

The SFU Library is known for the development and implementation of innovative technology, leadership in Open Access, and excellent in-person and online user services. We serve an ethnically diverse student population, most of whom live off-campus and work part-time while attending university. SFU Library collaborates broadly with other institutions through membership in the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, and regional consortia. For more information, see our web site at

SFU Library’s Research Commons fosters an empowered and transformative research culture that is collaborative, creative, and cross-disciplinary. Librarians and staff partner with faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows to build capacity, community and expertise. 

The SFU Library commits to a continuous process of transformation to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion and to serve the cause of social justice. The Library’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion provides more information.


The Acting Head of the Research Commons reports to the Associate Dean of Libraries, Learning and Research Services and is responsible for the leadership and management of the Research Commons, which includes librarians, the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL), Knowledge Mobilization Initiative, and Thesis Office. The Acting Head will work closely with and be supported by staff in many Library divisions.  This position also works closely with other SFU units such as Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, SFU’s Big Data Hub, and the Office of Research Ethics, Career Services, and Health & Counseling. A key factor in the success of the SFU Library is collaboration and teamwork at every level.

  • Provide strategic leadership, operational oversight, and coordination for the activities of the Research Commons across all campus locations;
  • Forecast, administer, and strategically manage the Research Commons budget;
  • In collaboration with Library staff and campus partners, plan, manage, and administer ongoing Research Commons and DHIL programming including scholarly writing support, research skills, support for qualitative and quantitative data analysis, GIS data support, and scholarly communication support including author rights, impact assessment, and academic online presence;
  • Enact the equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments of the Library and University through programs and services offered by the Research Commons;
  • Recruit, hire, train, mentor, and develop staff, including conducting annual performance reviews;
  • Maintain partnerships with SFU’s Big Data Hub in collaboration with colleagues from the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab and Research Data Management teams;
  • Advance SFU’s Knowledge Mobilization Initiative in collaboration with staff and faculty partners;
  • Serve as an active member of Library and University committees including the Strategic Planning Leadership Committee;
  • Participate in planning and development activities for the Library;
  • Manage and maintain user-centered services for students submitting a thesis or capstone project to the University;
  • Promote Research Commons programs and services to graduate students and other stakeholders; 
  • Participate in appropriate professional activities at the local, regional, or national level;
  • Advance the values and goals outlined in the Library’s Strategic Plan.

Of particular significance to this Acting Head role is the opening of a new Research Commons location at the SFU Vancouver campus, anticipated for Fall 2020.


  • Master’s degree in Library or Information Studies from an ALA accredited program, or its equivalent;
  • Minimum of 5 years professional library experience including supervisory or leadership experience;
  • Ability to lead a collegial team to build successful partnerships;
  • Ability to work in a complex environment by establishing priorities and maintaining a balance between short and long-term goals;
  • Ability to advance SFU’s and SFU Library’s mandate to Indigenize and decolonize our programs and services, guided by the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council’s report Walk This Path With Us and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action
  • Ability to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion and to serve the cause of social justice at the Library and SFU;
  • Ability to develop, coordinate, and promote user-focused library services for a diverse population of faculty and graduate students in a busy research environment;
  • Understanding of research methodologies, funding systems, and the support needs of researchers in a broad range of disciplines;
  • Ability to use discretion, tact, and good judgement in advancing the goals of the unit and of SFU Library;
  • Excellent interpersonal and intercultural communication skills, both oral and written;
  • Superior problem solving skills with an attention to detail. 



This is a full time term Library Division Head position, beginning August 10, 2020 and ending August 31, 2021.  Interview dates are anticipated in April 2020.

Librarians and Division Heads are members of the SFU Faculty Association. Terms, conditions and benefits of employment are outlined in the Collective Agreement:

The successful applicant will be appointed at a Division Head salary level commensurate with their experience and qualifications. As of 30 June 2019, the SFU Library Division Head salary range is $100,322 to $132,002.  Full SFU Librarian salary scales can be viewed here:

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Simon Fraser University is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from qualified candidates of all genders, visible minorities, persons of First Nations, Inuit, or Métis heritage, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2SIA+ identified persons.

Under the authority of the University Act, personal information that is required by the University for academic appointment competitions will be collected. For further details see:


To be given assured consideration applications must be submitted by email in one consolidated PDF document with cover letter and curriculum vitae by 9:00 am Pacific time on March 16, 2020 to:

Susie Smith                                                        Phone: 778-782-4658

Library Management Office                        Fax: 778-782-3023

W.A.C. Bennett Library                                  Email: [email protected]

Simon Fraser University