Information Specialist, Archives and Special Collections Access, Libraries and Cultural Resources

Website The University of Calgary

Full Job Description

Position Overview

Libraries and Cultural Resources invites applications for an Information Specialist. This Full-time Fixed position is for approximately 5 years (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

Reporting to the Director, Access Services for Archives and Special Collections and working in close collaboration with staff in Archives and Special Collections, other Libraries and Cultural Resources Units, and external library and archival institutions, this position has responsibilities to provide in-depth reference and information services for Archives and Special Collections researchers; support access of archival materials through arrangement, description, and processing activities; contribute to intellectual control of these collections; and support Archives and Special Collections and LCR events and exhibitions.

The incumbent will work as part of the Archives & Special Collections Access Unit working independently and as a collaborative member of a busy team. This work requires excellent time management skills to balance competing tasks and priorities.

The work is partly conducted in an open office area subject to disruptions, and in a public reference area requiring a high level of autonomy, judgment and discretion in delivering information services and primary source literacy initiatives, and in applying policies affecting researchers and donors, using strong communication, teaching, organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills. There are occasional high levels of stress relating to deadlines necessitated by donation, orientation, or exhibit processes. There may be occasional demands for attendance and/or participation outside of regular business hours.

Physical demands include processes that could involve repetitive movements and lifting of some heavier archival storage boxes. Regularly lifts and moves archival containers weighing up to 40 lbs., occasionally lifts archival containers weighing up to 40 lbs, as well as oversize archival materials, such as drawings, maps, and plans. Position requires periods of sitting in a reading room and at personal workstation.

The incumbent will work at the Taylor Family Digital Library on the University of Calgary Main Campus.

The primary purpose of this position is to provide responsive and professional reference and research support to a wide variety of user and researcher types. This position will provide reference and research support in person, through Springshare libanswers, email, and telephone. The position will work closely with Archivists, Librarians, and staff in Archives and Special Collections to ensure the availability and discoverability of book and archival collections. This includes contributing to the intellectual control of collections by working closely with colleagues in Archives and Special Collections, Content Services, and Digital Services by providing input towards and maintenance of inventories, finding aids, web pages, and digital collections. The position includes extensive public service work, including reference, instruction, and outreach work to support the availability, use, and promotion of Archives and Special Collections to a broad community of users

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

Reference/research support:

  • Provide high quality information and instruction services utilizing extensive knowledge of archival and special collections
  • Participate in projects to ensure greater discoverability and use of archives and special collections
  • Conduct tours and orientations, as required
  • Support the instructional use of archival and special collections materials by creating lists and inventories, retrieving materials, and assisting in classroom delivery
  • Contribute to Archives and Special Collections outreach efforts
  • Display initiative in enhancing knowledge and skills through on-going learning
  • Maintain a high level of accuracy, attention to detail, and motivation in completing lengthy, complex and overlapping projects
  • Contribute to departmental record keeping through the maintenance of donor and collection documentation
  • Assist in the planning and delivery of displays and exhibitions


  • Support and contributes to the creation of finding aids, archival inventories, and other supporting documentation for Archives and Special Collections through arrangement, description, and processing activities as required
  • Retrieve and refiles information from archival storage in the Taylor Family Digital Library
  • Request, receive, and return materials from/to the High-Density Library
  • Provide copies and scans of archival materials, as required
  • Liaise with Digital Services regarding digitization requests and projects
  • Assist in the maintenance of digital collections
  • Create and maintains accurate records of projects and donations; maintains electronic and paper-based filing systems
  • Handle rare, fragile, and archival materials with appropriate care


  • Accountable for effective communication and teamwork within Archives and Special Collections and with a variety of stakeholders
  • Contribute to Archives and Special Collections web site, social media presence, and other online access initiatives

Qualifications / Requirements:

Required Experience/Expertise:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline is required. A diploma in Library Information Technology, or an equivalent post-secondary training program in archives or library studies is an asset
  • Five years of experience in an archive environment including providing reference support to clients
  • Capacity to triage reference questions, refer complex questions appropriately, to conduct effective reference interviews, and to determine a user’s information needs efficiently and professionally
  • Ability to conduct research in order to determine optimal information resources to resolve reference questions
  • Knowledge of bibliographic and archival description standards and information resources
  • Knowledge of archival theory and practice
  • Knowledge of national and international metadata standards for analogue and digital archival collections
  • Knowledge of pertinent legislation impacting the use of archival materials by third parties, including protection of personal privacy legislation and copyright
  • Proficiency with library management systems and/or archival management systems (e.g. Ex Libris Alma and Primo, Access to Memory AtoM)
  • Proficiency using productivity software, particularly the MS Office Suite
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks while ensuring deadlines are met in an environment involving frequent interruptions and shifting priorities
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse constituents including faculty, students, staff, and local/international research communities
  • Demonstrated professionalism in all interactions with internal and external clients and stakeholders, creating a positive image for the unit

Preferred Qualifications/Expertise:

  • Experience and/or interest in creating displays, exhibits and online initiatives to build campus and community awareness of Archives and Special Collections.
  • Experience delivering library or archival tours or instruction.

Application Deadline: September 29, 2022

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist/Advisor Job Family, Phase 2.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website.

The University strongly recommends all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ( and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources (

We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

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