Senior Administrative Officer, Library

Website Wilfrid Laurier University

Position Summary 

The Senior Administrative Officer (SAO) is a strategic leader and advisor to the University Librarian who ensures that the Wilfrid University Library is well positioned to realize its strategic goals and priorities. As a member of the Library Executive Team (LibExec) and reporting directly to the University Librarian, this position provides strategic advice, as well as administrative and planning support to the University Librarian.

As the senior administrative staff position in the Library, the SAO is accountable for the effective management of administrative operations, financial and human resources in support of the strategic priorities of the Library. The incumbent provides leadership and support for special projects and strategic initiatives, for development of administrative policies and procedures and is the key contact with various administrative offices at the University, with Physical Resources regarding space related matters, with Human Resources and Health and Safety. The SAO oversees various security-related functions including policy direction for access and security systems within the Library. The SAO is a member of the Library Management Group (LMG) and works closely with the Library Executive Team (University Librarian and Associate University Librarians), Director of Communication and Cultural Programming, Director of the WLU Press, Library Department Heads and Managers.

The incumbent works closely with counterparts at TriUniversity Group of Libraries (TUG) and Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) Libraries in support of TUG and OCUL shared services and resources as appropriate for the role.

The position supports continuity during Library leadership changes.


Strategic Planning & Initiatives

  • supports the University Librarian in the development of long-term strategies and operational plans for the Library; works closely with the Library Executive Team to support the implementation and operationalization of strategic priorities.
  • leads and coordinates special projects as required to further the priorities of the Library;
  • assists the University Librarian in tracking and reporting progress against plans, including information and data to support decision making;
  • assists the University Librarian in planning and allocation of financial and human resources within the Library, aligning plans with strategic and operational priorities;
  • promotes transparent and effective communication within the Library on matters related to administrative operations, strategic priorities and plans;
  • works closely with counterparts and library administrators at the University of Guelph Library and University of Waterloo Library in support of TUG shared services and resources as appropriate for the role;
  • works closely with counterparts and library administrators at OCUL Libraries in support of OCUL shared services and resources as appropriate for the role.

Administrative Management

  • develops and manages a wide-range of administrative services and systems to support the effective operation of the Library Executive Team and Library overall;
  • ensures Library compliance with legislative requirements through active liaison with campus experts including Human Resources, the University Secretariat & Legal Counsel, Health Services, the Safety Office, and Physical Resources.
  • promotes the effective communication of administrative information throughout the Library;
  • provides advice and information related to administrative policies and procedures to Library Executive Team and Library Management Group, Department Heads, librarians, staff members, and others;
  • works closely with the University Librarian, Associate University Librarians, library departments and Physical Resources regarding space matters, and plays a pivotal role in the planning, scheduling, and budgeting of renovations within the Library; serves as a continuing member of the Library Space Committee.
  • generates reports and data analyses for the University Librarian and for the Library Executive Team; coordinates statistical gathering and reporting for Library activities associated with salaries, benefits, operating and departmental budgets; develops statistical and management reports as necessary for internal Library use, in support of TUG and OCUL partnership initiatives as well as for other on-campus, and off-campus use;
  • advises and consults with Library administrators and managers on administrative and procedural issues stipulated in the faculty and staff Collective Agreements or Handbooks;
  • provides executive support and acts as recording secretary for the Library Council;
  • assumes additional projects and responsibilities at the University Librarian’s request;
  • represents the Library on University-wide, TUG and OCUL committees as required;

Human Resources & Faculty/Staff Relations

  • works closely with University Librarian to support short and long-term human resources planning within the Library, including staffing levels and structures, and development of initiatives to ensure staffing plans align with the strategic priorities of the Library;
  • serves as the key contact with the Human Resources Department, and is responsible for staff hiring, human resource planning and for the resolution of human resources related issues;
  • provides counsel to AULs, Library Department Heads, Directors and Managers as they conduct the annual staff performance appraisal ensuring timely and consistent completion of performance appraisals for all staff;
  • enables and develops an integrated approach to the provision of the Library’s human resources services, supports organizational change, coordinates staff training and development, provides advice to the University Librarian on succession planning, and provides ongoing leadership and coaching to the staff reporting to this position;
  • acts as primary contact for Library Department Heads, Directors and Managers regarding Wilfrid Laurier University Staff Association (WLUSA) staff-related matters; supervises hiring and disciplinary processes for staff positions in the Library, organizes and participates in interview processes; conducts reference checks; counsels library administrators on staff hiring protocols, and on matters pertaining to performance review; where appropriate acts as the University Librarian’s designate in approval for new WLUSA staff hires and advises the UL and AULs in determining salary for new or replacement support staff.
  • acts as key point of contact for questions and interpretation regarding both the full-time and part-time faculty and staff collective agreements within the context of library duties and responsibilities; has responsibility for managing processes and timelines outlined in (Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) and WLUFA Contract Academic Staff (CAS) agreements in support of UL’s and AULs’ administrative responsibilities.
  • provides support to the University Librarian for grievances at the Step One level, and participates in the grievance process as appropriate; manages the University Librarian’s Office function and oversees University Librarian’s Office staff and has indirect supervisory responsibilities for more than 30 library staff members;

Financial Management & Budget

  • is a key advisor to the University Librarian regarding effective financial management and is the key point of contact regarding financial matters related to the Library;
  • provides advice and counsel to the University Librarian, Associate University Librarians, Library Department Heads, Directors, and others as applicable on the development of budgets for the Library;
  • reviews the Library’s financial position with the University Librarian and Library Executive Team as a whole on a regular basis;
  • works closely with the University Librarian, Associate University Librarians and Financial Analyst to develop, improve, and promote strong financial management practices and controls within the Library;
  • works closely with University Librarian and Library Executive Team as a whole to oversee the development and management of the annual operating budget for the Library including any required planning, forecasting and consults with others as required to assist the University Librarian in creating a comprehensive Library –wide budget that is aligned with strategic priorities;
  • directs the analysis and timely reporting of major operating trends and variances with a mandate to inform the University Librarian and other appropriate levels of management on potential anomalies or shortfalls in budget expenditures as well as opportunities.
  • works with the University Librarian and Financial Analyst to maximize efficiency and transparency of budget-building and budget-monitoring processes, and of policies and procedures relating to Library-wide budget management;
  • works closely with the Financial Analyst to effectively advise the University Librarian on strategic resource allocation by overseeing the management of all Library funds. This includes the requesting, reviewing and analyzing of budget projections, revenue and expense details, position budgets and any other ancillary funds associated with library operations.
  • authorizes purchases, expenditures, and budget transfers for Library budget;
  • coordinates Library’s procurement processes and activities, negotiates and monitors service and purchasing contracts, works with University’s procurement officers to ensure compliance with Ontario Broader Public Sector (BPS) Procurement guidelines;

Health and Safety

  • oversees compliance with all policies and procedures related to health, safety and security issues in the Library;
  • serves as an ex-officio member of the Health & Safety Committee, and serves as a principal liaison with the Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management Office (SHERM);
  • establishes and monitors policies for key, OneCard, and security system access to facilities for librarians, staff, and students;


  • a university degree;
  • 6 or more years of progressively responsible experience in a comparable environment, including strong financial, human resource management and operations experience;
  • experience in an academic library setting is strongly preferred;
  • experience with developing and overseeing budgets and strong financial management expertise;
  • knowledge of human resources; proven ability to work effectively in a complex unionized environment; experience with recruitment processes for a wide range of academic, technical and administrative functions, preferably in an academic library setting;
  • knowledge and understanding of the University organizational structure, including its governance and decision-making processes;
  • knowledge of academic library organizational structures and processes is strongly preferred;
  • demonstrated leadership skills and ability to mentor and develop staff in a unionized environment;
  • strong organizational, decision-making, strategic planning and project management skills;
  • advanced problem-solving skills; ability to analyze and streamline complex processes with a strong focus on results
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written, verbal);
  • knowledge of Excel, and financial reporting systems;
  • experience and knowledge of academic library systems, functional relationships and procedures is strongly preferred;
  • knowledge of health and safety regulations and best practices as these pertain to science environments, including but not limited to the Ontario Health & Safety Act and Regulations;

Hours of Work:
This is a full time continuing position. Regular hours of work are Monday to Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm, 35 hours per week.

Grade: MG-2C

Salary: $87,411 – $ 109,264

Application Deadline:  February 10, 2023

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