Job Specification

Position Title:
Job Code:
07964 - Librarian 3
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To plan, coordinate and administer the acquisition, arrangement and description, and management of archival records with high evidential, informational and legal value that document the key activities and decisions of the Ontario government and the development of Ontario society. To provide comprehensive reference services to a diverse clientele researching archival records in all forms of media from government and private sources. To undertake outreach activities with client groups/organizations to promote awareness of the Archives.

Duties / Responsibilities :

In an organization with a mandate to acquire, preserve and make publicly accessible for legal, administrative and other research purposes, original records of enduring value relating to Ontario, including records of Ontario's successive governments as well as private manuscripts, published and printed material, maps, architectural drawings, photographs, audio, video, and motion picture film recordings, the incumbent:

1. Provides advice and direction to ministries and agencies, the Legislative Assembly and the courts on the management of Ontario government recorded information by; planning and coordinating the acquisition, arrangement and description, and management of archival records, monitoring the compliance of ministries with scheduling directives and guidelines; reviewing record schedules for compliance to scheduling directives and guidelines; monitoring the disposal of official government records arising from ministry restructuring initiatives (program closings, transfers and privatizations); analyzing and identifying ministry programs and functions to determine scheduling priorities and opportunities for cost savings through scheduling of records; negotiating Ministry-wide scheduling agreements, providing guidance to ministry clients during the implementation of scheduling plans; appraising record series for archival value; and interpreting and advising on legislation impacting on records disposition and access.

2. Provides advice and guidance to the broader public sector (e.g. to Municipal Police Services Boards, Health Sector) on archival and recorded information management issues and practices.

3. Documents Ontarios political, economic, social and industrial development through the acquisition of textual, photographic, cartographic, architectural, sound and moving images, and electronic records from private sources by: undertaking research to identify sources of provincial significance and preparing acquisition strategies; appraising the value of records in all media; negotiating the donation/purchase of records from private sources and preparing reports on donations for tax receipts.

4. Makes the Archives holdings readily and widely available in a manner which respects the needs of the users, ensures the integrity and authoritative nature of the record, and meets the Archives legislated responsibilities by: designing and implementing an overall arrangement and description plan reflecting organizational structure and functions and researching and analyzing records of key policy program areas. Provides advice, direction and guidance on issues and practices.

5. Delivers comprehensive reference services which facilitate access to records by: advising on research projects and information requirements from ministries, agencies, courts, lawyers, police forces, historians and the general public; recommending appropriate sources of information; explaining and interpreting the nature, intent and inter-relationship of record-creating systems and bodies.

6. Under the direction of the Senior Coordinator, liaises and works with the Archives Outreach Officer to undertake outreach activities with client groups and provincial organizations, including speaking engagements, tours and assisting in the preparation of freestanding and online exhibits.

7. Undertakes site visits to appraise or evaluate private records for potential donation or to appraise government records in field offices to determine whether they should be acquired.

8. Protects a unique, irreplaceable collection of fragile records in all formats with an overall value in excess of $400 million, through the application of preservation and maintenance standards and techniques, including alternative recording of information, the monitoring of storage conditions and stability of records. Provides advice and guidance to the broader public sector on archival and recorded information management issues and practices.

9. Leads or participates in institutional committees, developing standards, policies and procedures and monitoring their application, as well as serving on external committees dealing with recorded information management and archival issues. Serves on joint Archives/Ministry scheduling project committees.

10. Provides team and group leadership for functional or cross-functional projects to archivists, contract and temporary staff and interns when required.

11. Some travel is required in order to undertake collections development, collections management, and outreach activities.

Staffing and Licencing :


Knowledge :

Position requires sound knowledge and experience in: archival theory and practice, including Rules for Archival Description, to implement archival functions such as appraisal and acquisition and arrangement and description; archives related legislation including the Archives Act, Copyright Act, FOI/PP Act, and related regulations in order to evaluate the archival value of records in all media, interpret, apply and enforce legislated restrictions (both federal and provincial) governing access to and use of Ontario government records, and to provide advice and direction in the authorized disposition of government records (i.e. no record can be destroyed without the approval of the Archivist of Ontario).

Sound knowledge of: key legislation affecting client ministries; recorded information management theory and Ontario government recorded information management practices and policies to provide input to acquisition strategies for government records; Ontario history in general to evaluate and assess whether records, in all formats, are of provincial significance and suitable for acquisition and to respond to client inquiries; the history and structure of the Ontario government, in order to prepare functional analyses of ministries to identify mandate, key functions and best record of governance, analyze and interpret records for description projects and to respond to enquiries.

Sound knowledge of archival appraisal theory and practice and current trends in the appraisal field in order to acquire Ontario government records which document public rights and responsibilities, provide evidence and support accountability and protect legal rights. A sound understanding of information technology to analyze and advise on proposed, existing and obsolete electronic systems and determining the archival value of their contents in order to provide consulting services to client ministries and agencies and to prepare appraisal reports.

Position requires: a sound knowledge of preservation standards, techniques and practices to plan and conduct the appropriate means of preserving unique and often fragile records; an understanding of holdings and collecting mandates of other repositories to provide referral services to researchers and potential donors; and knowledge of historical and technological development of media (maps, photographs, electronic records, sound and moving images) to determine appropriate preservation actions, identify technical needs and to determine value of the records.

Position also requires a sound knowledge of customer service techniques to respond effectively to complex inquiries requiring an extensive knowledge of the collection and understanding of researcher needs.

Skills :

Position requires sound analytical and evaluative skills to: identify key functions of government institutions by researching their mandate and function, history and structure; analytical skills to develop options and recommendations on program/policy direction, objectives, plans and changes, to examine record series, and to describe how and why records were created and used; analytical skills to assess records scheduling and disposition practices across the OPS for compliance to existing guidelines, to review records retention schedules and direct transfer applications and to assess where within an organization specific functions are best documented. The position requires evaluative skills to develop records acquisition recommendations with consideration of AOs mandate and the mandate of other archival institutions, the availability of storage facilities, physical condition of records and the resources required to make the material available for research. The position requires interpretive and problem solving skills to assess research requests for original records and determine appropriate sources of information; analytical, interpretive and problem solving skills to analyze electronic records systems for completeness, authenticity, accessibility and archival value. Position also requires demonstrated oral and written communication skills to outline/disseminate program objectives, explain complex and technical subject matter to a diverse clientele, prepare briefing notes, appraisal reports and to explain program/policy issues and initiatives, to consult with stakeholders, write affidavits for and provide expert testimony to civil and criminal courts and administrative tribunals about Ontario government record-keeping procedures and Archives appraisal, sampling and selection strategies and methodologies when searching for records, and to prepare a variety of technical materials describing government and private sector records in plain language for public dissemination, while maintaining accuracy. Strong customer service skills are required to respond effectively to complex inquiries, promote public awareness and solicit donations. The position also requires strong interpersonal and negotiation skills to conduct donor/purchase negotiations, to conduct interviews with clients seeking documentation about sensitive personal issues and provide effective reference services, and to present program / policy options to senior coordinators and managers. Position requires ability to set priorities and effective time management skills to meet deadlines. Also requires attention to detail to ensure accuracy and quality of work to professional standards. Position involves repetitive tasks such as data entry, and lifting and moving 35-50lb containers of archival material.

Freedom of Action :

Position requires working within established guidelines under the direction of the Senior Manager, Archives Services and in accordance with existing legislation, established ministry administrative systems, policies, procedures and guidelines as well as Archives program and service directions. Position makes decisions by independently planning and conducting appraisals, developing province-wide acquisition plans and strategies and determining scheduling priorities in ministries, independently advises clients on acquisitions priorities and collections and approves the work of other staff.

Exercises latitude in planning own time and activities to deliver consulting services, in decision making by planning, developing and administering work plans so that goals and objectives are met.

Job requires referring to Senior Manager, situations outside existing policy and procedures such as failure of a client ministry to comply with OPS scheduling directives and guidelines.

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