A dynamic organization devoted to library services for the East Asian studies communities in North America since 1958.

University of Toronto: Chinese Studies Librarian

POSITION:  Chinese Studies Librarian (Librarian I/II/III; Permanent Status Stream)

DEPARTMENT:  Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library (EAL), University of Toronto Libraries

DATE REQUIRED:  As Soon as Possible

Are you looking for challenging, meaningful work in a supportive and diverse environment? Are you looking for a career at one of Canada’s top employers? Work where the world comes to think, discover and learn. Consider a career at the University of Toronto.

About the University of Toronto Libraries

The University of Toronto Libraries system is the largest academic library in Canada and is consistently ranked in the top ten among academic research libraries in North America. The system consists of 40 libraries located on three university campuses: St. George, Mississauga, and Scarborough. This array of college libraries, special collections, and specialized libraries and information centres supports the teaching and research requirements of over 300 graduate programs, more than 70 professional programs, and about 700 undergraduate degree programs. In addition to more than 12 million volumes in 341 languages, the library system currently provides access to millions of electronic resources in various forms and over 31,000 linear metres of archival material. More than 150,000 new print volumes are acquired each year. The Libraries’ data centre houses more than 600 servers with a storage capacity of 1.5 petabytes.

The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library

The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library is a leading research library in North America and the most extensive research library in Canada for East Asian Studies. As the intellectual and cultural hub of the academic community for East Asian and Asian Canadian-related studies and programs at the University of Toronto, the library is committed to engaging with faculty, students, and the wider community to provide exceptional resources and services in support of scholarship, research, and learning.

The library’s history can be traced back to the 1930s when a collection of rare materials from China, known today as the Mu Collection (慕氏藏書), was acquired. Since then, the library has grown significantly to encompass a premier research collection of over 700,000 volumes of materials in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan, as well as limited resources in Mongolian, Manchu, and Uighur. In addition to its impressive physical collection, the library provides access to numerous electronic resources, making it a valuable asset to the field of East Asian Studies. Its resources and services support scholars and researchers in the region and beyond, providing unparalleled access to rare and unique resources.

Through continued expansion of its collections and partnerships, the library is dedicated to supporting teaching, research, and learning both within and beyond the university. The library has done multiple digitization projects to improve discoverability and accessibility of the library’s unique and rare collections through various partnerships and is committed to developing collections in Asian Canadian studies, in collaboration with other central libraries at the UTL and external partners and community partners.

The library also organizes a range of public outreach events working with campus partners, local community groups, and national and international partners to inspire scholarship and cultivate relations with the campus and the community. Its physical space has gone through a series of expansion and revitalization processes to create a vibrant and user-friendly space for its community.

The Opportunity

The University of Toronto Libraries seeks an innovative, service-oriented, and collaborative professional for an exciting opportunity to serve as Chinese Studies Librarian. The successful candidate will report to the Director of the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library. The incumbent will provide specialized support for the planning, development, acquisition, cataloguing, and management of the library’s growing Chinese Studies collections. The successful candidate will also work closely with subject liaison librarians, archivists, and members of the Central Library’s Collection Development Department, Metadata Services, as well as provide public service and research support to meet the growing needs of a diverse community of faculty, visiting scholars, graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Act as the primary liaison librarian for Chinese Studies across relevant academic departments and programs in the humanities and social sciences at U of T, and proactively engage with faculty and students to understand their information needs
  • Develop and deliver tailored instruction and learning opportunities in various formats to support the curriculum and advance learning outcomes for faculty and students in Chinese Studies
  • Provide and promote innovative services and resources to enhance the research and academic excellence of the University in the field of Chinese Studies
  • Acquire and maintain collections of Chinese-language resources in all formats that are relevant to the study of the region and in support of the various Chinese Studies academic programs, communicate with Chinese book vendors and other resource providers to ensure smooth operation of acquisition, and supervise an acquisition staff
  • Identify and evaluate unique and archival resources for Chinese Studies and Chinese Canadian Studies
  • Undertake original cataloguing of Chinese materials in all formats to ensure their discoverability, supervise an original cataloguer/metadata creation specialist and graduate student assistants, and prepare name authority metadata for contribution to NACO according to the standards of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC)
  • Collaborate with librarians and staff in other library programs regarding acquisition, cataloguing, maintenance, preservation, and conservation of Chinese language resources
  • Participate in the department’s reference desk services and provide reference and research support to students, faculty members, staff, and visiting scholars
  • Work with other University of Toronto campuses in collaborative collection development efforts.
  • Facilitate connections with external researchers, donors, and international partners
  • Contribute to the broader professional community by sharing knowledge in scholarly/professional venues and through service to the University and the profession
  • Participate in library and other committees as appropriate

This search aligns with the University’s commitment to strategically and proactively promote diversity among our community members (Statement on Equity, Diversity & Excellence). Recognizing that Black, Indigenous, and other Racialized communities have experienced inequities that have developed historically and are ongoing, we strongly welcome and encourage candidates from those communities to apply.


The successful candidate will have:

  • A degree from an accredited Master’s level program in library and information studies
  • Demonstrated commitment to integrating best practices and values of inclusivity, diversity, equity, anti-racism and accessibility
  • Knowledge of the history, politics, literatures and cultures of China and its surrounding region and of Chinese Canadian studies
  • Knowledge of trends in East Asian librarianship, the Chinese publishing industry, book trades, and the latest developments in Chinese resource publication
  • Demonstrated interest and familiarity with area studies librarianship, rare books, and special collections
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in both Chinese and English
  • Proficiency in modern and pre-modern Chinese, including traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese, as well as the Chinese Romanization system (Pinyin)
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and ability to apply current cataloguing schemas and standards (i.e., RDA, LCSH, LC classification, MARC21)
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team, while recognizing and respecting individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds
  • Knowledge of collection development practices for both print and electronic resources
  • Knowledge of issues involved in maintaining special collections, especially with a view to serving diverse communities
  • Outstanding interpersonal, organizational, presentation, and communication skills
  • Demonstrated flexibility, creativity and ability to innovate and adapt to a changing environment
  • Strong initiative and ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities effectively
  • Demonstrated commitment to outstanding public service
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills


The successful candidate will preferably have:

  • An advanced degree in a discipline related to Chinese Studies
  • Experience working in a relevant professional setting
  • Experience in original cataloguing and authority control in an automated environment in an academic or research library setting; as well as experience cataloguing rare books/special collections material
  • Knowledge of Classical Chinese
  • Knowledge of Wade-Giles Romanization
  • Proficiency in other Asian languages

Salary and Terms of Appointment:  This is a permanent status stream position.

It is anticipated that this position will be filled at the Librarian I, II or III level, subject to review and experience. Minimum salary: LIB I: $71,451; LIB II: $74,553; LIB III: $95,411 (Salary is dependent on rank at hire and qualifications).

Benefits: We offer generous benefits packages to all employees. Additional information is available at:  https://people.utoronto.ca/careers/benefits/

Additional information

Librarians at the University of Toronto are members of the University of Toronto Faculty Association.

How to Apply

Application Materials Required: A cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references of which at least two have supervised your work. Please send a single electronic file (MS Word or pdf) with a file name convention of [Surname,FirstName. CHINESESTUDIESLIB]  to Library Human Resources at utlhr@utoronto.ca; or to Room 1140, 130 St. George Street, University of Toronto Libraries, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A5; by June 12, 2023.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Diversity Statements

The University of Toronto embraces Diversity and is building a culture of belonging that increases our capacity to effectively address and serve the interests of our global community. We strongly encourage applications from Indigenous Peoples, Black and racialized persons, women, persons with disabilities, and people of diverse sexual and gender identities. We value applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and recognize that diverse perspectives, experiences, and expertise are essential to strengthening our academic mission.

University of Toronto Libraries’ Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Statement:


University of Toronto Libraries’ Anti-Racism Statement:


Accessibility Statement

The University strives to be an equitable and inclusive community, and proactively seeks to increase diversity among its community members. Our values regarding equity and diversity are linked with our unwavering commitment to excellence in the pursuit of our academic mission.

The University is committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As such, we strive to make our recruitment, assessment and selection processes as accessible as possible and provide accommodations as required for applicants with disabilities.

If you require any accommodations at any point during the application and hiring process, please contact uoft.careers@utoronto.ca.

University of Toronto Library System:  http://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/
University of Toronto:  https://people.utoronto.ca/
Policies for librarians:  https://people.utoronto.ca/policies/