Job: University Librarian

9/2/15 –  University Librarian
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Sarah P’s comments:  A rare South African opportunity.  Be aware that Jo’burg, while an interesting city, has a high crime rate so please discuss housing and safety options should you be interviewed.


The University of the Witwatersrand Library is one of the leading academic and research libraries in South Africa, and is a highly valued component of the University’s research and teaching and learning activities. A key strategic priority is for the Library to more actively support the University’s research, e-research and e-scholarship, research training and research data management agendas. Committed to open access, the Library also offers cutting-edge programmes and a full spectrum of services, from rare and historical books and manuscripts collections to a growing network of digital resources, including active digitisation and digital archiving projects.

Led by the new Librarian with the goal to create a responsive 21st Century University Library, a series of future-orientated strategies must be developed to meet the fast changing environment. These will include an appropriate policy framework, innovative learning and research spaces, flexible IT platforms and systems for information and knowledge management, learning and research. This position is for someone who will redefine the Library function, and lead in the implementation thereof.

The University Librarian is responsible for the management and efficient, cost-effective functioning of the Library that includes 2 main and several branch libraries. Leadership and motivation must be provided to actively build and develop a diverse, skilled and engaged team providing a superb service to the University community. He or she ensures that the Library attains its mission to support the teaching, research and service programmes of the University by facilitating access to information and developing the collections. The curation of historical works and the digitisation initiatives to preserve and enhance access to information resources will mean that the Library is ready to face the challenge of new developments in education in South Africa. Included in the duties are the provision of advice and input to several University committees, such as Senate, Academic Development and Planning, Senate Library Committee, Strategic Financial Resources Allocation Committee, etc and representation of the University on relevant national and international Library committees and organisations.


  • At least a Master’s degree and relevant tertiary qualifications in Library/Information Science/a field relevant to the transformational trends in libraries
  • Extensive experience in administering a large library function/information systems and management of people
  • Leadership skills
  • Strategic thinking
  • Initiative
  • The ability to communicate as well as to harness technology to deliver effective library services
  • A thorough knowledge of libraries, library systems and development
  • Insight into the functioning of a university, its administrative systems and infrastructure is essential.

Contact person: Prof Bea Lacquet, DVC (Knowledge and Information Management, Infrastructure and Operations), tel. (011)-717-1108/9, e-mail:

To apply:
Please apply via i-Recruitment:

Please include the following:

  • A covering letter clearly indicating which post you are applying for
  • A detailed CV with names, addresses, contact numbers and e-mail addresses of 3 referees
  • Certified copies of qualifications and South African ID or passport/work permit if not South African

Closing date: 30 September 2015

Please note that correspondence will only be entered into with short-listed candidates.

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