Approved by Library Negotiations Committee, January 26, 1999
Approved by the Board of Governors, March 27, 2002

DISCLAIMER: If there is a discrepancy between this electronic policy and the written copy held by the Policy owner, the written copy prevails.


The University’s objective is to appoint the librarian with the greatest potential to meet or exceed the expectations for the position. This will optimize the quality and extent of library services available in the University.

This appointment policy is administered to comply with all relevant laws regarding fair employment practices in the Province of Ontario, and the Employment Equity Policy of the University. The rights of individuals as set out in the Human Rights Code of Ontario will be upheld.


  1. Whenever a new or vacant position becomes available, the Levels and Promotions Committee (LPC) reviews the position description to assign a level to the position, based solely on the position description.
  2. The supervisor of a new or vacant librarian position identifies a selection panel consisting of the following:
  • the supervisor of the position (who will be the Chair of the panel), and
  • two other librarians holding continuing appointments in the University Library system.

Any or all of the following may be added to the panel, as appropriate: a faculty member, a senior library manager, a non-librarian staff member, and a Human Resources Administrator.

  1. An advertisement reflecting the accountabilities listed in the position description and the qualifications for the position is drafted by the supervisor and reviewed by the selection panel before advertisement.
  2. Selection criteria are drafted by the supervisor and reviewed with the selection panel in preparation for the assessment of applications and interviewed candidates.
  3. Interview questions are drafted by the supervisor and reviewed with the selection panel in preparation for interviews.
  4. Applications are collected by the appropriate Human Resources Office. Following the deadline for the competition, all applications are reviewed by the selection panel. The most promising applications are identified through evaluation against the se lection criteria and in light of the Employment Equity policy of the University. Interviews are scheduled for these applicants.
  5. After interviews are completed, the selection panel assesses all information for each candidate, and ranks the interviewed candidates in order of potential for successful performance in the position. If the panel cannot identify any candidate who in its judgement would meet or exceed the expectations for the position, the search may be extended.
  6. References are checked for the preferred candidate or group of preferred candidates.
  7. The selection panel reviews the information collected through the references and identifies the candidate whose name will be recommended to the University Librarian or to the Director of the Health Sciences Library & Computing Services as appropriate for appointment to the position. If the panel requires further information to reach a decision when more than one candidate is preferred, further interviews or meetings may be arranged.
  8. The University Librarian or Director of the Health Sciences Library & Computing Services arranges for an offer of appointment to be made to the recommended candidate, or consults with the selection panel concerning its recommendation.
  9. The LPC assigns a final level to the position, taking into account the individual’s record of professional accomplishment.
  10. A librarian hired from outside the current librarian employee group will be subject to a twelve-month probationary period. This period is a time of mutual appraisal to assess the working relationship. Normally, a performance appraisal should be con ducted after six months of employment. The appointment can be terminated within the probationary period if a satisfactory working relationship fails to evolve.


In order to maintain excellence and effectiveness, library management must respond to the changing needs and new opportunities inherent in the provision of academic library service. From time to time, this may require the modification or reorganization o f work and/or positions. Multiple circumstances and situations will be encountered which will require different approaches. These will normally fall within the following three broad levels of organizational change. A. When positions and/or work are reorganized, positions may be revised and/or expanded to include some new or different accountabilities. This flexibility will enable the Libraries to optimize the use of human resources.

  1. When a position becomes redundant, the librarian in that position will be given notice according to their years of service with McMaster that their employment with the University will end. In the event that a new librarian position is created (or an existing position becomes available) within twelve months following the declaration of a redundant librarian position, the competition will be limited to librarians already holding a continuing appointment in the University Library system and the librari an who has been given notice of redundancy. The selection panel will first consider this candidate pool. If the panel is able to identify a librarian in this candidate pool who will meet or exceed the expectations for the position, that person will be r ecommended. If the panel is unable to identify such a candidate, further applicants will be sought. The librarian under notice of redundancy will compete with all other candidates on an equal basis.
  2. If, in the judgement of the University Librarian or the Director of the Health Sciences Library & Computing Services, as appropriate, it is believed for good reason that a competition should not be held, s/he will consult with the LPC on the waiving of the competition. In case of a disagreement over the waiving of the competition, the parties will define a process for resolution. It is expected that a response would be made by the LPC within five working days.


Approved by Library Negotiations Committee, January 26, 1999
Approved by the Board of Governors, March 27, 2002