Call for Expressions of Interest – CARL Visiting Program Officer for Digital Access Policy

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is the national voice of Canada’s twenty-nine largest university libraries and two federal institutions. A bilingual not-for-profit organization, CARL coordinates national initiatives across its member institutions and promotes their causes to achieve excellence in research and higher education.

CARL invites applications for a Visiting Program Officer (VPO) focused on digital access policy.

CARL has already done considerable work to ensure that Canada’s policy environment is advancing and supporting digital access; our aspiration is to add to an active team in this rapidly evolving environment. The position will entail working for CARL for the equivalent of one day per week, starting as soon as September 2021, for a period of one year. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

Visiting Program Officer positions are an arrangement between CARL and the individual’s home institution, normally for a minimum period of one year at 20% of their time. There is no salary remuneration from CARL associated with this position; the home institution continues to pay the Visiting Program Officer’s salary. Benefits arising from this experience for the incumbent and the home institution include broadened experience and knowledge gained from working on national initiatives; while for CARL and its members, the position helps advance a common priority.


In collaboration with CARL’s Executive Director Susan Haigh, the current policy team (Mark Swartz, Katherine McColgan, and Temple Scott Associates), and the CARL Policy Committee, the VPO will take a leading or contributing role in the development of CARL statements, briefs, and communications related to federal advocacy supporting digital access—which may entail licensing, copyright, controlled digital lending, privacy, open government, access to information, and/or other arising federal policy issues that potentially impact CARL libraries or the communities they serve.


    • Must be based at a Canadian post-secondary institution;
    • Must have obtained the library director’s agreement for the arrangement with CARL as described;
    • Must demonstrate:
      • Significant experience and expertise in the area of copyright or other areas of public policy;
      • Thorough understanding of academic libraries’ various approaches to providing digital access (e.g. licensed content, controlled digital lending, digital collections)
      • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written;
      • Teamwork skills;
      • Ability to ensure diverse experiences and perspectives are treated respectfully.
    • The ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing in French and English will be deemed an asset.

If there are multiple candidates who fulfil the criteria above, selection will be based on demonstrated leadership, prior involvement in national initiatives, and the level of institutional support; and may involve an interview.

To apply, please send a copy of your CV, an introductory letter outlining your suitability for this role, and a short letter from your library director confirming support for the nomination and the proposed arrangement, to Susan Haigh, Executive Director of CARL: