Position Information

The position information for this posting is listed below. Please double check the position description and follow any links to the original job posting in order to apply for this position.
Metadata Librarian for South Asian Languages

The University of Chicago Library is seeking an innovative and forward-thinking individual for the position of Metadata Librarian for South Asian Languages. The University of Chicago is home to one of the world's great collections for the study of South Asia. We collect broadly across the full geographical extent of South Asia, in all languages of the subcontinent and all material types, including books, serials, electronic resources, maps, sound recordings, datasets, archival collections, manuscripts, and film. The subject scope is equally broad, supporting scholarship on virtually all topics related to South Asia, with historical strengths in Anthropology; History; Indology and Indological Studies; Indo-Persian Literature; and Religious Studies. In addition to the Library’s extensive profile with the Library of Congress South Asia Cooperative Acquisitions Program (SACAP), a robust program of firm orders, antiquarian purchases, and gifts supports the collection’s continued strength and growth. The successful candidate will take the lead in managing the metadata needs for monographs, serials, electronic resources and visual materials in all subjects, in South Asian and other languages as necessary.

Working in the central Metadata Management Services Unit, and working closely with the Southern Asian Studies Librarian, the Metadata Librarian for South Asian Languages will provide leadership and coordination for the metadata provision for the University of Chicago Library’s extensive collection of South Asian resources that is responsive to the needs of the user community and supports the Library’s vision and goals. The successful candidate will be eligible for membership on the Committee on Southern Asia Studies (COSAS) at the University of Chicago, composed of faculty across the University who share teaching and research interests in Southern Asia.

The position reports to the Head of Metadata Management Services, a section of the Technical Services Department that provides leadership and expertise for the Library's cataloging activities and creation and management of metadata. Metadata staff are involved in national and local activities related to implementation of BIBFRAME and linked data, and provide strategic direction on metadata standards for the Library’s resources and the University’s institutional repository.

The University of Chicago Library is a long-time member of the Library of Congress Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and contributes to BIBCO/NACO/SACO/CONSER programs. The Metadata Management Unit is also active in the Big Ten Academic Alliance Cooperative Cataloging Partnership (BTAA CCP), and the Library of Congress’ Electronic Cataloging in Publication Program (ECIP), which provides pre-publication metadata for the University of Chicago Press publications as well as those of other scholarly publishers.

The successful candidate is expected to combine a thorough understanding of cataloging and metadata standards, South Asia resources, library user needs and behaviors, with technical and interpersonal skills. As a member of the library’s professional staff, the Metadata Librarian for South Asian Languages is expected to contribute to the library by serving on committees and by participating in library-wide programs and activities, and is expected to be active professionally both locally and nationally. The successful candidate will help further library goals of equitable description, through the development of policies and retrospective cataloging projects that aim to challenge and redress the systematic erasure, neglect, and dehumanization of marginalized groups in knowledge organization systems.

Position: Metadata Librarian for South Asian Languages
Organization: University of Chicago Library
Location: Chicago,  IL 
United States
Salary: Appointment salary based on qualifications and experience
Posting Start Date:
Date Posted: 2/12/2024

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Performs metadata creation and management through original and complex copy cataloging with all associated authority work, according to the following standards:
    • Resource Description and Access (RDA) via RDA Toolkit
    • Library of Congress-PCC Policy Statements
    • Library of Congress Program for Cooperative Cataloging (BIBCO/NACO/SACO/CONSER)
    • Library of Congress classification via Classweb
    • MARC 21 formats for Bibliographic and Authority data
    • National standards pertaining to providing access to resources in non-Latin scripts  
  • Contributes to metadata activities related to South Asian materials, such as digital library metadata development and remediation and enhancement of existing metadata
  • Participates in grant management, including in leadership roles, promoting improved access to hidden collections, enhancements to metadata through the addition of equitable description, and digital access initiatives
  • Proposes and reviews workflows and policies around the metadata creation for South Asian materials, and trains staff, as needed 
  • Participates in departmental projects and initiatives experimenting with new forms of metadata creation
  • Engages in professional service and research activities in areas appropriate to the position and to academic librarianship
  • Contributes to the development of local, national, and international metadata standards and applications



  • Master’s degree in Library/Information Science from an ALA accredited institution OR advanced degree in South Asian studies
  • Study of and/or background in South Asian Studies
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the role of metadata, subject analysis and classification systems in academic libraries
  • Advanced knowledge of two or more South Asian languages (Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, and/or Tamil strongly preferred), not including English
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English


  • Previous cataloging experience in an academic/research library, applying current standards and systems including MARC21, RDA, Library of Congress Classification, Library of Congress Subject Headings, OCLC Connexion, and library management and discovery systems
  • Ability to work with Perso-Arabic and Devanagari scripts
  • Experience contributing to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (BIBCO, NACO, SACO, CONSER)
  • Knowledge of current trends, resources, and methodologies in cataloging and metadata as they relate to description and discovery of materials in South Asian languages
  • Experience applying non-MARC metadata standards (e.g., Dublin Core)
  • Experience working with Microsoft Access, OpenRefine or other metadata manipulation tools 
  • Understanding of linked data principles, including RDF and ontologies as well as emerging metadata standards (e.g., BIBFRAME) and identity management systems (e.g., ISNI, VIAF, ORCID)

Required Documents


Cover Letter

Contact Reference

Application Instructions

To Apply: Submit cover letter, curriculum vitae, and reference contact information online through the University of Chicago's Academic Recruiting website: http://apply.interfolio.com/140667. Review of applications will begin after March 7, 2024.  Screening of applications will continue until the position is filled or the search is closed.

Salary and Benefits: Appointment salary based on qualifications and experience. Benefits include retirement plan, insurance, and paid time off.

Questions: Contact Library Human Resources, libraryhr@uchicago.edu

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All University departments and institutes are charged with building a faculty from a diversity of backgrounds and with diverse viewpoints; with cultivating an inclusive community that values freedom of expression; and with welcoming and supporting all their members.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange. The University’s Statements on Diversity are at https://provost.uchicago.edu/statements-diversity.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-834-3988 or email equalopportunity@uchicago.edu with their request.

Status: This listing expires on: 4/12/2024
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Organization Information
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th St

Chicago,  IL 60637
United States
Library HR