Position Information

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Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian

Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian

Department: Library Special Collections
Rank and Salary: Assistant Librarian - Associate Librarian ($58,365 - $80,356)
Position Availability: Immediately
Application deadline for first consideration: January 10, 2022

The UCLA Library seeks a highly collaborative, knowledgeable, and user-centered librarian for the position of Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian. The Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian will be team-oriented and will provide leadership in cataloging and metadata strategies to support the discovery and access of special collections materials. They will have deep knowledge of special collections cataloging and a desire to realize opportunities to engage in creative experimentation while serving the discovery needs of special collections users and stakeholders. They will demonstrate experience in advancing diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and articulating a description and discovery philosophy in these areas.

Position Duties

Reporting to the Head of Collection Management, the Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian manages Library Special Collections cataloging and metadata activities and supports stewardship activities for LSC books and manuscripts. The incumbent will work closely with the Head of Collection Management to develop cataloging and metadata priorities and will develop plans and oversee activities to meet those description and discovery priorities. They will supervise members of the Collection Management cataloging sub-team, providing guidance, training, and support of the goals and priorities of the department, as well as the individual team member’s professional development. The incumbent will also undertake original and complex copy cataloging of LSC books and manuscripts, metadata creation, and authority work.

The responsibilities undertaken by the Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian are part of a holistic stewardship ecosystem in a highly interdependent department. As such, it is expected that they will collaborate closely with colleagues across LSC’s functional units, in support of appraisal, stewardship, collections security, description, and access. They are also expected to partner and collaborate with colleagues throughout the Distinctive Collections portfolio and the Library in support of facilitating and enhancing users’ experiences with LSC and the discovery of its materials.

Specific duties and responsibilities include:

Pre-Acquisition and Stewardship Activities

  • Serve as a consultative partner to curators during collection development, appraisal, and acquisition activities and reappraisal initiatives.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in Collection Management to maintain LSC Collection Management manual.
  • Participate in the development, maintenance, and implementation of LSC procedures and practices to facilitate the stewardship of special collections print and manuscript materials, such as post-acquisition assessment, post-cataloging treatment, and security and storage of LSC’s books and manuscripts.
  • Coordinate with colleagues to recommend and implement technologies and workflows to contribute to and enhance LSC’s stewardship of special collections materials.
  • Contribute to the development of metrics and provide assessment data to the Head of Collection Management in support of operational impact and capacity analyses to facilitate acquisition, stewardship, and initiative-related decision-making.

Metadata Creation and Management

  • Work with the Head of Collection Management to develop cataloging and metadata priorities and goals in support of department-wide mission and goals. Oversee planning and activities in support of meeting description and discovery priorities.
  • Perform original and complex copy cataloging, metadata, and authority work for special collections books and manuscripts across our varied collecting priorities.
  • Identify bibliographic remediation activities and projects to enhance description, address harmful and oppressive description, and facilitate discovery of special collections materials.
  • Advocate for the specific needs of special collections metadata in Library cataloging systems, including identifying workflow and metadata harmonization needs and remediation projects in anticipation of and post-system wide ILS migration.
  • Support activities and workflows to ensure physical control, maintenance, and preservation of special collections books and manuscripts.
  • Collect, analyze, and maintain data to support cataloging and metadata activities, discovery, and access. Prepare and present statistical, narrative, and visual reports for stakeholders.
  • Serve as a resource for technical expertise and problem-solving within Library Special Collections on cataloging issues.


  • Supervise, oversee, and coordinate the LSC cataloging sub-team to optimize workflows, execute projects, and build team understanding of evolving practices, trends, and standards in special collections cataloging.
  • Work with the Head of Collection Management to set performance goals and project deadlines for cataloging and metadata priorities and projects. Delegate work to supervisees, monitor and create strategies for success, and provide constructive feedback.

Service and Professional Development

  • Serve as Library Special Collections cataloging and metadata representative on system-wide and local committees, working groups, and task forces.
  • Contribute to department and library-wide outreach and community engagement activities, such as instruction, presentations, and reference services.
  • Serve on LSC committees, task forces, working groups, as needed and in alignment with current workload.

The successful candidate will have a commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity through engagement with and promotion of the UCLA Principles of Community; ability to work creatively, collaboratively, and effectively and to promote teamwork, diversity, equity, and inclusiveness within UCLA Libraries and the campus; strong commitment to user-oriented cataloging and metadata services based on an understanding of research and instruction needs of special collections users; ability to work independently and collaboratively; ability to balance competing priorities and work under tight deadlines; ability to stay abreast of privacy, confidentiality, copyright, and related policies associated with acquisition, access, and use of special collections materials; ability to analyze and synthesize information quickly, thoroughly, and in visual ways to support decisions and communicate with stakeholders; ability to communicate complex technical ideas to library and non-library communities; professional flexibility to operate between traditional MARC-based systems and metadata in other discovery environments; and a commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment and workplace and ability to work with a diverse student and faculty population.

General Information

Professional librarians at UCLA are academic appointees. Librarians at UCLA are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, University Council – American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT). This is a represented position. They are entitled to appropriate professional leave, two days per month of vacation leave, one day per month of sick leave, and all other benefits granted to non-faculty academic personnel. The University has an excellent retirement system and sponsors a variety of group health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans in addition to other benefits. Relocation assistance may be provided.

Appointees to the librarian series at UC shall have professional backgrounds that demonstrate a high degree of creativity, teamwork, and flexibility. Such background will normally include a professional degree from an ALA-accredited library and information science graduate program. In addition to professional competence and quality of service within the library in the primary job, advancement in the librarian series requires professional involvement and contributions outside of the library, and/or university and community service, and/or scholarly activities. Candidates must show evidence or promise of such contributions.

Candidates applying by January 10, 2022 will be given first consideration for this position. UCLA welcomes and encourages diversity and seeks applications and nominations from women and minorities. UCLA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the people of California, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning.

Description of Unit

Library Special Collections (LSC) is an enterprise-wide, organizational entity within the UCLA Library System that integrates special collections resources, services, and operations. The department is comprised of three functional and interdependent units of approximately 30 FTE employees: Collections Management; Curators and Collections; and Public Services, Outreach, and Community Engagement. The Collection Management team takes a user-driven approach to collections stewardship and employs cutting-edge descriptive practices to increase visibility and access of collections and to ensure that users understand the scope and content of collections in our care. The Curatorial team builds relationships that support collection development and broad engagement with collections in Library Special Collections. Through their evolving knowledge of disciplines, communities, and movements, curators select exemplar collections that clearly align with the mission of the university. The Public Service, Outreach, and Community Engagement Unit ensures broad public accessibility to the outstanding special collections of the UCLA Library and facilitates deeper engagement with the communities we serve. As part of these integrated activities, LSC supports the teaching and research mission of our institution by deploying collections throughout undergraduate and graduate curriculum through collaboration with teaching faculty. Because of the nature of our materials in terms of rarity or fragility, LSC primarily serves visitors in a reading room and in various library instruction spaces where we are dedicated to ensuring access and engagement to unique research materials that are described, discoverable, and accessible.

Description of Institution and Library

As one of the world's great public research universities, UCLA integrates education, research, and public service so that each enriches and extends the others. From its beautiful neighborhood campus in a uniquely diverse and vibrant city on the Pacific Rim, teaching and research extend beyond the classroom, office, and lab through active engagement with communities, organizations, projects, and partnerships throughout the region and around the world.

UCLA’s diverse community of scholars encompasses nearly 30,000 undergraduates pursuing 125 majors, 13,000 graduate students in fifty-nine research programs, and 4,000 faculty members including Nobel Laureates; Rhodes Scholars; MacArthur Fellows; winners of the Fields Medal, National Medal of Science, Pritzker Prize, and Pulitzer Prize; and recipients of Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, and Golden Globes. UCLA ranks tenth in the Times of London Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, twelfth in the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and fifth in the U.S. by Washington Monthly. The National Research Council ranks forty of its graduate and doctoral research programs among its top ten.

To enable these accomplished students, faculty, and staff to create, disseminate, and apply knowledge for the benefit of global society, the UCLA Library is re-envisioning how it is acquired, synthesized, and shared across academic audiences and with the public. It was among the first academic libraries to develop subject-specialist librarians and to launch a program to enhance students’ research skills. Its Special Collections pioneered the acquisition by public institutions of rare and unique books, children’s literature, pulp and detective fiction, works by or about women and minorities, screenplays, architectural plans, and Los Angeles-related materials and today leads the way in collecting archival resources in digital format such as emails and manuscripts. It has launched innovative data management services and an affordable course materials initiative that have served as models for other libraries.

The Library serves UCLA students, faculty, and staff whenever and wherever they need its resources and expertise. Reconfigured, high-tech spaces and services in its ten campus libraries enable users and librarians to explore and work with print and digital materials collaboratively or individually, pursue new lines of inquiry, and develop new pedagogical approaches as well as novel forms of scholarship. More than 3.5 million people visit annually, while an additional 3.4 million visitors enter online through its virtual front doors.

Whether on campus or online, the Library forms the intellectual heart of UCLA, a hub for cutting-edge discovery, scholarship, and instruction.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the University of California and key components of the University’s commitment to excellence. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California policy on discrimination, harassment, and affirmative action see: University of California – Policy Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace

Under federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally authorized to work in the United States as established by providing documents specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Employment is contingent upon completion of satisfactory background investigation.

Visit the Jobs @ UCLA Library website

Position: Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian
Organization: UCLA Library
Location: Los Angeles,  CA 
United States
Salary: $58,365 to $80,356
Posting Start Date: 12/13/2021
Date Posted: 12/13/2021

Basic Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited Master's Degree in Library or Information Science OR significant graduate-level coursework toward such a degree OR equivalent education and experience (subject expertise combined with professional library education and/or experience).
  • Minimum of three years of experience cataloging a diverse range of rare and unique materials in multiple formats.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with nationally accepted standards, vocabularies, and best metadata practices pertinent to special collections, in particular MARC, DCRM, LCSH, LCC.
  • Demonstrated leadership and/or supervisory experience.
  • Progressive responsibility in leading cataloging and metadata projects and initiatives.
  • Experience managing metadata for special collections materials, including data standardization, remediation, repurposing metadata for reuse, as well as an understanding of metadata mapping.
  • Proven ability to research, adapt, and write cataloging and metadata guidelines, specifications, and procedures for use by staff.
  • Demonstrated experience with time management and project planning, management, completion, and assessment.
  • Experience utilizing and tailoring communication skills -- including oral, written, and interpersonal skills -- to work effectively and collaboratively with various stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience working in a highly collaborative team-based environment.

Applicants with all the above basic qualifications and any of the following preferred qualifications or professional experiences are strongly encouraged to apply: 1) Reading knowledge of one or more languages other than English; 2) Experience with software and tools for manipulation and batch creation of metadata, such as MarcEdit, OpenRefine, XML editors; 3) Experience with non-MARC metadata standards; 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); 4) Demonstrated knowledge and experience with nationally accepted standards, vocabularies, and best metadata practices pertinent to special collections, in particular AACR2, RDA, NACO, RBMS genre terms, and AAT; 5) Demonstrated interest in and engagement with history of the books and printing, bibliography, and/or the history of publishing and book collecting; 6) Knowledge of appraisal theory and approaches in special collections; 7) Experience with programming and/or scripting tools, such as Python, XSLT, etc.; 8) Working knowledge of special collections request systems (e.g. Aeon); and 9) Experience providing reference to special collections users.

Status: This listing expires on: 3/13/2022
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Organization Information
UCLA Library

Los Angeles,  CA 90095
United States
Lilia Sandoval