Metadata Initiatives Librarian

at The Ohio State University Libraries (view profile)
Location Columbus, OH
Date Posted July 9, 2018
Category Academic
Job Type Full-time


The Ohio State University Libraries seeks a dynamic and self-motivated individual for the position of Metadata Initiatives Librarian. The University Libraries are currently accelerating and reconfiguring our discovery environment and underlying infrastructures. Building on Digital Collections ( and other digital initiatives, the Metadata Initiatives Librarian will help the University Libraries enhance discovery and use of our rich collections and services. The Metadata Initiatives Librarian will work collaboratively across the organization to advance the University Libraries’ metadata program to initiate, plan, prioritize, document, and execute metadata activities. Act to ensure that metadata for digital collections (often represented by diverse data types) are effectively integrated with traditional library collections across various discovery tools, metadata is migrated between systems, and metadata are being created and maintained according to best practices. Collaborates with Head of Bibliographic Initiatives to position the University Libraries for the future of user-centered description of library collections.



  • Lead development and implementation of metadata guidelines and data models. Work with a variety of stakeholders to document guidelines and best practices for metadata for the OSU University Libraries across multiple platforms. Provide training and support for ongoing creation of metadata that meets these standards. Develop data models to support discovery and exchange of metadata within University Libraries.
  • Leverage metadata for discovery and use of collections. Engage in discovery and use initiatives with University Libraries and the library community, such as Digital Public Library of America. Assist in the growth and development of metadata infrastructure to support digital initiatives. In collaboration with the Head of Bibliographic Initiatives and other partners, prepare University Libraries for the transition from the present MARC focused environment to one that facilitates the management and use of linked data.
  • Build sustainable workflows and practices. Actively partner across University Libraries, including with Preservation and Reformatting, Information Technology, and content specialists, to understand needs and develop efficient and effective workflows for metadata creation, maintenance, and use. Through this collaboration, ensure sufficient metadata for discovery and management of digitized, born-digital, and physical collections.
  • Transform metadata. Evaluate, transform, and remediate metadata to support active efforts to consolidate existing metadata and digital resources from a variety of legacy tools and to support content creation.
  • Engage as member of the leadership team of Acquisitions and Discovery with responsibility for metadata that robustly supports a user-centered discovery environment.
  • Educate and collaborate. Consult with and advise partners and stakeholders on metadata issues. Effectively communicate metadata needs and specifications.
  • Participate proactively on library-wide committees, task forces and teams, and with partners in the metadata community.
  • Manage staffing resources for metadata.
  • Contribute to developments in the arena of metadata or discovery through active professional engagement and research, presenting and publishing in appropriate venues.

Required Qualifications:

  • An ALA-accredited master’s degree, a master’s degree with specialization in archives, a master’s degree in museum studies or a comparable graduate degree in one of the above fields from a non-U.S. university, reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • Substantial expertise with current and emerging issues, trends, workflows, and best practices in metadata, gained through at least three years of professional experience.
  • Detailed knowledge of metadata standards such as Dublin Core, VRA Core, METS or MODS.
  • Demonstrated capabilities leveraging scripting languages and/or tools for data manipulation (e.g. OpenRefine, Python, XSLT, etc.).
  • Flexibility and creativity in adapting to rapidly changing metadata management environments.
  • Excellent analytical skills, including complex problems solving.
  • Effective oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Commitment to librarianship, scholarship, and service which are required criteria to meet University and University Libraries requirements for promotion and tenure (


Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with analyzing and remediating existing metadata to meet current standards.
  • Experience in project planning, workflow development, and/or writing documentation.
  • Knowledge of metadata standards and practices for a variety of communities and specialized applications, including visual resources, media, archives, preservation, etc.
  • Experience working with library metadata standards, such as RDA, AACR2, and MARC, and authority data, such as LC authorities, VIAF, Getty vocabularies, ORCID, or ISNI.
  • Knowledge of linked data, ontologies, and taxonomies.
  • Experience with description of special collections.
  • Experience with cross collection discovery system design or development.
  • Experience hiring, training, assessing employees. Success in developing and implementing training programs.


Discover Ohio State:

The Ohio State University's campus in Columbus is the stage for academic achievement and a laboratory for innovation.  The University's main campus is one of America's largest and most comprehensive. As Ohio's best and one of the nation's top-20 public universities, Ohio State is further recognized by a top-rated academic medical center and a premier cancer hospital and research center. As a land-grant university, Ohio State has a physical presence throughout the state, with campuses and research centers located around Ohio.


The Ohio State University Libraries is here to support students, scholars, Buckeyes and beyond advancing research, teaching, and learning. We offer educational resources, services, and expertise that opens minds and forwards equity, inclusion, and diversity in the pursuit and sharing of knowledge. Learn about our strategic directions.


The recently formed Acquisitions and Discovery program comprises multiple units managing work in the arenas of content ordering, receiving, licensing and negotiation, bibliographic description, metadata creation and management, access management for electronic resources, and description and processing of special collections content.


The Metadata Initiatives Librarian joins the University Libraries during an exciting period of pivotal transition as we implement a new strategic plan ( aligned with the University’s priorities ( Not only will the successful candidate enrich existing faculty and staff expertise, but will join the Libraries as we seek to grow and cultivate agile practices that value iterative change through experimentation and risk-taking. Under the direction of the Acquisitions and Discovery Strategist, the Metadata Initiatives Librarian will join a team of program area leaders and collaborate in building innovative processes throughout the lifecycle of library collections. The University Libraries is actively building a new discovery environment to ensure a user-centered experience of seamless discovery, access, and delivery of library resources.


Libraries’ greatest resource is our faculty and staff. Their expertise produces value beyond the collections and their commitment to continual improvement and innovation is one of the most significant ways University Libraries meets the diverse and evolving information needs of university students, faculty, staff, alongside scholars throughout Ohio and the world.


We provide convenient, ubiquitous resources and services – accessible from your home or office, inside one of our welcoming facilities or wherever your scholarly pursuits lead you. University Libraries gives you access to deep research collections, an extensive offering of online resources, and distinctive special collections of exceptional quality. Our facilities offer work spaces designed to facilitate diverse learning styles and research methods.


As a global leader, The Ohio State University and the Libraries are actively engaged in local, statewide, national, and international initiatives to help shape the future of academic research libraries. These activities and the innovations that result enhance our ability to acquire, manage, and preserve emerging information resources, support knowledge creation, and enable its effective transmission to future learners.  Additional information about The Ohio State University Libraries is available at



This is a full-time, permanent, 12-month appointment.  For appointment as a tenure-track faculty member, the candidate will be required to meet university and Libraries requirements for promotion and tenure.  Salary, position type, and faculty rank are dependent on qualifications and experience.



All of the benefits available to you reflect Ohio State’s commitment to provide high-quality, affordable plans and represent a significant component of your total rewards for working at Ohio State.  The University offers competitive benefits in the form of 22 days of vacation, 15 days sick leave, 10 holidays, medical, dental, vision, long-term disability insurance, and life insurance at 2.5 times one’s annual salary.  State and alternative retirement choices are also available. For a summary of benefits, see:


Join Us!

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Preference will be given to applications received by September 2, 2018. Please send cover letter, CV, references, and salary requirements to Kristin Gall,  Please include Metadata Initiatives Librarian in the subject field.


The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.

Only registered members can apply for jobs.