Metadata Librarian for Distinctive Collections

at MIT Libraries (view profile)
Published January 17, 2024
Location 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
Apply Here
Cover Letter Requirements Required
Education Requirements • Master’s degree in library/information science or relevant field.
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency 71,175
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency 119,200
Hourly or Salary? Salary
Pay Grade This job is a pay grade 8 with the following range: $71,175 $95,188 $119,200


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries seeks for its Metadata Librarian for Distinctive Collections a creative and collaborative librarian who will play a key role in making discoverable and accessible the unique and rare holdings in MIT’s distinctive collections.


Reporting to the Lead Metadata Strategist, the Metadata Librarian for Distinctive Collections will lead, manage, and participate in the metadata workflows for distinctive collections in tangible and digital formats. They will create and edit metadata for rare books, MIT publications, images, audio, video, web resources, and other materials in MARC and non-MARC formats. They will embrace the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice in working with people, collections, and systems, applying these principles to our metadata and discovery environments. They will supervise two staff and coordinate the work of others involved in metadata production and management for distinctive collections, providing coaching, leadership, and development support. In collaboration with colleagues, they will contribute to projects related to collection management, digital collections, archival metadata, and the remediation and transformation of metadata. They will build working relationships with staff throughout the Libraries, fostering communication about distinctive collections metadata.


Through metadata creation and management, the Metadata Librarian for Distinctive Collections supports work that advances the Libraries’ vision of building platforms for the creation, discovery, use, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge that is fully open and equitably accessible. They will value innovation, exploring new and emerging technologies for metadata creation and management.


Metadata Creation and Management (45%)

  • Lead, manage, and participate in the metadata workflows for distinctive collections, including rare books, MIT publications, images, audio, video, web resources, and other digital and tangible materials in all formats.
  • Create original metadata records, and perform complex editing of metadata records, according to established national and international standards and best Create, edit, and maintain authority records and provide authority control, in coordination with the Cataloging and Metadata Librarian.
  • Apply values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice to metadata and discovery through descriptive practices, remediation projects, and the ongoing evaluation of the discovery
  • Contribute to projects related to collection management, digital collections, and archival metadata, in coordination with the Archival Processing Manager and other colleagues.
  • Make use of technologies such as scripting languages, server-side tools, and batch editing applications to create or curate metadata when appropriate.
  • Coordinate workflows and communication between metadata, acquisitions, and archival processing staff.
  • Create, review, communicate, and revise documentation for workflows and best practices; develop training materials.
  • Keep current on trends, standards, and best practices in metadata creation and management for distinctive collections across academic libraries, peer institutions, historical societies, and museums.


Staff Management, Development, and Support (35%)

  • Hire, supervise, train, assess, and/or coordinate the work of two service
  • Provide coaching, leadership and development support for direct reports and other staff with interconnected and/or shared responsibilities.
  • Plan and run regular meetings for functions-based working groups related to metadata for distinctive collections, to learn new skills, share current situations, and collaborate on
  • Lead staff to collectively establish work goals, coordinate activities and projects, develop procedures, plan, and problem-solve.


Collaboration, Partnerships, and Outreach (20%)

  • Develop and champion collaborative working relationships with staff throughout the Libraries, including the Department of Distinctive Collections, Collections Strategists, Scholarly Communications and Collections Strategy, Digital Library Services, and others involved in collections and metadata activities.
  • Serve as a member of the Technical Services Leadership Team, as well as other groups in which perspective and leadership in distinctive collections metadata is needed.
  • Advise and educate Collections leadership and Libraries’ staff in policies, procedures, and tools involved in the production and management of metadata for distinctive collections, and contribute expertise to system-wide initiatives, task groups, and committees.
  • May provide public services assistance in the Department of Distinctive



  • Master’s degree in library/information science or relevant
  • At least three years of relevant
  • Experience leading, managing, training, and inspiring
  • In-depth understanding of and experience with cataloging and authority standards, including the following: RDA, DCRM, LCSH, LC classification, relevant encoding formats including MARC, Dublin Core, and standard authorities procedures.
  • Knowledge of current best practices for the description and management of rare books and special collections.
  • Experience creating and managing metadata for digital
  • Positive service attitude, with demonstrated ability to work well with diverse groups of people; to productively handle relationships and conflicts; and to embrace the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice in working with people, collections, and systems.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to explain complex concepts to staff with differing levels of expertise.
  • Demonstrated ability to be flexible, embrace ambiguity, adapt to change and successfully work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • Ability to identify problems, think creatively, and carry out solutions independently or as part of a group or team, particularly when several priorities arise at the same time.
  • Ability to understand and evaluate new and emerging technologies, particularly those that could facilitate operational workflows.
  • Dedication to the value of innovation and experimentation and a desire to advance these values through this position.
  • Solid experience with library automation systems and tools, including OCLC, and the facility to learn and master new software, systems, and technology, and to generate reports and work with
  • Demonstrated experience with project planning and management and evidence of being able to bring complex projects through to completion.
  • Demonstrated awareness of professional trends and developments in metadata


We expect candidates to be stronger in some qualifications listed above than others; we are committed to helping our future colleague expand their skills, as well as learning from their areas of strength.


  • Basic understanding of acquisitions practices for distinctive collections and how they relate to metadata workflows and management.
  • Awareness of and/or experience with emerging metadata technologies such as Linked Open
  • Experience using Ex Libris’ Alma library services
  • Background or strong interest in the history of science, technology, or
  • Reading knowledge of one or more language(s) other than English