Metadata and Dataloads Librarian

Job Level
Mid-level position
Job Category
  • Systems / Operations
Job Status
Areas of Responsibility
  • Data / Database

As a member of the Metadata Management section, under the supervision of the Head of Metadata Management, the incumbent facilitates timely access to Harvard Library collections by fulfilling a variety of roles that support discovery through improving the Harvard Library’s use of batch processing and automation; specific focus areas include acquisitions and e-resources dataloads, metadata enrichment, and innovative approaches to generating metadata at scale.

The position provides leadership in two primary areas: 1) shepherding e-resources MARC records through the batch review/load lifecycle, coordinating with metadata and e-resource specialists; and 2) implementation and troubleshooting technical configurations for acquisitions dataloads of MARC records, EDIFACT invoices and orders, coordinating and broadening staff expertise throughout ITS.  Other activities include metadata analysis, data mapping and transformations, leveraging use of non-MARC data sources to enable discovery, use of APIs to facilitate interoperability between systems, and use and reuse of metadata across schemas.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manages and contributes to diverse dataload activities that support library operations and discovery; including batch loading acquisitions data and MARC records for collections in both print and electronic formats

    • Tests and implements system configurations; collaborates with colleagues and vendors for troubleshooting

    • Evaluates sources of e-resources description from vendors, library systems and other external sources to determine the most efficient form of access for users

    • Identifies and manipulates alternative data sources to enhance or generate discovery metadata through innovative means

  • Establishes effective working relationships with technical contacts at vendors, publishers, and interface providers as they relate to timely dataloads and provision of files, including problem solving, assessment, and service monitoring; ensures data integrity across platforms (e.g. Alma/Primo Central Index)

  • Coordinates the work of various participants in the e-resource metadata lifecycle by prioritizing, distributing and tracking batch record review; hones infrastructure for efficient group process including documentation and ticketing

    • Works with colleagues to define appropriate levels of quality and service requirements, including timelines and best practices

    • Engages with colleagues to support non-MARC work at scale, such as creating Alma collections, loading portfolios, working with sets, and using analytics to understand a wider breadth of work

  • Develops and organizes documentation and training to educate colleagues as appropriate on dataloads processes and technology-assisted workflows

  • Supports collection management through analysis of entitlements, finding gaps between what Harvard Library owns and what is discoverable in the catalog, and systematically addressing them

  • Participates in metadata creation and enrichment projects, identifying, adapting, harvesting or manipulating existing metadata whenever possible to aid in user discovery of information resources

  • Investigates, analyzes, develops, and implements tools and technologies that contribute to workflow efficiencies, quality control, and enable staff to perform technical services tasks effectively and at scale

  • Collaborates and liaises with functional area and technical colleagues from various Harvard Library units and departments, as well as those in the university IT sector, particularly Library Technology Services

  • Contributes to projects involving emerging metadata schemas and support for the library’s digital strategy

  • Serves as a member of relevant committees, working groups and communities of practice, inside and outside of Harvard Library as appropriate

  • Contributes to the overall goals of Harvard Library being flexible and accommodating shifting priorities


Basic Qualifications

  • Master of Library & Information Science degree or equivalent education/experience required

  • Demonstrated success with project management

  • Knowledge of data manipulation/clean-up tools (such as MARCedit, OpenRefine) and methodologies

  • Knowledge of MARC and non-MARC metadata, metadata cross-walks, character encoding and XML schema

  • Experience with analyzing, creating and documenting procedures such as service standards, policies, procedures and workflows


Additional Qualifications

  • Ability to use technology in creative ways to solve problems or facilitate workflow 

  • Must have excellent organizational, interpersonal, problem-solving and analytical skills, with strong customer service orientation, and flexibility to adapt to changing daily priorities

  • Must exhibit strong initiative and ability to prioritize and meet project deadlines

  • Demonstrated success performing complex work both independently and collaboratively with a diverse group of people

  • Knowledge of EDIFACT standards desirable

  • Familiarity with basic UNIX command line processes desirable

  • Familiarity with coding or scripting using Python, JavaScript or similar technologies, and transformation of XML documents using XSLT desirable

  • Experience in a library technical services environment and/or with integrated library systems and bibliographic utilities desirable

  • Experience with Alma desirable, including Import Profiles, Community Zone, and e-resources inventory model

  • Must be able to remain calm under pressure and maintain a professional demeanor when communicating with colleagues and solving problems

  • Commitment to self-directed learning and development as part of a continuous learning environment

  • Ability to learn and master new software, systems, and technology as required

  • Ability to work productively and cooperatively in a team environment, with flexibility and versatility in an evolving work situation required 


Additional Information


Diversity and Inclusion at the Harvard Library
Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

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Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support.  Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University's faculty, students, and researchers—now and in the future—with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

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