The University of Iowa Libraries

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Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Specialist


Position Vacancy

Job Classification: Librarian I or Specialist II

Position Description: Reporting to the Head, Digital Research & Publishing, the GIS Specialist will design, implement, and support the University of Iowa Libraries’ geospatial library. Recognizing the importance of geospatial data across all disciplines, this position is critical to the University Libraries’ efforts supporting scholarly digital publishing, the creation of new information resources for teaching and research, and campus priorities in informatics and digital humanities. The GIS Specialist will collaborate with many stakeholders to enhance access to and use of geospatial information, digitized historical maps and atlases, and applications for visualizing geospatial data for research.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Designing and implementing a geographic-based portal for discovering, previewing, and downloading geospatial data owned, licensed, produced, or curated by the Libraries
  • Managing the operations and the ongoing development of the geospatial library collection
  • Curating, promoting, and enhancing geospatial datasets
  • Collaborating with university affiliates to design and deliver a geospatial literacy program that supports the academic curriculum across the University
  • Engaging in campus outreach to introduce geospatial and GIS technologies to students and others
  • Actively participating in the emerging campus GIS community and the technical core group
  • Providing instruction and research assistance in the use of geospatial information in collaboration with subject liaison librarians
  • Assisting scholars in the creation, management, analysis and visualization of geospatial data as part of a campus-wide coordinated multidisciplinary approach to informatics support and services
  • Serve as library liaison to the UI Informatics Initiative in domain applications related to spatial data
  • Working with Special Collections and Library Information Technology staff to enhance access to digitized historical map and atlas collections

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in library and information science with a concentration or advanced coursework in GIS, or an equivalent degree related to the position (e.g., an advanced degree in geography or in geographic information science, or a geoinformatics certificate with a degree in informatics or other program)
  • For the Librarian level, no minimum number of years of professional experience is required and for the Specialist Librarian level, three or more years of experience is required.
  • Relevant experience using GIS software, including ESRI ArcGIS
  • Knowledge of map and geospatial resources
  • High degree of computer literacy
  • Interest in emerging technologies
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to explain technical topics to a non-technical audience
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with diverse stakeholders

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with geospatial and FGDC-endorsed metadata standards such as ISO 19115
  • Experience with a programing language such as Python or PHP
  • Experience teaching the use of GIS in a library environment
  • Experience building GIS web services
  • Experience with open-source and web-based GIS tools (Open GeoPortal, Harvard WorldMap, Quantum GIS, ESRI Online, etc.)

Universal Competencies:

  • Positive Impact/Achieving Results: Ability to utilize existing resources and learning to achieve or exceed desired outcomes of current and future organizational goals/needs. Ability to demonstrate ethical behavior in diverse situations while producing results.
  • Service Excellence/Customer Focus: Ability to meet or exceed customer service needs and expectations and provide excellent service in a direct or indirect manner. Ability to effectively transmit and interpret information through appropriate communication with internal and external customers.
  • Collaboration and Embracing Diversity: Ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and civil manner while appreciating the unique contribution of individuals from varied cultures, nationalities, genders, ages, etc.

The University of Iowa Libraries: The University of Iowa library system consists of the Main Library, the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences and a number of branch libraries. The Libraries has more than 5 million volumes including thousands of electronic resources and coordinates the development and maintenance of the University’s locally-created open access digital resources including the digital library, featuring more than 800,000 digitized texts, images, audio and video recordings, as well as Iowa Research Online, our institutional repository. Our Special Collections include over 200,000 rare books, ranging in age from the 15th century to newly created artists’ books.

The University of Iowa is a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), ARL, OCLC, CRL, SPARC, CNI, CLIR, LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, and Portico. The Libraries provides a program of support for professional development activities and its staff members are actively engaged in national cooperative efforts.

The University and Iowa City: A major research and teaching institution, the University of Iowa offers internationally recognized programs in a diverse array of academic, medical, and artistic disciplines, from otolaryngology to fiction writing, printmaking to space science, hydraulic engineering to dance. The University consists of a faculty of 2,000 and a permanent staff of 13,000 serving 30,500 students, more than 40% of whom are from out of state and close to 10,000 of whom are registered in graduate and professional degree programs. Approximately 9% of the University’s faculty and staff and 10% of its student body are members of minority groups, and 8% of the students are from foreign countries.

The University of Iowa is home to the Writers’ Workshop, the oldest graduate creative writing program in the country, and the blueprint for many of the creative writing programs that now thrive on campuses worldwide. It is also home to the International Writing Program where, since 1967, over a thousand writers from more than 120 countries have participated. The University has recently instituted a program in creative writing in Spanish. Finally, UNESCO designated Iowa City as the world’s third City of Literature in 2008.

Iowa City is a community of some 70,000 people (more than 150,000 live in the surrounding area) with excellent educational, recreational, and cultural advantages. It is consistently cited in the national media as a city with an excellent quality of life. The city is readily accessible via interstate highways and a major airport is only 30 minutes away. The community is growing in its diversity; within the Iowa City Community School District, 32.47% of the students are minority, with 16.22% identifying as African-American, 8.55% as Latino/Hispanic, 7.33% as Asian-American, and .37% as Native American during the 2010/11 school year.

Salary and appointment: Start date is negotiable. Appointment will be made at the Librarian (I) or Specialist (II) level, depending on qualifications. Salary ranges: Librarian $43,000 to $46,000; Specialist $47,000 to $60,000. The University of Iowa offers an attractive package of benefits including 24 days of paid vacation per year, your choice between two retirement plans and two University of Iowa health insurance plans, dental insurance, pre-tax child and health care spending accounts, and additional options.

Application Procedure: To apply for this position, please visit the University of Iowa Jobs@UIOWA website at Applications received by August 4, 2014, will be given first consideration.


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