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The University of Iowa Libraries


Head, Cataloging – Metadata Department

Head, Cataloging - Metadata Department

Advertising Extended Until Position is Filled


Head, Cataloging-Metadata Department
Expert Librarian (PLB3/5A) or Senior Librarian (PLB4/6A)

Position Description: The University of Iowa Libraries seeks an experienced librarian with a strong cataloging background to head its Cataloging-Metadata Department and to develop and implement a strategic plan responsive to the evolving cataloging and metadata needs of the institution.

Reporting to an Assoc. University Librarian, the Head, Cataloging-Metadata Department directs a highly motivated staff of 8 librarians, 12 library assistants, and student employees responsible for the creation, enhancement, maintenance, and integration of cataloging and metadata records across multiple repositories.

In addition to bibliographic data contained in the library catalog which covers materials in all formats and languages, the department’s metadata scope extends to the institutional repository, digital library collections, and name and subject heading control for finding aids, and we are increasingly involved in campus conversations regarding local names (e.g., linking bibliographic records with the campus identity management system), local citations (e.g., controlling publication data in the campus faculty activity reporting system), and local publishing initiatives (e.g., scholarly journals, grey literature, and research data).

The successful candidate will be an individual whose knowledge of cataloging is broad and deep and who is prepared to lead a department that already understands how long-standing principles and practices of MARC cataloging and authority control can translate to meet emerging campus needs for information management. The individual must be experienced in strategic planning and project management and must have the ability to foster close and productive relationships with library public services staff.

Specific Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Provide effective leadership for a department of 8 librarians, 12 library assistants, and student employees, fostering a work environment that embraces the University Libraries’ stated values of service, collaboration, integrity, creativity, openness, diversity, stewardship, and respect.
  • Coach and mentor department librarians active in professional engagement activities that contribute to their individual career goals, the profession, and the organization.
  • Oversee the development of cataloging and metadata policies and procedures and ensure that the most efficient and appropriate standards and best practices are used; regularly assess procedures and develop strategies to increase productivity and to streamline workflows.
  • Support the creation, enhancement, and maintenance of authority metadata, both for local use and to contribute to the Name Authority Cooperative Program (NACO).
  • Actively participate on the University Libraries’ Leadership Council and the Assoc. University Librarian’s department heads leadership team.
  • Represent the University of Iowa Libraries on issues related to bibliographic metadata production, organization, and management in initiatives undertaken in collaboration with campus partners including Law Library, Iowa Board of Regents universities, and the Big Ten Academic Alliance.
  • Contribute to the profession regionally and nationally through research, publishing, teaching, and/or service.
  • Represent the University Libraries in campus-wide and inter-institutional initiatives.



  • ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library and Information Science
  • To qualify at the Expert Librarian level: four or more years of professional experience, and evidence of continuing achievement, particularly at the national level, in professional activities.
  • To qualify at the Senior Librarian level: six or more years of professional experience, and evidence of national leadership as well as continuing significant achievement in professional activities.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and project management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach, mentor, and supervise professional librarians.
  • Broad and deep knowledge of MARC cataloging in an academic research library.
  • In-depth understanding of current and emerging metadata standards, models, applications, and initiatives such as RDA, LC/PCC PS, LCC, LCSH, LCGFT, LCDGT, LCMPT, MARC21, DC, MODS, and EAD.
  • Keen interest or involvement in linked data and BIBFRAME.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team-based setting where consultation, flexibility, collaboration and cooperation are essential.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity in the workplace or community.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the mission of a research university and the mission and functions of a large research library.


  • Four or more years of direct experience performing original and complex copy cataloging applying knowledge of cataloging standards such as RDA, LC/PCC PS, LCC, LCSH, MARC21, AACR2, and authority control.
  • Experience with bibliographic utilities and integrated library systems, vendor cataloging services, authority control services, and automated routines for bibliographic maintenance.
  • Experience working with institutional repositories, digital libraries, and/or finding aids.
  • Experience with Ex Libris Alma and Primo.

Salary and appointment: Start date is negotiable. Appointment will be made at the Expert Librarian (III) or Senior (IV) Librarian level, depending on experience and qualifications of successful candidate. Salary ranges: Expert Librarian $55,000 – $81,000; Senior Librarian $68,000 – $97,000. References will be requested of final candidates.

The University of Iowa Libraries: The University of Iowa Libraries 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 Iowa Digital Library, featuring close to a million digitized texts, images, and 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.

Library systems are built on a mix of open source, locally developed, hosted services, and vended applications primarily from Ex Libris, OCLC, and Microsoft. The University of Iowa is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, 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. In 2008, UNESCO designated Iowa City as a world City of Literature.

Iowa City is a community of some 71,000 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, 35.4% of the students are minority, with 19.8% identifying as Black, 8.4% as Hispanic, 6.7% as Asian/Pacific Islander, and .3% as Native American during the 2014/15 school year.

Application Procedure: To apply for this position, please visit the University of Iowa Jobs@UIOWA website at Applications accepted until position is filled.

The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

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