Duke University, Duke University Libraries

Position ID:Duke-DUL-HRD [#18223]
Position Title: Head of Resource Description
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Durham, North Carolina 27708, United States [map]
Subject Area: Library / Technical Services-Cataloging
Appl Deadline:2021/04/01 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2021/03/01, finished 2021/06/07, listed until 2021/04/01)
Position Description:   URMs  

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer being accepted. ***

As a member of the Technical Services Leadership Team, the Head of Resource Description provides strategic direction and operational management of bibliographic metadata and cataloging infrastructure, policies, and practices. You will direct Resource Description production of MARC metadata at all levels, in all formats, and languages reflected in Duke University Libraries’ (DUL) collections strategy. You will lead change initiatives in response to emerging data models (RDF, BIBFRAME, Linked Data), to enhance user-centered resource discovery, and transitions driven by technological innovation (e.g. FOLIO, SHARE-VDE).

This position administers metadata services for DUL general collections, collaborates as needed with units providing metadata for special and digital collections, and as appropriate leads the outreach and development of internal and external partnerships related to cooperative metadata projects. The position also has oversight of the management of the flow of materials to and from the commercial bindery, and shared management of in-house shelf-preparation, vendor relationships for shelf-ready and outsourcing programs.


 ·       Sets goals, establishes priorities, and provides direction in developing effective procedures and workflows for cataloging and processing library materials and making efficient and innovative use of available tools, equipment, and technologies.

·       Leads the Resource Description management team in its stewardship, creation, and maintenance of consistent standards for bibliographic description to support and enhance functionality and interoperability in the Libraries’ complex discovery environment. Ensure that adopted standards and performance expectations are achieved. Creates guidelines and ensures quality control for both original and copy cataloging as well as shelf preparation.

·       Provides leadership and guidance in staff training and development. Promotes high performance and learning opportunities to develop skills and adapt to evolving metadata processes and inclusive description practices. Defines and clarifies roles and responsibilities, setting forth expectations and principles.  Works to foster staff agency and creates an environment that promotes respect and accountability.

·       Builds relationships and works cooperatively with other departments, external partners and individual collaborators, as appropriate, to assess and respond to needs, clarify and solicit feedback on policies, coordinate workflow, and implement new procedures and system modifications.

·       Manages, plans, and coordinates scaled projects as needed. Works closely with Metadata and Discovery Strategy Department to support various data transformation and remediation projects evaluating automation of processes and/or application of tools when appropriate.

·       Collects, analyzes, and reports on metrics relevant to planning and implementation of annual and multiyear departmental goals; uses relevant metrics in assessments and recommendations that align with strategic priorities of Technical Services and the Libraries.

·       Maintains knowledge of trends and best practices in metadata standards and the application of technology to support metadata-reliant processing workflows and/or enhance service to library user communities.

·       Hires, supervises and evaluates staff; prepares and manages the departmental budget.

·       Engages with consortia networks and peer institutions in the investigation and development of scalable metadata standards and service models that enhance access and discovery, particularly for shared print initiatives and collective collections.

·       Displays continuing growth in professional and subject knowledge and takes an active interest in the profession. Growth and interest should be demonstrated through continuing development of professional knowledge and abilities, membership and participation in professional organizations, and service to the library, University, or community in a professional capacity.

·       Carries out special projects and performs other related duties as assigned.


Supervisory Responsibilities

·       Supervises directly or indirectly the 12 librarians and support staff of the Resource Description Department.


It is the expectation that all Duke University Libraries staff members will demonstrate exceptional workplace behaviors in the execution of their specific position responsibilities. These behaviors are customer focus, collaboration, creative problem solving, continuous learning, and a commitment to creating a culture of inclusion that values and respects diversity of perspective, background, and experience.  In addition, managers and supervisors are expected to help develop a common vision by providing clear direction and priorities, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and promoting mutual understanding through effective communication.  They are also expected to take the time to effectively plan and evaluate performance, provide feedback, recognition and coaching, and develop employees to achieve their personal and organizational goals. 



Required: Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program or an equivalent combination of education and experience that demonstrates the conceptual, analytical, and interpersonal skills required to manage and lead a critical library program.



Required: 5 years or more of professional experience as a librarian in an academic or research library or similar institution focused on bibliographic description and management; 3 years or more of supervisory experience in an academic or research library and evidence of leadership in the provision of metadata services; strong functional leadership experience in cataloging and metadata processes and evidence of successful and innovative management of staff and operations; demonstrated ability to provide effective direction to others to drive results and deliver operational excellence; demonstrated success in designing and coordinating timely, results-oriented approaches to workflow and transformational initiatives; exemplary communication and interpersonal skills; effective planning, collaboration, and organizational skills; demonstrated success in building and maintaining effective relationships, both internally and externally; demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and independently with various groups within a complex organization and dynamic team environment; working knowledge of metadata standards and applications (i.e. MARC, RDA, AACR2, Dewey, LCSH, and LC classification for all formats and media); extensive experience with at least one bibliographic utility and integrated library system or library services platform; operational knowledge of discovery and access methods and systems; familiarity with non-MARC metadata formats, standards, and schema (e.g. Dublin Core, EADS, BIBFRAME); strong knowledge of principles, best practices, trends and issues related to metadata standards and schema, as well as innovations in web-based technologies, such as linked open data, metadata services/ontologies, and network-based approaches to access and discovery.

Preferred: 8 years or more of experience in leadership in an academic or research library or similar institution; demonstrated experience in creating a compelling service vision to meet known or anticipated needs, exhibiting flexibility and scalability in approach and motivating others to achieve desired results; experience in metadata policy formation, metadata strategy and best practice principles; working knowledge of, or fluency in, a second language; experience in the creative integration of automated and manual technical services processes; knowledge of and experience with budget management.

Working Conditions

  • Occasionally works in an environment in which exposure to materials containing dust and mold is possible
  • Normal office environment
  • Work will be performed onsite 

These statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.

Salary and Benefits

Salary and rank dependent on qualifications and experience. Comprehensive benefits package includes 20 days vacation, 13 holidays, 12 days sick leave; health, dental, disability and life insurance and support for professional development and training.


Since its founding in 1924, Duke University has grown into one of the most prestigious private universities in the world and its medical center ranks annually among the top in the nation. The Duke University Libraries are the shared center of the university's intellectual life, connecting people and ideas. The Libraries consist of the Perkins Library, Bostock Library, Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Lilly Library, and Music Library, and the library at the Duke Marine Laboratory in Beaufort. Duke's library holdings of 6.2 million volumes are among the largest of private universities in the United States. 


Duke is a diverse community committed to the principles of excellence, fairness, and respect for all people. We recognize that the workplace only truly flourishes with an active presence of different backgrounds and unique abilities. We value the unseen perspective, the unheard voice, and the unnoticed ideas. We hope to give a platform of growth and connection, where employees can be free to produce new ways of thinking to promote inclusion and respect for all. Duke University Libraries encourages an environment where shared goals are reached by exceptional individuals.


Duke's hometown is Durham, North Carolina, a city with vibrant research, medical and arts communities, and numerous shops, restaurants and theaters. Durham is located in the Research Triangle, a growing metropolitan area of more than one million people that provides a wide range of cultural, recreational and educational opportunities. The Triangle is conveniently located just a few hours from the mountains and the coast, offers a moderate climate, and has been ranked among the best places to live and to do business.


Duke offers a comprehensive benefit package which includes both traditional benefits such as health insurance, leave time and retirement, as well as wide ranging work/life and cultural benefits. Details can be found at:  http://www.hr.duke.edu/benefits/index.php.


Cover letter, detailed resume and the names, addresses (mailing and e-mail), and telephone numbers of three references should be submitted to https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/18223. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Priority will be given to applications received by March 22, 2021. All applications received will be reviewed.

Applications which are missing any of the components listed above will not be reviewed.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The Duke University Libraries have a strong commitment to Affirmative Action and is actively seeking to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our staff.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
365 Rubenstein Library
Box 90194
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708

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