Digital Preservation Librarian

Iowa City
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Created: October 20, 2014



Position Vacancy

Librarian (I) or Specialist (II) Librarian

Position Description: Reporting to the Head, Preservation & Conservation Department, the Digital Preservation Librarian explores, adapts, implements, and manages emerging digital preservation policies and strategies for the long-term protection and access to digital materials and advises on all phases of the life cycle of digital content with the aim of long-term retention and access. Works closely with staff in Library Information Technology, Cataloging-Metadata, Digital Research & Scholarly Publication, Preservation, and other library departments, as well as with partners at other institutions. Specific responsibilities include:
• Research, plan, and develop the digital preservation program for the University Libraries’ collections of enduring value in digital format: review existing library practices and analyze needs and establish policies and practices for the long-term protection and access to digital materials of all types, both created and acquired by the library. Digital collections to be preserved include text, images, datasets, audio-visual resources, Web pages, and ephemera.
• Assist in the ongoing development of requirements and specifications, including formats and metadata, for digital material the library solicits, accepts, or purchases into its collections. Advise both library staff and external content creators on strategies and the practical implementation of those specifications.
• Advise library staff about digital initiatives on all phases of the life cycle of digital content, including research datasets, with the aim of long-term retention and access; provide training or orientations. Identify digital storage needs and recommend storage medium.
• Assists in developing an overall migration strategy that ensures materials in standard and non-standard or obsolete digital formats are migrated so as to minimize introduction of generational loss or compromising of authenticity.
• Represent and champion digital preservation interests across the library, the university, and to the community at large.
• Prepare proposals for external funding for digital preservation projects. Prepare specifications for vended services that support the digital preservation program; evaluate responses to proposals for such services, make recommendations for selecting vendors; and act on behalf of the library as a technical liaison on preservation issues to vendors providing digital materials.
• Represent the University Libraries in cooperative projects or programs in digital preservation.
• Research and advise the library on contingency plans against threats to the digital collections, such as industry changes to file formats, natural disaster, and security breaches.
• Stay current on developing technologies, standards, and practice in preservation of digital collections and data curation; recommend responses to these developments through periodic alerts, summaries, reports, and revisions to policies and procedures. Represent the University Library in forums on digital preservation at the campus, regional, national, or international level.

Required Qualifications:
• Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited program.
• For the Specialist Librarian level, three or more years of experience is required.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Demonstrated interest in professional development.
• Demonstrated commitment to diversity in the workplace or community.
• Strong computing skills.
• Demonstrated knowledge of current and emerging preservation metadata standards.
• Familiarity with digital preservation and a trusted digital repository.
• Demonstrated planning, time management and organizational skills.
• Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team environment.
• Experience with working in a rapidly changing technological environment.

Desired Qualifications:
• Experience working with digital library collections in an academic setting.
• Knowledge of current research on contingency plans against threats to the digital collections, such as industry changes to file formats, natural disaster, and security breaches.
• Demonstrated understanding of copyright laws and rights management issues in a digital environment.
• Prior experience with format validation and conversion methods.
• Experience with long term storage planning.
• Experience with digital asset management such as ContentDm, Fedora, or other system.

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. Able 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 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 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 2,800 and a permanent staff of 16,000 serving 31,000 students, almost 40% of whom are from out of state and close to 10,000 of whom are registered in graduate and professional degree programs. Approximately 11% of the University’s faculty and staff and 14% of its student body are members of minority groups, and 12% 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 68,000 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, 33% of the students are minority, with 17% identifying as African-American, 9% as Latino/Hispanic, 7% as Asian-American, and .4% as Native American during the 2012/13 school year.

Salary and appointment: Start date is negotiable. Appointment will be made at the Librarian (I) or Specialist (II) level, depending on experience and qualifications of successful candidate. 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 must be received by November 2, 2014.

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.

For more information about the University of Iowa Libraries, please see

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Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:42 UTC