Job: Library Data Specialist at UNC Chapel Hill Libraries

Chapel Hill
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Created: August 24, 2016


The Library Data Strategy & Services (LDSS) section (behind-the-scenes in Davis Library) is seeking a quick-learning self-starter unafraid of complexity or digging into the manual to learn what a tool is capable of. If you thrive on the following, please read on:

- Figuring out how data-driven systems work and interact

- Spotting and reconciling errors and inconsistencies, as well as patterns and similarities

- Seeing the details and the big picture

- Increasing your tech skills, making the computer do as much of your work as possible

Our data is primarily descriptive, not quantitative: titles, ISBNs, URLs, dates, etc. It comes in many formats. Some originates locally. We also have about 90 external data sources and partners.

Your main focus will be using data to understand issues and solve problems. Issues/problem reports come from staff across the library and affect library users in various ways. Issues are usually vague: something is amiss, but the scope and scale of the problem are unknown. You will:

- Identify relevant data sources and retrieval strategies;

- Investigate and understand the issue via the data---often an evolving, creative process as the shape of the issue emerges;

- Resolve the issue: fix it yourself, develop a collaborative solution, or report it and follow up;

- Prioritize and communicate about multiple open issues, reported by different people.

Like many organizations, we need to accomplish more without sacrificing accuracy and quality. LDSS is a leader here, developing new (and streamlining existing) workflows, often employing scripting and other automation techniques. You'll identify patterns of work across the problems you solve. Working closely with the Library Data Strategist, you'll systematize repeated work and empower a wider range of staff to help complete repeating tasks.

LDSS manages data about library resources within internal library systems, including the Integrated Library System (ILS), to ensure our users can find what they are looking for. You will load batches of data into the ILS and run bulk edits to update data across multiple records in the system. Eventually, you'll help the Library Data Strategist (a) maintain the automated flow of ILS catalog data into the publicly-accessible online catalog; and (b) troubleshoot online catalog data problem reports.

Finally, you will work with Digital Research Services (DRS) to build and hone your numeric/statistical data skill set, bringing new ideas and techniques back to LDSS. Depending on DRS's needs, you may eventually directly assist library staff and patrons with research data issues.

For the full job posting and/or to apply, please visit

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes all to apply, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.


Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 21:25 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:40 UTC