Special Collections Metadata and Systems Librarian

San Francisco, CA
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Created: February 7, 2018


The Position

The Metadata and Systems Librarian is responsible for providing leadership in the development, implementation, and assessment of metadata infrastructure, policies, and procedures to support discovery, access, management, and preservation of the library collections. They play a key role as the administrative owner of the library’s archival collections management system (ArchivesSpace) and digital asset management and preservation system (Islandora), and will contribute to strategic library initiatives to build our digital collections, and capacity to collect, preserve, and make available digital and digitized content. The position reports to the Director of Library and Collections and will work in close collaboration with colleagues across the library and collections team.


  • ·Creates or oversees the creation of high-quality original cataloging and metadata for digitized and born-digital special collections, applying national cataloging and metadata standards. Provides leadership in identification, planning, and implementation of data normalization and remediation projects. Provides clean-up, enrichment, and transformation of legacy records and migrates data between systems.
  • Responsible for the management of library systems, including digital asset management system (Islandora), and archival collections management system (ArchivesSpace); manages configurations, plug-ins, software updates, and user accounts. Act as primary liaison for the institution to the ArchivesSpace and Islandora open sources software communities, and to hosting vendors. Responsible for thinking about how all collections systems interrelate, and designing and executing efficient and effective integrations and workflows across systems. Collaborates with colleagues to develop local standards and best practices for systems use.
  • ·Works with library staff to establish and document digital asset management and cataloging policies and procedures. Serves as an expert resource for library staff, consulting on decision-making affecting digital asset management and cataloging systems, tools, standards, and workflows. Ingests digital assets into digital asset management system and preservation storage, and applies digital preservation protocols. Participates in the development of digital preservation strategies.
  • Works with colleagues in implementing professional standards and best practices and setting priorities for collection management, processing, description, digitization, and discovery. Participate in general planning and policy development in the support of  strategic directions; assist in project development for fundraising activities as appropriate; plan and manage specific library projects.
  • Participates in professional organizations, and keeps abreast of current theory, practice, and innovations in the field.

Experience and Education:


·       MS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited institution.

·       Three or more years of professional, relevant cataloging experience.

·       Fluent in written and spoken English, with excellent written and verbal skills. Ability to work successfully in a multicultural, collaborative team environment.

·       Demonstrated knowledge of current national data content and structure standards related to the description, administration, and preservation of archival and special collection materials; proficiency in the use and application of DACS, Dublin Core, EAD, MARC, MODS, PREMIS, LCSH, LCNA.

·       Excellent analytic skills, including facility with complex problem solving and prioritization. Good organization skills and an aptitude for analytical and detailed work.

·       Ability to work independently, exercise discretion and sound judgment, and provide guidance to others.

·       Strong service orientation and interest in library users' values and needs.

In addition experience and competencies in the following areas are highly desirable.  Please note however, that we expect any candidate will require on-the-job learning and growth in some of these areas.  Candidates who exhibit solid grounding in library and archival metadata standards, aptitude for working with technological systems, and the ability to work in a collaborative environment are encouraged to apply and will be given serious consideration.

·       Solid knowledge of XML, including experience with XML schemas and the use of XML editors; experience with data mapping and the manipulation of metadata across systems and platforms using scripting languages and/or tools for data manipulation (e.g. OpenRefine, Python, XSLT, etc.). Familiarity with the command line in Windows and Linux environments.

·       Proficiency in the use, maintenance, and support of automated archival collections management systems (ArchivesSpace or similar). Experience with use of digital asset management systems, repository software technologies, and support tools (Islandora or similar). Ability to effectively troubleshoot technical problems, isolate causes, and implement solutions.

·       Familiarity with digital preservation theory and best practices. Experience with digital preservation tools, including BagIt.

·       Familiarity with copyright and intellectual property law as they pertain to library and archival collections.

·       Proficiency in one or more non-English language(s) is highly desirable.

·       Experience working in a museum library, or other cultural heritage institution, and knowledge of California history, desirable.

About Us

The California Historical Society (CHS) is a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make the state’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. Founded in 1871, CHS maintains a premier collection of original materials documenting the history of California from the Spanish conquest to the present day. The CHS Collection represents the environmental, economic, social, political, and cultural heritage of the entire state, including materials from outside California that contribute to a greater understanding of the state and its people. Beginning with its founding, and especially since establishing its Yerba Buena District headquarters on Mission Street in 1997, CHS has served residents of the Bay Area, the state, and beyond with its research library, exhibitions, publications, and public educational programs that draw on its important and wide-ranging collections of California history.

Things you should know:

This is a full-time exempt position with benefits including fully paid employee health, vision, dental, life, and AD&D, a generous holiday and time off policy, and a team full of interesting and warm people to work with.  Position is based in San Francisco, and may involve occasional overnight travel, evening and weekend work.

The California Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to diversity among its staff. We fully comply with all applicable regulations pertaining to non-discrimination including San Francisco Administrative codes 12B, C, and T.

Interested candidates should forward a resume and cover letter to recruiting@calhist.org.  Resume review will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.

Thank you!

Last updated: Sunday, February 11, 2018 15:46 UTC