Special Collections Analyst

New York, NY
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Salary: Minimum Salary $73,000
Created: January 12, 2022


Columbia University Libraries (CUL) seeks a creative and engaged Special Collections Analyst Librarian to design, coordinate and collaborate in planning and implementing ongoing integration, discovery, and syndication, and usage analysis efforts around the Columbia Libraries’ collections metadata, digital collections and licensed digital resources.

The Special Collections Analyst acts as a systems analyst, requirements developer and technical support provider for the diverse range of systems and services comprising Columbia’s digital library and scholarly technologies infrastructure. As part of the Development Infrastructure and Applications Team within the Digital Library and Scholarly Technologies (DLST) group, the incumbent will report to the Head of the Development Infrastructure and Applications Team and will work with the team, with the Libraries’ Special Collections units, and other Libraries and University staff to support existing archival description and digital collections workflows, to plan and develop requirements for new projects, and to improve access to the Libraries’ digital materials. The Special Collections Analyst/Librarian will bring an innovative, data-centered approach to all online projects and will thrive in a highly collaborative, team-oriented environment.

Working collaboratively, this full-time librarian position will participate in project review, analysis, development, and assessment. The incumbent will also work collaboratively to help address “legacy” data flows and API remediation, developing tooling and strategies to assist in integrating systems to support discovery. Under the guidance of the Head of Development Infrastructure and Applications, the incumbent will help improve workflows and procedures related to archival description and discovery projects and mobile access strategies, participate in digital project planning, provide documentation and training support for the Libraries’ APIs and workflows, assist in developing and analyzing usage assessments and metrics, and provide reports and other information as needed to help with planning across the Libraries.

The Special Collections Analyst Librarian assists in advising and consulting with other units within Columbia University Libraries related to research facilitation and online access to Libraries’ digital materials, and will communicate with archivists and electronic resource librarians, and the Libraries as a whole, about data management strategies and best practices, digital collection access statistics, and emerging integration opportunities as well as industry standards. This position will participate in secondary assignments based on interests and institutional needs.


  • The documentation, implementation of and support for systems supporting analog and digital library and archival collections, including new and innovative tools such as ArchivesSpace, Aeon, as well as current and evolving metadata and information management strategies; with success measured by stakeholder satisfaction and/or user testing.

  • Improving and transforming metadata for use in CUL and national digital repositories; using existing and developing schemas and tools such as XML, XSLT, JSON, LD4L to manipulate, reformat and transform metadata in formats such as EAD, MARC, MODS, METS, RDF, PREMIS; with success measured by implementation of new and improved description, discovery and navigation of digital content

  • Sustaining and optimizing new and existing digital library / scholarly systems, services and workflows; by consulting with relevant staff, developing and documenting requirements, analyzing workflows and proposing and implementing improvements, and acting as a technology consultant to other divisions of the Libraries and CU generally; with success measured by stakeholder satisfaction and more efficient and effective operations.

  • Maintaining a close awareness of evolving digital library / scholarly tools, practices and standards and, when relevant, introducing them into the CUL environment; by outreach to others in the field, by developing innovative solutions, and by participating in relevant CUL and external investigations and projects; with success measured by improved CUL staff awareness of the field, external recognition for contributions to the field, and by helping ensure a robust and sustainable DL/DS infrastructure at CUL.

Minimum Degree Required

  • MLS or master’s degree in an Arts and Sciences discipline, or an equivalent combination of education and experience

Minimum Qualifications

  • MLS or master’s degree in an Arts and Sciences discipline, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Linux/Unix server environments, APIs, version control, automated testing, and other standards and practices of modern, collaborative digital library and archives work.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of validation, presentation and transformation of data in HTML, XML, and JSON using technologies such as XML or JSON Schema, XSLT, XPATH, XQuery, Xspec, etc.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of scripting languages such as Perl/Ruby/Python/PHP/Javascript
  • Data analysis and visualization skills. Ability to document and share results effectively with varied audiences.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of archival standards (DACS) and management tools such as ArchivesSpace, ArcLight, etc.
  • Knowledge of Javascript, GitHub, MySQL, PHP
  • Knowledge of XML and metadata schemas used to describe digitized cultural heritage materials, such as TEI, MARC, MODS, METS, OAI, and EAD
  • Knowledge of current digital library archives and collections technologies, such as Fedora, Samvera, Hyrax, etc

Columbia University Libraries have a longstanding commitment to diversity rooted in values of inclusion and social justice, a commitment reflected in the curriculum and throughout University life. Columbia welcomes applications from candidates who share these values and who will foster their contribution to the University’s educational mission. We invite applicants with experience and interest in empowering and mentoring staff, leading projects, solving problems, and developing user-centric programs, services, or collections. We offer salary and benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience. Columbia University Libraries afford a flexible and collegial working environment and foster professional growth of staff with management training and travel funding for professional meetings.

Minimum Salary: $73,000


Published: Thursday, January 13, 2022 04:14 UTC

Last updated: Thursday, January 13, 2022 04:14 UTC