Head of Automation, Indexing, and Metadata

Ann Arbor, MI
1 other recent jobs
Salary: $78,000 - $110,000
Created: March 26, 2023


How to Apply

To ensure full consideration, applications must include all of the following in a single document.

  • A cover letter describing your interest in the position, your skills, and experience directly relevant to the work of the position
  • A resume / CV
  • A list of three professional references, including their names, contact information, and your professional relationship


This position provides a vision and leadership for managing and enhancing the University of Michigan (U-M) Library's Library Services Platform (Alma from Ex Libris) and various systems and services integrated with or related to Alma under the care of the Automation, Indexing, and Metadata (AIM) department. This position is responsible for the successful day-to-day operation of Alma and related systems and services and plays a key role in shaping and shepherding Alma-related collaboration across many different units of the Library.

AIM, with a 4 FTE team of programmers and librarians, is one of the five departments within the Library Information Technology (LIT) division of the U-M Library. AIM employees manage Alma and develop and maintain a variety of integrations with other related bibliographic and record management systems such as Library Search, a custom discovery solution for the U-M Library; ILLiad for Interlibrary Loan; external systems such as HathiTrust, OCLC, Big Ten Academic Alliance, and many others.

This position supervises the AIM personnel and their work and adjusts AIM's staffing to best meet the evolving needs of the U-M Library users. As a member of the LIT Leadership team, this position also assists the Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology (AUL for LIT) in making Alma-related decisions that affect the Library as a whole and participates in the overall planning and development, maintenance, and operation of the Library's IT environment and the key technologies critical to the daily services and operations of the Library. Department heads in LIT work closely together to coordinate and manage projects, issues, and services that cut across many different areas in a highly collaborative manner.

This position reports to the AUL for LIT. The LIT division is the library's strategic information technology partner. LIT designs, develops, manages, and maintains a flexible and reliable technology environment in support of the library's mission and serves as the lead or a key partner in the library's technology initiatives. The five departments of LIT closely collaborate with each other and frequently partner with many other departments in the library.

Who We Are

The University of Michigan Library is one of the world's largest academic research libraries and serves a vibrant university community that is home to 19 schools and colleges, 100 top-ten graduate programs, and annual research expenditures approaching $1.5 billion. To enable the university's worldchanging work and to serve the public good, the library collects, preserves, and shares the scholarly and cultural record in all existing and emerging forms, and leads the reinvention of the academic research library in the digital age.

The library is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and encourages all employees to fully incorporate their diverse backgrounds, skills, and life experiences into their work. We champion diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our work engages a broad and diverse community with wide-ranging needs and concerns, and we empower all employees to actively participate in the ongoing process of learning about and responding to these needs. We value the synergy that results from sharing and leveraging our different experiences, backgrounds, skills, talents, and interests to build an environment in which all our community members can flourish. Learn more in the Library's Diversity Strategic Plan.


  • Supervisory
    • Supervise a team of programmers and librarians, including setting goals, and evaluation, and support their professional growth.
    • Monitor the evolving needs for AIM staffing; prepare for proposals and plans to address those needs.
  • Alma Technical Expertise
    • Provide leadership and coordination in the development and management of various applications integrated with Alma (both staff-facing and public-facing) that support the Library's services and operations, working collaboratively with relevant parties in LIT and elsewhere in the Library.
    • Oversee the management of Alma configuration, including appropriate access, authorization, and database administration.
    • Oversee data loading, error correction, and other system enhancement activities related to Alma records, working with AIM employees, Technical Services employees, and vendors as needed.
    • Oversee the generation of reports and indexes to support Alma's integration with mission-critical applications such as Library Search.
    • Oversee the creation and distribution of regular and ad hoc reports that support the library in making data-driven decisions about our collection and services.
    • Analyze the performance and functional effectiveness of Alma and other associated applications; identify strategies for ongoing assessment to be performed by Library employees.
  • Alma Governance, Assessment, Communication, and Support
    • Serve as a resource and an active participant in the library-wide Alma governance activities, including serving as the LIT/AIM's main liaison to the U-M Library's Alma Coordinating Committee, which stewards all aspects of Alma use in the Library.
    • Develop and sustain appropriate communication channels between LIT/AIM and other related library groups to facilitate timely Alma-related troubleshooting, maintenance, and development work.
    • Consult with library units as new services are developed, which relate to or intersect with AIM resources and responsibilities.
    • Maintain and foster relationships with other campus libraries (Dearborn and Flint) to address areas of mutual concern related to Alma or other bibliographic and record management systems integrated with Alma.
    • Provide ongoing assistance, support, and consultation for library employee's use of available tools (e.g. Alma Analytics) that provide direct and interactive access to systems for data analysis.
  • Other Responsibilities
    • Represent the U-M Library at various regional and national forums and committees (e.g. ELUNA) and also at the university as needed.
    • Provide expertise in the creation, development, and management of bibliographic tools and resources for the campus if such a need arises.

Required Qualifications

  • MLS from an ALA-accredited institution or equivalent.
  • Minimum of 6 years of work experience in an academic or research library setting.
  • Minimum 2 years of supervisory/management experience in a library technology environment.
  • At least 2 years of experience directly working with Alma.
  • Thorough understanding of the workings of and developing trends in Library Service Providers (LSPs) and demonstrated experience of successfully putting that understanding into LSP management practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze complex and/or unclear problems or requests, to conduct necessary research and information-gathering, to accurately communicate issues and efforts required to solve those issues in appropriate depth and in a timely manner to all involved parties, and to see through the problems or requests to their successful resolution.
  • Proven ability to explain technical concepts to non-technical people and to talk through technical and/or workflow-related issues and problems at the ground level for trouble-shooting and at a higher level for overview/decision-making.
  • Demonstrated experience in crafting a vision and directions for a department, translating them into appropriate goals with plans to realize those goals, and executing them successfully.
  • Demonstrated ability to function as a productive and active member of a highly collaborative leadership team.
  • Commitment to diversity and an understanding that diverse perspectives and differences in background, cultures, values and viewpoints are the foundation for an inclusive environment.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills, interpersonal skills, and strong customer service orientation.

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively work with various groups with different interests, build a buy-in, and find and execute a solution based upon thorough deliberation and collaborative decision-making.
  • Experience with and demonstrated success in navigating organizational politics with attention to important details and a big-picture view at the same time.
  • Deep expertise in bibliographic metadata.
  • Alma Certification in all areas.
  • Prior programming/scripting experience or, at minimum, familiarity with modern programming principles, tools, and applications.
  • Extensive knowledge of systems design, work analysis, statistics, automation, and evaluation tools and techniques.
  • Demonstrated success in highly complex project management.

Work Locations

This position currently allows a hybrid or fully on-site work environment. Flexible work agreements are reviewed annually and are subject to change depending on the business needs of the hiring department, throughout the course of employment. Fully remote work is not applicable to this position. Please see the University of Michigan's Remote Employment Policies and Agreements for more information.

Underfill Statement

The salary range for this position is $78,000 - $110,000 and will be filled at the rank of either the Senior Associate Librarian or the (Full) Librarian rank, determined by experience and qualifications. Librarian appointments carry with them expectations regarding professional development, professional engagement, research, and service, in keeping with the Library's process for librarian promotion and advancement.


In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, the University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

  • Generous time off (24 vacation days per year, and 15 sick leave days a year)
  • A retirement plan through TIAA or Fidelity Investments that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life, vision, and dental insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses

About Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is consistently ranked as one of the nation's best places to live. Fortune named Ann Arbor the #1 city in its recently published 25 Best Places to Live for Families for 2022, and U.S, News & World Report ranked Ann Arbor the #11 best place to live in the U.S. and #1 best place to live in Michigan. Ann Arbor has diverse, culturally-rich communities, top-rated primary and secondary schools, a thriving LGBTQIA+ community, amazing art fairs, film festivals, and theatrical productions, over 160 highly-walkable parks, numerous science, art, and history museums, multiple farmers markets, nationally ranked public libraries, outdoor recreation throughout the year, a charming, historic downtown lined with independent bookstores, gift shops, and breweries, and over 400 delectable restaurants across the city. Ann Arbor is about 30 minutes away from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport and less than an hour to downtown Detroit.

Application Deadline

This job posting will be open for at least four weeks.This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended. Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

How to apply


Published: Monday, March 27, 2023 18:41 UTC

Last updated: Monday, March 27, 2023 18:41 UTC