Digital Preservation Librarian

Seattle, WA
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Salary: $5,500-$6,500 per month
Created: June 29, 2023


Serving three campuses, the UW Libraries is home to the largest library collection in the Pacific Northwest with over 7 million print volumes, 253,000 electronic journals, over 37,000 items in the ResearchWorks Archive digital repository, millions of microforms, thousands of maps, rare books, film, audio and video recordings. The UW Libraries is ranked in the top ten of U.S. public university research libraries according to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The UW Libraries develops and maintains collections and services guided by the vision to accelerate inquiry, creativity, and learning for global impact and the public good, balanced with our values of sustainability and our commitment to being outstanding stewards of our human, environmental, physical, digital and financial resources. During the 2023-2024 academic year, the Libraries will be launching a process to develop a digital strategy that will align with the forthcoming strategic plan for 2023-2026. 


Preservation Services is one of four departments in the Collections & Content portfolio of the University of Washington Libraries and provides preservation services for all three University campuses according to established preservation standards and practices. The department consists of ten staff who manage programs designed to extend the life of the UW Libraries collections including commercial binding, conservation, digital preservation, disaster planning, environmental monitoring, media preservation, preservation replacement and reformatting, and shelf preparation.


The Digital Preservation Librarian oversees and directs the preservation of digital content for the University of Washington Libraries and manages a growing digital preservation repository of more than 55 terabytes. In collaboration with other library departments and stakeholders, the Digital Preservation Librarian works with unique and diverse collections held throughout the Libraries to ensure the preservation of the University of Washington Libraries’ digitized and born-digital collections. They also work as part of a team of staff supporting the Libraries’ preservation program and the evolving digital strategy.

This position is not tenure eligible. This position is represented by SEIU 925 – Libraries. Please see the SEIU 925 collective bargaining agreement for the Librarian promotion process.


Digital Preservation Management

•    Manages and maintains the Libraries’ digital preservation storage repositories in collaboration with Libraries Information Technology Services & Digital Strategies and other service providers. 
•    Builds upon existing digital preservation strategies and policies and best practices related to the preservation of the digital content the library solicits, accepts, purchases, or creates in partnership with Libraries stakeholders.
•    Coordinates workflows, procedures, and quality control for work performed. Evaluates and improves workflows and procedures for quality and efficiency. Identifies and recommends digital preservation systems, software and tools as needed.
•    Develops, implements, and manages services to support the curation and preservation of digital materials throughout the Libraries.

Needs Assessment, Policy Development, & Planning

•    Works in consultation with Libraries staff to establish priorities for digital preservation throughout the Libraries. Advises staff and digital content creators on all phases of the life cycle of digital content.
•    In partnership with Libraries stakeholders, develops policies and best practices related to the preservation of both digitized and born-digital materials.
•    Provides expertise on best practices for digital preservation, including techniques and technologies for recovering data from a wide variety of physical media (including floppy disks, hard drives, and other media of various ages and conditions).
•    Advises on the storage and handling of physical digital media as well as sharing expertise for accessioning, processing, and creating disk images of physical digital media.
•    Contributes to grant development related to digital preservation and/or provides cost estimates and digital preservation information for grants where digital preservation is a component.

Outreach, Service, Professional Development, and Other Responsibilities

•    Provides professional advice and education to staff, interns, and other libraries and cultural heritage institutions as appropriate.
•    Demonstrates sustained commitment to professional development and productive service in professional associations, and University Libraries committees and task forces, as appropriate.
•    Assists with preservation assessment, disaster planning, recovery, and response, and grant projects.

Position will be at rank of Assistant, or Senior Assistant Librarian, depending on qualifications and background. See the Rank, Status, Initial Appointments, Renewal of Appointments and Promotions of UW Libraries Librarians tentative agreement in the SEIU 925 Libraries-UW 2023-2026 CBA for librarian rank appointment criteria.

Librarians are academic personnel and participate in the University of Washington Retirement Plan on a matching basis. This is a full-time, 12-month appointment.  Vacation is accrued at the rate of 26 working days per year; sick leave at the rate of 12 working days per year. No state or local income tax. A summary of benefits associated with this title/rank can be found at Appointees solely employed and paid directly by a non-UW entity are not UW employees and are not eligible for UW or Washington State employee benefits.

The base salary range for this position will be $5,500-$6,500 per month, commensurate with experience and qualifications, or as mandated by a U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage determination. Other compensation associated with this position may include a relocation incentive payment and a moving allowance.


•    Graduate degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association or an equivalent information studies or archival studies degree. 
•    Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and a more socially just society and understanding of the contributions a diverse workforce brings to the workplace.
•    Previous experience preserving digital content.
•    Understanding of digital preservation principles, standards, and best practices.
•    Experience working collaboratively in an academic or research library, archive, or museum.
•    Strong project management skills including demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks, meet project milestones, document decisions and procedures, and communicate outcomes.
•    Evidence of ability to work independently and with others across departments in an environment where consultation, collaboration, and effective working relationships are essential.
•    Evidence of strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to write clear technical and procedural documentation.
•    Enthusiasm for ongoing skill development and engagement with new technologies and digital tools.

•    Demonstrated education and/or training required for the preservation of both digitized and born digital content, such as work experience, completion of an internship with an established professional, or other verifiable education and training. 
•    Knowledge of digital curation and preservation techniques, technologies, and standards, including sustainable file formats, packaging formats such as BagIt, and preservation metadata.  
•    Familiarity with command line (CLI) tools in both Windows and Linux environments.  
•    Experience with techniques and technologies for recovering data from a wide variety of physical media, including floppy disks, hard drives, and other media of various ages and conditions.  
•    Awareness of privacy, copyright, licensing agreements, and intellectual property concerns as they relate to digital preservation.  
•    Experience administering or using Archivematica or other digital management platforms.

While we hope to fill the position by Fall 2023, we are happy to work with the successful candidate to explore opportunities for an earlier or later start date.

Applications received by 8:59 p.m. PDT/11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 24, 2023, will receive priority review. Applications received after this date will be reviewed on a rolling biweekly basis at the discretion of the unit. 

Apply here: 

The following documents are required as part of your application for this vacancy:
•    Cover letter (addressed to Laura Lillard, Director, Libraries Human Resources)
•    Curriculum vitae or resume (include a telephone number, mailing address, email address and salary requirements)
•    List of three references who are knowledgeable of your qualifications for this position, one of which must be your current supervisor (include telephone numbers, mailing addresses, and email addresses, and specify current supervisor)
•    Equity Diversity Inclusion (EDI) Statement*

*UW Libraries Equity Diversity Inclusion (EDI) Statement Guidelines
Equity is a core value of the UW Libraries and an integral component of the Libraries 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. We aspire to become a truly inclusive and equitable organization. In your application, please include a separate statement of no more than 300 words that describes your potential to support and contribute to the Libraries’ commitment to providing equitable services and resources to all people, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status.

University of Washington Libraries Home Page is

For questions about this position, or questions regarding potential disability accommodations, please contact Laura Lillard at


Published: Saturday, July 1, 2023 16:33 UTC

Last updated: Saturday, July 1, 2023 16:33 UTC