Digital Preservation Librarian, University of Pennsylvania

By IS Lab April 27, 2020

Website University of Pennsylvania


University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Job Details

Job Title: Digital Preservation Librarian
Job Profile Title: Librarian C
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Department/School: University Library
Pay Range: $50,684 – $91,232


Working closely with, and under the leadership and supervision of, the MacDonald Director of Preservation, the Digital Preservation Librarian develops, documents, implements and oversees preservation workflows, procedures and policies for the Penn Libraries’ digital collections and assets, both digitized and born-digital. The incumbent will collaborate with stakeholders across the Libraries and the University to develop programmatic and sustainable policies and workflows to address digital curation and long-term digital preservation needs for the Libraries and related campus assets.

Job Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership in crafting the overall vision for the preservation of digital collections.
  • Develops, documents, implements and oversees preservation workflows, procedures and policies for the Penn Libraries’ digital assets, both digitized and born-digital. These assets include, but are not limited to, images, audio-visual recordings, data sets, and web archives. These policies include, but are not limited to, metadata standards, repository preservation standards, and storage standards.
  • Provides training for relevant library staff on the functional requirements, best practices, use of tools, systems, standards, and processes related to digital preservation.
  • Participates in the administration and development of the University Libraries’ technology infrastructure for digital preservation, in collaboration with Library Technology Services.
  • Collaborates with colleagues across the Libraries, including Collections and Scholarly Communications, the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, Research Data and Digital Scholarship, and Technology and Digital Strategy, and other key Libraries’ staff to ensure creation and maintenance of the Libraries’ digital assets according to current preservation practices.
  • Participates as part of the professional community to stay up to date on new programs, standards, and developments within the rapidly-growing digital library field. This includes pursuing continuing education and certification to remain current with the community of practice for digital preservation, as well as being a leader within the broader fields of preservation and digital libraries. Shares these developments with the University Libraries’ staff through periodic alerts, summaries, reports and revisions to policies and procedures.
  • Collaborates with Penn archival professionals in the sharing of knowledge and collaborate uses of preservation technologies.
  • Manages and improves established digital preservation procedures.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Master’s degree in library and information science, an advanced graduate degree in a relevant field, or an equivalent combined amount of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of digital preservation standards and best practices.
  • Familiarity with application and implementation of standards-based non-MARC metadata (e.g., Dublin Core, METS, PREMIS), and ability to investigate and learn new metadata standards as required.
  • Experience with digital preservation systems and tools, open-source and commercial, such Samvera-Valkyrie as Preservica, Archivematica, and Bagger/BagIt.
  • Demonstrated experience with implementation and use of digital tools, methods, and approaches utilized in digital preservation.
  • Ability to learn new technologies and instruct others in their uses.
  • Experience with digital asset management systems, file systems, object stores, and storage technologies.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and in a collaborative team-based environment.
  • Strong communication skills, including ability to communicate well with IT and non-IT staff.
  • Willingness to collaborate with colleagues in Preservation, Conservation, and Physical Processing to foster a coordinated approach to preservation that spans all collections and formats.


*** REQUIRED*** Please submit a resume and cover letter as one attachment when applying.

Additional Information

Affirmative Action Statement: Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements: Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

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