Coordinator of Metadata, University of Alabama

By Diana Ascher November 2, 2020

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama Libraries seeks applications and nominations for an innovative, collaborative, and tech-savvy Coordinator of Metadata. This position reports to the Head of Resource Acquisition & Discovery and actively contributes to the management of the department. The position provides leadership, support, project management, and workflow analysis for a unit consisting of faculty and staff who are responsible for original, complex and copy cataloging, metadata creation and remediation, and authority control in MARC and BIBFRAME. The unit is also actively engaged in a collaborative fashion in projects related to Special Collections, Digital Humanities, Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), the Institutional Repository, and digital library projects which require supervisory skills of Dublin Core, Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS), Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), and other metadata issues.

The University Libraries is a FOLIO beta development partner with EBSCO, and this position plays a major role internally, as well as in the FOLIO community. The position leads testing and implementation for cataloging/metadata functions and collaborates across the University Libraries regarding functionality and interoperability of cataloging/metadata with other FOLIO functions, data sources, and deliverables. The position advises on reporting and assessment functions needed in FOLIO for internal and external purposes.

UA Libraries seeks applicants who thrive in a learning organization with a strong service orientation and who demonstrate an ability to adapt to changing needs and priorities.  This would include exploring best practices and making important decisions about the future of metadata and cataloging in a rapidly changing environment. Candidates with experience setting strategic directions, collaboration across departments, establishing priorities, and managing librarians and staff are encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate must have a willingness for continual learning, development, and application of additional expertise through work related experiences and professional development opportunities with a commitment to continuous quality improvement.  The successful candidate must also possess the ability to deal with change, ambiguity, and complex problems that are typical of an academic setting.  Responsibilities of the position evolve as the library environment continues to change.


At least 3 years post-MLS cataloging and/or metadata experience in an academic library.
Supervisory experience with professional staff and/or faculty, including direct involvement with establishing goals, evaluating employees, developing job descriptions, and analyzing workflows.
Experience with cataloging materials, both original and complex copy cataloging, with significant knowledge of and ability to apply cataloging tools (RDA, AACR2, LCSHLCCFAST headings, and MARC21 formats) for bibliographic and authority data.
Experience with bulk importing and exporting of metadata records.
Knowledge of linked data and semantic web tools and frameworks such as BIBFRAMERDFOWLSKOS, and SPARQL.
Experience effectively explaining metadata concepts to non-technical audiences and collaborating on projects extending beyond metadata.
Experience developing cataloging/metadata policies and creating documentation to improve communication and processes.
Knowledge of and experience with tools and services that support cataloging and metadata functions such as OCLC, MarcEdit, library services platforms, and relevant scripting environments.
Experience manipulating data using Access, Excel, SQLVBA, etc.
Excellent analytical and problem solving skills.
Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
Demonstrated understanding of the importance of supporting librarians and staff through active personnel management and promotion of diversity and inclusion within the work place.
Ability to meet tenure requirements in a research library, with a focus on research and publication, and a demonstrated research agenda aligned with relevant aspects of the position.


Five years of recent cataloging/metadata and supervisory experience in an academic or research library.
Experience with a national cooperative cataloging program such as the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), NACOBIBCOCONSER or SACO.
Knowledge of Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAIPMH).
Experience with data migration and data analysis in libraries.
Knowledge of and experience using metadata schemas and encoding initiatives including Dublin Core, MODS, and TEI and willingness to learn additional ones as needed.
Experience providing metadata consultation and services related to digital projects, institutional repositories, and ETD’s, etc. that are not managed by the metadata unit.
Working knowledge of the processes and tools used in library acquisitions, electronic resource management, and knowledge bases.
Experience establishing workflows and production levels for faculty librarians and staff.
Experience performing detailed annual evaluations for faculty librarians and staff.
Experience managing librarians, both tenure and non-tenure track, and staff.
Experience working with collaborative projects to increase usage of physical and electronic materials by making them more discoverable and accessible.
Experience cataloging a wide range of print and non-print materials in various formats.

For full position description, see:

Applications are accepted online only at  . Click Search Positions. University Libraries in Organization drop down box. Please include your application, Curriculum Vitae, and names, addresses, phone numbers, and e- mail addresses of three references, including one current supervisor.

Position open until filled. Applications received by November 1, 2020 are assured of receiving full consideration. Position will remain open until filled.

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