Audio Digitization Specialist, Stanford University Library

By IS Lab January 19, 2021

Stanford Libraries

The Audio Digitization Specialist works to digitally reformat sound recordings in the Stanford Libraries collections for purposes of preserving and enabling access to historically and culturally important content represented on the recordings. The Audio Digitization Specialist also works on media digitization and preservation services offered to the broader campus community. The role involves working in a production environment, careful handling of rare or unique materials, technical analysis of recording characteristics, developing and documenting production processes, creating and processing digital files, purchasing, operating and maintaining video and computer equipment, performing repairs on library materials, and ensuring high quality work. The specialist collaborates with other preservation and digitization specialists, software developers, collection curators, and archivists. The Audio Digitization Specialist reports to the Assistant Director, Digital Library Services, and contributes to the efforts of the Digital Library Systems and Service division to continually build and improve digital library collections, systems, and services.

Develop and execute digital media production assignments requiring fully developed skills and understanding of area of specialization. Partner with internal and external clients regarding digital media equipment and services. Serve as an in-house digital media expert for a school/unit.

Job Duties

  • Set up, operate, and troubleshoot a variety of equipment used in contemporary and historic sound systems. Serve as the library’s audio digital reformatting expert.
  • Perform various hardware, software, peripheral, and networking technical assistance.
  • Perform treatments and repairs on original, often unique and fragile library collection materials.
  • Make recommendations for purchases and repairs of digital and analog media equipment. Diagnose and resolve digital and analog media system problems.
  • Maintain and ensure proper operation of all equipment and perform repairs and cleaning of analog and digital media equipment.
  • Interface with library staff, faculty, donors, patrons, and outside interested parties requesting media preservation and access services, support, and/or consultation.
  • Researches, prepares and produces documentation for training and other communicative purposes for both internal and external audiences.
  • May act as liaison with vendors, develop strategies, workflows and rate cards for clients, identify competitive pricing for products and services and close projects for billings.

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field, or, demonstrated training in audio engineering and at least five years of relevant experience in an audiovisual archive, library, or similar organization or a combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Knowledge of digital and analog audio formats and elements, including the ability to identify recording characteristics
  • Familiarity with sound recording and digital preservation issues and standards
  • Advanced technical experience using digital media equipment, video creation, editing software, and/or digital media control software.
  • Strong knowledge in production techniques including videography, compression and file delivery and other production formats.
  • Broad knowledge of all aspects of broadcast quality productions, including field and studio camera, lighting, sound and editing.
  • Understanding of online audio environment and online distribution.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform repairs on a wide variety of audio and computer equipment.
  • Ability to adapt equipment setup and provide alternative setup or workarounds if necessary.
  • Ability to manage a variety of simultaneous projects within tight deadlines, excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, mature judgment, and diplomacy required to interact effectively with and provide customer service to a broad audience.
  • Ability to work independently as well as effectively in a collaborative team environment.
  • May require experience planning, coordinating, and executing archival digitization projects.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Familiarity with use of command-line tools
  • Background in music performance or composition
  • Experience with stylus selection and working with cylinders and transcription discs
  • Understanding of physical and material structure of media materials as it pertains to digital reformatting processes
  • Understanding of proper handling of rare and fragile library and special collection materials of all types and formats
  • Understanding of digital imaging and media reformatting quality standards and their implementation in production environments

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