Head of Metadata Creation, Harvard University, Cambridge MA

Auto req ID 31248BR

School/Unit Harvard Library

Sub-Unit ------------

Location USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Function Library

Department Information and Technical Services

Salary Grade 059

Union 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Duties & Responsibilities Harvard Library seeks a dynamic thought leader with a solid record of success guiding staff through unprecedented change.   Reporting to the Head of Information and Technical Services (ITS) and working closely with the ITS management team, the Head of Metadata Creation will look beyond historical boundaries in descriptive practice and content format to imagine, advocate for, and deliver new services within the rapidly evolving realm of information management and discovery.  S/he will contribute strong strategic focus, demonstrate a visible commitment to staff development to promote creativity, innovation, assessment, and continuous improvement, and will foster effective relationships and communication with peers and stakeholders throughout the Harvard Library.

Strategic Planning and Leadership

  • Provide leadership and administrative oversight for forty-five professional and paraprofessional staff across multiple campus sites
  • Set the strategic direction for resource description, applying knowledge of current issues and trends in descriptive practices and user behaviors, encouraging active staff participation across Harvard and with external partners
  • Foster a creative and innovative approach to the implementation of strategic change in an environment that strives for continuous improvement and encourages a flexible workforce to innovate, test, and assess ideas inside and outside of their standard roles
  • Model the unit's "can-do" approach to work and foster an environment that promotes accountability, high performance, staff engagement and diversity through a sense of purpose and spirit of cooperation; set standards of excellence that inspire and motivate
  • Support the strategic direction for technical services functions, including planning annual and multi-year projects across the library system and securing support from constituents and stakeholders


Technology Management

  • Maintain knowledge of trends and best practices in metadata standards and bring an affinity for the application of technology to support processing workflows and/or enhance service to library user communities

Operations and Service Delivery

  • Build and develop critical metadata capabilities throughout the organization through strategic hiring, staff development and talent management
  • Lead functional managers through review and identification of discrete work processes, change management and initiatives that enhance metadata and technical services, including further integration of MARC catalogers into non-MARC activities
  • Oversee hiring, supervision, and training of metadata creation staff, adhering to clearly defined performance expectations and guidelines for staff
  • Oversee the accurate and timely availability of documentation for all procedures and processes
  • Monitor unit's expenses incurred for staff and operations, maximizing resources to support staff and the unit's performance
  • Ensure that agreed standards and performance expectations of technical services are achieved

Collaboration and Outreach Management

  • Demonstrate accountability and creativity in building strong relationships with peers internal and external to Harvard
  • Build and promote library-wide collaborations that communicate and inform technical services through active engagement with colleagues across the Harvard Library system, including faculty
  • Represent the Harvard Library in regional, national, and international associations
  • Recommend policy, service, financial and contractual commitments for Harvard Library to participate in national and international programs; monitor current participation
  • In collaboration with peer institutions, encourage vendors to develop new services required for the efficient, cost-effective operation of a 21st-century metadata creation operation in a large research library
  • In collaboration with peer institutions, investigate, experiment, and develop cutting-edge, scalable metadata standards and service models

Basic Qualifications


  • MLS or equivalent education or related work experience
  • Four to six years of supervisory experience and prior program management for staff required; within a combined union and non-union staffing environment strongly desirable
  • Demonstrated ability to establish priorities, set performance expectations, achieve goals, and direct work in a high-production setting
  • Proven ability to work effectively in team environment, including remaining calm under pressure
  • Current knowledge of trends and developments in the field (i.e. linked open data; bibliographic framework; RDA; search and discovery techniques and tools) as well as advanced knowledge of cataloging principles, standards and tools
  • Record of developing and implementing new ideas in a complex, knowledge-creating organization, for example through successful grant proposals and collaborations

Additional Qualifications


  • Capacity to thrive in the exciting, ambiguous, future-oriented environment of a world-class research institution and to respond effectively to changing needs and priorities
  • Ability to manage competing priorities with a positive, constructive, flexible, and cooperative manner required
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and management, interpersonal and organizational experience and skills essential
  • Ability to use technology in creative ways to solve problems or facilitate workflow required
  • Experience conceptualizing ideas through to successful grant proposals

Additional Information The University
Founded in 1636, Harvard University is preeminent among the world's research universities. Harvard has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 6,600 undergraduate students, over 14,000 graduate students, and an additional 2,000 part-time students. Over 16,000 people work at Harvard, including approximately 2,100 faculty members. An additional 10,000 individuals have faculty appointments in Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals.
Designated a university in 1780, Harvard includes 12 colleges and schools. The Faculty of Arts and Sciencescomprising Harvard College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Division of Continuing Educationis the oldest and largest of the Harvard faculties. The University's world-renowned graduate and professional schools include Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School (including the School of Dental Medicine), Harvard School of Public Health, Kennedy School of Government and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
In the course of 375 years, Harvard's Library has grown from a single collection of 400 volumes to a 73-unit library system whose holdings include nearly 17 million volumes, more than 21 million digital files, 10 million microforms, 8 million photographs, and an estimated 400 million manuscript items.

For additional information visit the Harvard Library web site at: http://lib.harvard.edu/about-us

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