Sound Archives Librarian

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Job Description

The Sound Archives Librarian is responsible for the providing public service and reference to ARS patrons, arrangement and description of archival collections of sound recordings and related materials in the Archive of Recorded Sound to allow efficient discovery of the items and collections, collaborating with the Media Preservation Lab to digitize recordings for patrons on demand in fulfillment of their research requests and on digital preservation projects, creating and maintaining content for the Archive’s website, supervising the ARS operations manager and student staff, and collection development work in conjunction with the Head Librarian including working with donors of recording collections, assessing gift collections, and other acquisitions. An asterisk indicates core responsibilities.


Collection Development (25%)

*Works with donors to assess and recommend gift collections for addition to the collection.

*Cultivates, maintains, and assists the Head Librarian with ongoing relationships with donors.

Reference (25%)

*Answers reference questions from patrons regarding the ARS collections and related public service duties.

*Maintains the ARS website by revising and writing new text using Drupal and regularly contributes blog posts to bring important materials to the attention of the public.

*Conducts tours, class and public presentations, and other outreach activities.

*Promotes the Archive’s services and resources to Music department faculty, students, and staff, and to the wider SU community

Archival Arrangement and Description (25%)

*Arranges archival sound recordings in all formats and materials related to collections of sound recordings according to accepted archival practices and standards to facilitate discovery for research and use.

*Describes archival sound recording collections and related materials by creating finding aids using DACS and EAD applying LCSH and authority records according to archival standards.

*Applies more product, less process principles to incoming collections to ensure timely processing of new archival collections.

*Prepares detailed finding aids for collections selected for more in-depth description.

*Prepares processed archival collections for transfer to SAL 3.

Digital transfer and Preservation (10%)

*Sends individual audio recordings for preservation, personal research, or class use to the Media Lab for digitization and manages the digital audio files on the Archive’s server.

*Collaborates with Media Preservation lab to manage digitization workflow for large digitization projects.

*Works with Media Preservation and DLSS to process and preserve born-digital sound recordings and related material.

*In collaboration with technicians and expert partners, keeps software up to date, and performs routine maintenance & repair for the Archive’s audio equipment.

*Manages scheduling of use of audio room, and supervises operations manager in audio room tasks.

Administrative (10%)

*Oversees inventory control of ARS collections performed by the operations manager and student assistants including barcoding, shelving, and paging materials to and from remote storage.

*Supervises the Operations Manager and student assistants in the Archive of Recorded Sound.

*Assists in the preparation and writing of grant proposals.

Other Duties (5%)

Other duties as assigned.


Education & Experience:

  • Advanced Degree in Library Science or a relevant academic discipline with demonstrated understanding of academic libraries and two to five or more years of relevant experience in a relevant library setting or a combination of education and relevant experience.

  • B.A. in music or equivalent or work in progress toward the degree is required with demonstrated subject knowledge of music history and theory. A graduate degree in music is highly desirable.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of reference materials and research tools in music and audio recordings; knowledge of audio recording history; and knowledge of discography is required.

  • Knowledge of audio archives principles and practices is required. At least 2 years of experience working in a sound archive is required.

  • Knowledge of DACS, EAD, LCSH, authorities, XML as used in archives is desirable with the ability to learn archival description rapidly is required.

  • Experience with Sirsi Symphony, ArchivesSpace, and Drupal is desired with the ability to learn these systems rapidly is required.

  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of digitization principles and practices, preferably with specific experience in media digitization and with audio equipment. Proficiency with WaveLab or other audio digitization applications desirable. Basic knowledge of audio preservation best practices.

  • Ability to manage staff positions and student assistants. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

  • Sound working knowledge of at least one modern European language, German, French or Italian strongly preferred; working knowledge of other European languages.

  • Deep understanding and engagement with the range of library operations, trends and practices.

  • Demonstrated understanding of the broad scope of library operations with ability to understand how their role interacts with the rest of the organization.

  • Evidence of professional contribution and achievement beyond the library may be expected.

  • Demonstrated success in engaging with colleagues across the University and beyond in a collaborative and construction fashion.

  • Ability to manage projects, develop policies or drive library initiatives across functional lines.

  • Evidence of engagement in relevant professional or academic communities.

  • Ability to identify challenges and opportunities, engage others in their resolution and recommend appropriate courses of action.

  • Consistent display of excellent verbal and written communication skills, including strong presentation skills.

Physical Requirements*:

  • Constantly sit, perform deskbased computer tasks.

  • Frequently twist/bend/stoop/squat, grasps lightly/fine manipulation, grasp forcefully, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.

  • Occasionally stand/walk, reach/work above shoulders, writing by hand, kneel/crawl, climb (ladders, scaffolds, or other).

  • Rarely use a telephone, operate hand controls.

  • Must be able to push and maneuver a fully loaded cart weighing up to 650 pounds that requires an initial push force up to 50 pounds.

* Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Working Conditions:

  • May work in confined spaces and at heights 410 feet; be exposed to dust and mold; work extended hours, evenings and weekends.

  • Work Standards:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.

  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.

  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer and is committed to recruiting and hiring without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Job Code: 1782

Job Grade: H

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