Technical Services Librarian/Head of Technical Services

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Job Description

The Oberlin Conservatory Library (housed in the oldest continuing Conservatory in the United States) seeks a dynamic and talented leader in music librarianship with expertise in technical services, digital technologies, and resource discovery to serve as our Technical Services Librarian (TSL). The Conservatory Library is one of three “branch” libraries that along with the Main Library constitute the Oberlin College Libraries (OCL) system. OCL is a standard bearer of excellence since its founding in 1834, receiving awards and accolades from various professional organizations. With support for active leadership in the field, the incumbent will find a collegial and highly creative environment that begins in Oberlin and extends into the Greater Cleveland Region.

Reporting to the Head of the Conservatory Library, this position serves as a member of the leadership team that includes the Public Services Librarian and the Special Collections Librarian/Curator of the James and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection. The TSL is responsible for all cataloging activities and materials preparations for scores, music books, and recordings. The incumbent will work collaboratively within OCL to ensure seamless access to the Conservatory’s extensive music resources and unique collections toward improving the library user experience. Among the TSL’s key interfaces are the Head of Discovery and Metadata Services; the Digital Initiatives Team; and the Emerging Technologies and Systems Librarian. The TSL will also liaise with the Department of Public Services, the Department of Special Collections and Preservation, and the Visual Resources Curator.

The TSL supervises 3.5 support staff members trained in cataloging, metadata editing, continuations management, and materials preparations. These individuals together with a department assistant, 2 FTE public services support staff members and the leadership team complete the Conservatory Library staff.

The Oberlin College Libraries values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as it is an essential part of our College and Conservatory culture. It is important that the incumbent uses a DEI lens to successfully inform practices within and beyond the Oberlin College Libraries.


Cataloging and Metadata Services (50%):

  • Provide leadership and collaborate on music cataloging and metadata standards, policies, procedures, and usage across library departments.

  • Set priorities for the allocation of staffing and automation of Conservatory Library material processing.

  • Support music library commitments by serving as the Conservatory Library liaison to national programs such as PCC, BIBCO, NACO, and SACO.

  • Work to insure that the organization, management, and skills of the Conservatory Library technical services staff meet new challenges (such as innovative access points, resource description, and subject analysis).

  • Support special and digital collections programs, database integration and integrity, collection management, and consortia collaboration.

  • Train and supervise paraprofessional staff in routine and original or complex cataloging of materials in all formats.

Discovery Services (30%):

  • Participate actively in planning the access and discovery of library resources and services by faculty, students, and researchers.

  • Collaborate in extending the capabilities of existing systems toward enhanced discovery of library resources including our website and digital platforms.

  • Monitor developments and apply discoverability best practices to improve workflows and user tools.

Other Initiatives (20%):

  • Collaborate on initiatives to enhance user experience and advance accessibility, such as assessing potential upgrade/replacement of various software services.

  • Maintain technical service-related statistics and prepare reports as needed.

  • Partner with the head of the Conservatory Library to retire materials, assess gifts, and manage the collection.

  • Monitor developments in library technical services, metadata, and user access technologies.

  • Represent the Conservatory Library at professional conferences.

Essential Job Functions

  • Strong commitment to building positive relationships among users and colleagues.

  • A proven ability to work in a collaborative environment.

  • Ability to balance assertiveness and diplomacy.

  • Willingness to pursue additional education and skills development to complement the learning environment reflected in a progressive academic setting.

  • Willingness to collaborate across departments and relevant entities internal and external to OCL.

  • Demonstrated organizational skills in a broad range of situations.

  • Willingness to contribute in a collegial fashion as a member of the Conservatory Library and OCL as a whole.

  • A user-focused commitment to service excellence.

Required Qualifications

  • MLS from an ALA-accredited institution.

  • At least five years of experience cataloging and working on metadata projects in an academic library setting.

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in music.

  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to work comfortably in a team environment.

  • Familiarity with metadata models and content standards such as RDA (Resource Description and Access) and FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records).

  • Experience using or having wide-ranging knowledge of USMARC and linked data standards, WorldCat, LCSH, Z39.50 search protocol, and OAI/PHM harvesting protocol.

  • Knowledge of digital collections metadata standards.

  • Demonstrated leadership, training, supervisory, and management skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as part of a team in collective decision-making.

  • Demonstrated record of creativity/innovative thinking and comfort in working with ambiguity or in initiating projects.

  • Competency with a variety of information management technologies such as ILS software and discovery layers.

  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or doctorate in music.

  • Ordering and cataloging experience using OCLC-Connexion and local library systems.

  • Experience in designing and implementing web-based databases and interfaces.

  • Experience with Innovative Interfaces Sierra cataloging and acquisitions operations.

  • Experience with batch processing in the library catalog database environment.

  • Experience working with the Program for Cooperative Cataloging.

  • Ability to catalog in most Western European languages.

  • Rare book cataloging experience.

  • Experience with digital collections systems such as CONTENTdm or bepress Digital Collection.

  • Experience with WorldShare Record Manager, WorldShare Collection Manager, and a discovery system.


Within the range established for this position, salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted through Dec. 12, 2017. Apply here.

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