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"As provost, I know that our academic excellence depends on the contributions of all our faculty. Our faculty advance knowledge through our research, teach our talented students, and provide excellent health care to our patients. USC seeks to attract the best and brightest faculty, and we provide a collegial academic environment and employment conditions in which they can flourish and achieve academic success." Michael Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Metadata Librarian

Library IT Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California (USC) Libraries seek an innovative, service-oriented Metadata Librarian to join the Digital Library Team as a contract librarian for twenty-two months. Reporting to the director of the Digital Library, the Metadata Librarian will coordinate projects that involve the digitization and description of collections belonging to USC and collaborating institutions as part of the NEH L.A. as Subject Community Histories Digitization Project. The Metadata Librarian will apply knowledge of metadata, digitization, and technical expertise to incorporate new content from participating libraries into USC’s digital library management system. This involves the description of materials, the transformation of metadata into standard schemas, the training of student assistants and contributors in best practices related to metadata creation, digitization, and digital library practice, and in reviewing the work of contributors to ensure that it adheres to relevant standards and best practices.

We seek candidates motivated by a passion to develop transformative library services, an investment in the future of librarianship, and who are expected to be creative in identifying and solving problems within a collegial and collaborative environment. The successful candidate must be knowledgeable of current relevant library and scholarly information trends and practices, and be able to apply this understanding to make a significant, positive impact on the USC community.


The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, USC is ranked second in the country in enrollment of international students and offers extensive opportunities for internships and study abroad. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge. For more information, visit


The USC Libraries support the discovery, creation, organization, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge. We develop and deliver collections, services, and programs that support and encourage the academic, research, clinical, and creative endeavors of our community; cultivate an inclusive community of intellectually curious, critical thinkers; and help develop engaged, informed global citizens. Through these means, we participate in the continuing success of the University of Southern California as a private, global research institution committed to the greater, public good.

The USC Libraries comprise Doheny Memorial Library and many specialized libraries, including the Health Sciences Libraries, with an operating budget of approximately $41 million. Library faculty and staff throughout the organization are committed to core values of inquiry, ingenuity, integrity, and inclusiveness, and work to advance consequential engagement with our communities. For more information on how our libraries support critical, creative, and ethical habits of mind at USC, visit


The USC Digital Library contains over 400,000 assets comprising 1.3 million files of primary resource materials from USC and collaborating institutions and USC’s theses and dissertations. About half of the assets are historical photographs, maps, or other visual resources. Over 50,000 visitors per month access the USC Digital Library’s site to access its unique materials. The USC Digital Library is Content Hub for the Digital Public Library of America and provides metadata to UMBRA African American History Search, University of Georgia Civil Rights Digital Library, OpenNi from the National Library of Medicine and our materials are discoverable through Google.


Reporting to Director, Digital Library, the Metadata Librarian will:

  • Collaborate with USC faculty and external contributors to develop services and collections in support of their research and teaching by identifying discovery and metadata requirements and by working with contributors to develop tools and processes to create metadata for their projects
  • Manage projects and the collections that result from the digitization and description of materials from USC Libraries and other institutions throughout their life cycle, coordinating digitization and description activities to ensure efficient use of library resources
  • Develop metadata crosswalks from nonstandard approaches to standards such as Dublin Core and MARC and convert metadata to standard schema using scripting and/or coding and import metadata into digital library management systems and/or make metadata available for harvesting
  • Review metadata created by contributors for completeness and accuracy, and troubleshoot metadata issues
  • Describe objects in the Digital Library following best practices using library standards such as Dublin Core
  • Stay up-to-date on relevant library and scholarly information trends and practices and be able to apply this knowledge to have a significant, positive impact on the USC Digital Library, and the advancement of the USC Libraries’ strategic plan and the University’s strategic vision
  • Participate in library and other committees as assigned
  • This position may be required to work evenings and/or weekends
  • Other duties as assigned.


Minimum qualifications: MLS from an ALA-accredited program or non-U.S. equivalent is typically required for a librarian appointment at USC. In addition, candidates must provide examples of:

  • Knowledge of metadata standards, especially Dublin Core and MARC
  • Knowledge of techniques used to transform nonstandard metadata to standard metadata
  • Knowledge of digital library management systems or digital asset management systems
  • Knowledge of digital library processes and workflows
  • Knowledge of current professional trends, especially those relating to discovery, digital libraries, digital humanities, scholarly communication, digital curation, and digital preservation
  • Evidence of a strong customer-service orientation within an academic or research library setting
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Experience independently and collaboratively solving problems.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Experience managing projects in a library, academic, or information environment
  • Experience engaging with end-users to develop project requirements
  • Experience using a digital library management system in a hosted environment
  • Experience developing teaching or training materials
  • Experience teaching
  • Experience developing cost estimates for digital library projects
  • Supervisory experience
  • Experience digitizing materials in a library or other cultural heritage institution
  • Understanding of copyright and related rights and how they are applied in a digital library setting
  • Engagement in professional and/or subject discipline organizations, research, or publishing that will have a significant, positive impact on the provision of service to the USC Libraries.


Rank: Contract Librarian

This position is a fixed-term, full-time, non-continuing appointment on a 22-month contract, renewable annually. The salary is $55,000.


Benefits include a choice of retirement programs, 22 paid vacation days per year, university holidays, a choice of medical and dental plans, and tuition assistance (for employees and eligible dependents). For more information about benefits see:


As part of the application, candidates must upload one document file (Word or PDF) that contains the following: 1) a cover letter, 2) a curriculum vitae (including telephone and e-mail address), and 3) a list of at least three references that includes the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address for each referee.

Closing date for applications: Open until filled

For more information about this position, contact Rachel Mandell, Chair of the Search Committee, at

USC is an equal-opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding persons of every race, gender, creed and background. The university particularly encourages members of underrepresented groups, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply. USC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Further information is available by contacting

REQ20061669 Posted Date: 06/29/2018

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