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Special Collections Metadata Specialist, Technology Services, Libraries & Cultural Resources

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Job ID: 15720

Updated: July 25, 2018

Location: Spy Hill

Position Overview

Technology Services within Libraries & Cultural Resources is currently seeking a Full-time Temporary Relief Special Collections Metadata Specialist for approximately 1 year.

The Special Collections Metadata Specialist supports the University of Calgary community, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni through the creation, provision, and maintenance of metadata that allow users to discover, identify, select, and obtain collections maintained by Libraries and Cultural Resources.

The Special Collections Metadata Specialist reports to the Director, Metadata and Discovery Services, part of the Technology, Discovery, and Digital Services in Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR). This position works at the High Density Library (HDL), located in NW Calgary.
This position provides effective description of specialized library materials, or other resources to facilitate user access and discovery of the unique and special collections of Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR). The Metadata Specialist also provides effective description, quality assurance, and support for scholars through metadata as a service.
This position is responsible for creating/updating holdings records within the Library Management System (Alma) or other content management systems; and originally describing complex materials with a focus on rare books and serials, broadsheets, manuscripts, ephemera, media cataloguing, and other unit projects.

The Special Collections Metadata Specialist must be able to succeed in multiple projects with competing and shifting deadlines. There is a moderate to high level of stress related to ongoing changes in workload, systems, and metadata priorities. A high attention to detail is required since inaccurate action can have serious consequences for clients, Metadata and Discovery Services, Archives and Special Collections, and the University. There are moderate physical demands associated with this work.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Apply national and international metadata principles, rules, and standards to maintain the integrity of Libraries and Cultural Resources systems
  • Catalogue and describe rare books & serials, realia, broadsheets, manuscripts, ephemera, media cataloguing
  • Support projects where metadata is offered as a service to scholars
  • Provide full authority or vocabulary control for names, subjects, series or other metadata categories in conformity with national and international standards and established local policies and practice
  • Carry out comprehensive database maintenance tasks including editing existing records in order to maintain the integrity of the Content Systems
  • Compare, upload and verify item and metadata records received from acquisitions or vendor systems (this may include invoices or packing slips).
  • Prepare materials for transfer to long term storage
  • Work collaboratively with other members of the unit, other Libraries and Cultural Resource units involved in metadata and content system activities
  • Recommend changes to procedures or practices in Metadata and Discovery Services, especially in regard to specialized materials and formats
  • Provide training, mentoring and share expertise in specialized areas of knowledge with colleagues
  • Clearly communicate instructions and provides supervision and direction to students
  • Ability to write clear instructions, documentation and metadata descriptions
  • Maintain a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Maintain an in-depth understanding of national and international metadata/cataloguing and descriptive principles, rules, and standards
  • Proactively initiate professional development through on-going learning and training, both self-directed and formalized
  • Build skill base to include the leadership and direction of others i.e. mentoring, supervision and coaching

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • A university degree and 3-5 years experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience. A Library Technician diploma would be a significant asset
  • A demonstrated interest in developing proficiency and establishing a career path in working with metadata as related to special collections, rare books and digital projects
  • Ability to use critical thinking and analysis to apply descriptive standards to unique, rare, or special materials
  • In depth knowledge of national and international metadata standards (including RDA, AACR2R, LCSH, CSH, LC classification, MARC 21, etc.)
  • Experience working in a library management system e.g. Alma, and a digital content management system e.g. CONTENTdm
  • Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office software, Windows, and the ability to learn new digital technologies quickly
  • Working knowledge of other languages an asset
  • Strong time management and interpersonal skills, high level of accuracy, close attention to detail, and the ability to deal with interruptions and changes in priorities
  • Ability to multi-task and manage competing demands
  • Ability to work in a team environment as well as independently
  • An understanding of the University's mission and values, and familiarity with standards and practices related to the collection needs of university clients and to researchers

Application Deadline: June 21, 2018

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist Advisor Job Family, Phase II.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website


About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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