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Metadata and Engineering Digital Librarian Position Request


Proposing Division, Unit, Group or Individual

Content Access Management (CAM), Grainger Engineering Library, and Illinois Harvest

Proposed Title

Metadata and Engineering Digital Librarian

Faculty Rank

Assistant Professor

Estimated Salary


Potential sources of funding for position


The retirement of Monographic Cataloging Senior Library Specialist position, Technical Services (Acquisitions and Monographic Cataloging) student wage money, and salary money generated by the retirement of a Grainger Library LTA.

Reports to


Michael Norman, Head of Content Access Management

William Mischo, Engineering Librarian

Recommended time frame for filling (immediate need, 6 months, 1 year, etc.) and explanation 

One of the Metadata Librarian positions funded through non-recurring monies from the Illinois Harvest project has been made permanent. The other position was only funded through September, 2007. The Grainger Library LTA retirement monies are available beginning July 2008. This position could start July 1, 2008.

Position Need & Rationale: explain how this position contributes to the Library’s strategic goals


One Metadata Librarian position has already been funded. We had always planned on requesting the repurposing of two staff positions into 2 Metadata Librarian positions.


The Grainger Library faculty has been reduced from 5 librarians to 2 librarians with responsibilities for Grainger, the Physics and Astronomy Library, and Library IT production projects. An untenured Grainger Library faculty member funded through the Provost’s TOP program has been on medical leave since June 2007 and will not return in a faculty position. 


The Library has made large-scale digitization, e-science, scholarly communication activities, and enhanced access to digital resources all high priorities in the Library Strategic Plan and Annual Report to the Provost. During this past year, the Illinois Harvest, Open Content Alliance, IDEALS, Summary of Engineering Research, the OAI-ORE project, and the Computational Science and Technology projects have made significant progress in working with digital materials, metadata, and supporting access systems. As always, good metadata is critical to our users searching and finding these resources. CAM has developed enhanced mechanisms for cataloging and creating metadata in a non-MARC world. The Grainger Library and DSD have developed sophisticated metasearch and digital resource access technologies.


The original two Visiting Metadata Librarian positions funded with Naomi Jacobbsen and campus monies have provided essential help and guidance as we learn all we can about digital objects, creating best practices, and then establishing effective workflows for our digitization efforts. To do this critical day-to-day work (including programming, processing of materials, metadata creation, OAI Harvesting, and web-page and portal design), it will be difficult to pull this time and effort from our current duties in CAM. The Grainger Library has already developed sophisticated OAI provider and harvesting tools, metadata processing techniques, metasearch, and enhanced scholarly communication and resource access technologies. 


The Metadata Librarian position, other CAM librarians, and Grainger library faculty have already established close contacts and become contact points for many other departments and units in the Library, including IT, IDEALS, Large-Scale Digitization, DSD, departmental libraries in all Divisions, Rare Books and Special Collections, Archives, and others. Establishing this permanent Metadata and Engineering Digital Librarian position will be an important step forward for this Library in building and supporting the digital library infrastructure we need to do this important work.  

Brief position description and job duties



























Duties and Responsibilities: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library seeks innovative individuals to provide expertise and guidance in metadata schemas and standards, enhanced digital library access and discovery technologies, and scholarly communication and e-science activities and apply these technologies within the Library. The Metadata and Engineering Digital Librarian is responsible for helping plan and manage metadata production for digital projects for the Illinois Harvest Project and the University of Illinois Libraries and to support specialized engineering library activities related to digital librarianship and scholarly communication.  


Responsibilities include providing leadership, expertise and management relating to metadata production for description, access and preservation of digital materials acquired or held by the UIUC Libraries. Additionally, this position will collaborate with appropriate personnel and working groups to advise on the application of current and emerging metadata schema to facilitate access to digital collections. The Metadata and Engineering Digital Librarian will also investigate and develop applications for improving access to digital collections and facilitate metadata scheme specification and adaptation. Additionally, this position will coordinate activities in the Grainger Library connected with access systems and scholarly communication. This will include liaison with IDEALS, production and integration of the Summary of Engineering Research with other discovery systems (such as BibApp), integration of Easy Search and other metasearch systems with Library retrieval systems, and enhancements to custom applications that support computational science and technology and e-science.


The metadata production work will include providing training and technical assistance to other department staff. The librarian will also coordinate the formulation & implementation of policies & standards for descriptive, technical and administrative metadata that are used to support the production, management of and access to the Libraries’ digital collections, including AACR2, MARC, LCSH, LCC, VRA, Dublin Core, EAD, geospatial metadata, METS, MODS, XML, and OAI- PMH. The incumbent in the position will also assist in all information access, instructional, and resource navigation work carried out in the Grainger Engineering Library.


This position will also serve as a resource person for all projects involving metadata and information discovery and will be part of a team conducting leading-edge research and technology transfer in digital librarianship.

The Metadata and Engineering Digital Librarian is a faculty position reporting to the Head of Content Access Management (CAM) and the Engineering Librarian. Metadata is provided within the Library’s digital resources systems including ContentDM, DSpace, DLXS, Olive, within OCLC for inclusion in the local Voyager system and/or other local systems in iShare, the Illinois consortial online catalog, and other possible digital library systems. The Grainger Library is involved in numerous metasearch, information discovery and navigation, assisted search, scholarly communication, and e-science activities.

The incumbent will assist in metadata harvesting using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) and creating collection level records and descriptions of various collections. The incumbent will assist the Head of Content Access Management, CAM staff and librarians, large-scale digitization staff and faculty, Grainger librarians, Preservation staff, IT staff, and other Library faculty and staff involved in digital resource production and access mechanisms.

How might this position evolve to meet continuing Library needs in 5-10 years?













This is a critical position for the Library as we continue to build out digital services that support evolving access and discovery services.  The Illinois Harvest project, the Digital Content Creation activities, metasearch and assisted search technologies, the next-generation catalog work, scholarly communications foci, and other emerging information access systems all support our continuing efforts to improve information services. This is a unique position in that it combines several key initiatives and priorities and reflects the Library’s commitment to innovation and flexibility.


This position and others like it will continue to evolve over the next 5-10 years to meet the cataloging, metadata, scholarly communication, knowledge creation, and access needs of our users.

Library EC, rev. June 2008