Manager of Serials Cataloging- Harvard University Libraries- Cambridge, Massachusetts

Details or description

Harvard University

Manager of Serials Cataloging
Harvard Library

Job Summary

Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by the end of the day on October 6, 2023.

Under the supervision of the Head of Metadata Creation (MC) and as a member of the MC Managers team with a dotted line relationship to the Head of E-Resources and Serials, the Manager of Serials Cataloging facilitates timely access to Harvard Library collections by ensuring the creation and maintenance of discovery metadata for library content in multiple languages and formats, with a focus on serials.

The Manager of Serials Cataloging will lead and manage a unit of professional catalogers, metadata specialists and support staff engaged in creating metadata for materials primarily in the serials format, both print and electronic, and in all languages. This position works collaboratively with managers throughout ITS to develop department-wide strategic and operational plans, policies, and best practices in the Harvard Library. This position takes the lead in formulating and disseminating Harvard Library policies and procedures related to serials cataloging. The incumbent will also support and direct all CONSER activities at Harvard, including serving as Harvard’s CONSER representative and actively participating in CONSER initiatives. The incumbent engages staff in adopting innovative metadata practices and helps guide ITS’s strategy to reframe and expand existing skills and extend staffing flexibility to meet the long-term discovery needs of Harvard Library collections.

Information and Technical Services (ITS) actively supports the teaching and research mission of the Harvard Library by managing monograph, serial and e-resource acquisitions, metadata creation, and metadata management for the Harvard Library.

Position Description

Management and Supervision
•Manages the Serials Cataloging unit within the Metadata Creation Section:
•Hires, trains, and supervises staff, establishes goals and benchmarks, and manages performance
•Monitors and improves workflow; monitors productivity and quality standards for the unit
•Fosters open communication within the unit, documents decisions and discussions as appropriate, and shares information on behalf of the larger organization to foster staff engagement
•Acts as a backup to the other managers as a member of a strong, collaborative management team
•Oversees development and implementation of training for metadata staff, encouraging innovation and experimentation with new tools and approaches
•Creates an environment that supports staff professional development, encourages staff growth and advocates for resources as needed to position the unit for success
•Models professional behavior in the workplace at all times through verbal and non-verbal communication; relates to others in a respectful and collegial manner

Operations and Service Delivery
•Establishes effective, timely and standardized work processes, policies and best practices in coordination with ITS senior leadership, ITS management peers, and library colleagues, and other appropriate staff in order to provide high-quality and responsive service to library users.
•Optimizes workflow to reduce processing time, backlogs and manual/local data entry whenever possible.
•Develops, directs, and otherwise contributes to special initiatives, including pilot and research projects.
•Participates in analysis of vendor service offerings; makes proposals as appropriate for experimentation and adoption.
•Performs and reviews original CONSER cataloging. Provides CONSER training and feedback. Contributes to national programs, such as NACO and BIBCO, as appropriate.
•Resolves problems of incorrect, incomplete, or conflicting bibliographic, holdings, and item data. Manages database cleanup regarding metadata for serial materials.
•Stays informed of technical services trends, changing practices, new cataloging software applications, and local technology changes.
•Manages the backlog of serial materials, including implementing strategies to reduce the backlog.
•Critically assesses metadata in light of diversity, equity and inclusion, and makes changes as appropriate.
•May serve as a liaison for the department with libraries or departments to ensure clear shared priorities; collaborates with library colleagues to develop sustainable services within achievable service expectations.

Strategic Planning and Leadership
•Identifies, explores, and implements standards and technologies supporting the discovery of Harvard Library collections.
•Represents the Harvard Library in committees and associations beyond Harvard, especially CONSER, to offer leadership and contributions and ensure cooperative cataloging.
•Participates in departmental and unit-level strategic planning in consultation with other ITS managers and staff.
•Serves as the principal source of information on established technical/professional and administrative policies and procedures, especially CONSER policies; as well as the principal resource for all issues related to metadata for serials.

Basic Qualifications
•MLS from ALA accredited school or equivalent education and/or professional work experience.
•Current knowledge of trends and developments in the field as well as familiarity and consistent use of metadata principles, standards and tools, particularly CONSER documentation, RDA, and LCSH, as well as MARC and non-MARC metadata schemas, best practices, and their application (e.g., DACS, VRA, Dublin Core, EAD, geospatial metadata, METS, MODS, OAI).
•A minimum of four years of experience in an academic library or other cultural heritage organization setting creating CONSER and NACO records.
•A minimum of three years of experience in staff supervision and performance management.
•Demonstrated facility with technology, including experience with library metadata applications, such as the CONSER Standard Record and the PCC Provider-Neutral Guidelines
•Working knowledge of at least one, preferably two languages other than English.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

•Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and antiracism.
•Must have excellent organizational, interpersonal, strong problem-solving and analytical skills, customer service orientation, initiative, and flexibility to adapt to changing daily and strategic priorities.
•Ability to use technology in creative ways to solve problems or facilitate workflow.
•Demonstrated success in training and staff development; with experience in a combined union and non-union staffing environment strongly desirable.
•Advanced written communication and teaching skills.
•Demonstrated ability to establish priorities, achieve goals and complete projects.
•Experience with analyzing and creating procedures such as service standards, policies, procedures and workflows.
•Experience in training and reviewing CONSER and NACO participants.
•Ability to manage competing priorities with a positive, constructive, flexible, and cooperative manner.
•Ability to work effectively under pressure
•Ability to work productively and cooperatively in a team environment
•Commitment to be part of a continuous learning environment, updating skills as required to perform job duties.

Physical Requirements

•Keyboarding for at least 6 hours a day may be required.
•Employee must be able handle books and other library material, including moving and shifting these materials between workstations, shelves, book trucks and boxes

Working Conditions
•The work associated with this position is performed in a library/office setting.
•The position will be based on our campus in Cambridge, MA., however there is the opportunity for a flexible or hybrid work model compliant with Harvard University remote work policies.

We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

•Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
•Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
•Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
•Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
•Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
•Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
•Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
•Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
•Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University’s faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at and about the Harvard University community at

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Job Function

USA – MA – Cambridge

Information and Technical Services

Time Status

00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

Department Office Location
USA – MA – Cambridge

Work Format
Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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