Metadata Strategist, Pennsylvania State University Libraries

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries seeks an innovative, highly motivated individual to provide leadership and expertise in the development and implementation of metadata strategies to support digital initiatives.

The Metadata Strategist will take a holistic approach to metadata development and management to maximize discovery of the Libraries’ content, understanding the various standards, practices, and emerging technologies required for effective curation of digital content, including data sets. In collaboration with librarians, archivists, and developers, the successful candidate will lead in the design and implementation of a roadmap for metadata strategy for the Libraries’ current and future applications built using the Hydra/Fedora technology stack. Two such applications are the ScholarSphere repository service and ArchiveSphere, which manages and preserves born-digital archival records. The incumbent will engage in data modeling, working closely with colleagues in Information Technology Services and the Libraries, to leverage linked data technologies for integration in our Hydra applications. Consultations with users who are in need of metadata guidance in the context of digital projects and data management planning efforts is also expected.

The Metadata Strategist will report to the Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services and will provide leadership for the department’s Digital Access Team. The successful candidate will collaborate with colleagues in Digitization and Preservation, Information Technology Services, Libraries Technology, Publishing and Curation Services, and the Special Collections Library.

This position will be filled either as a tenure-line or fixed-term faculty librarian position, based on qualifications, experience, and preference of the successful candidate.


  • Coordinate and manage the development and implementation of metadata strategies that support the discovery and curation of the Libraries’ digital content, such as digital scholarship, born-digital archives, digitized content, research data, and digital humanities projects.
  • Lead the selection and development of relevant metadata standards, ontologies, policies, procedures, and workflows for digital resources. Provide expertise on metadata standards and practices.
  • Participate in the evaluation of platforms for storage, discovery, and delivery of digital content.
  • Consult on user experience and user services issues related to metadata creation and editing.
  • Provide leadership and training for staff in Cataloging and Metadata Services who are responsible for creation and management of metadata.
  • Participate in outreach opportunities; speak on topics such as data curation and scholarly communications to audiences both within and outside of the Libraries (i.e. Penn State researchers).
  • Engage in research, scholarly publication, and professional service activities in areas appropriate to academic librarianship.

Required Qualifications:

  • MLS/MLIS from an ALA accredited program or equivalent degree in a related field.
  • Experience managing metadata throughout its lifecycle, from initial description to release in a production application.
  • Experience with project management.
  • Knowledge of relevant metadata standards used in libraries and in scholarly publishing.
  • Strong technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and experience in data modeling and conceptualization.
  • Knowledge of emerging trends and practices related to linked data, semantic web applications, and RDF
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communications skills. Able to translate abstract concepts effectively to a variety of user communities, including researchers.
  • Strong commitment to excellent service and the ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Ability to work well with a diverse employee and user community and to work within a collegial environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Two-three years’ experience managing metadata and contributing to digital initiatives.
  • Professional involvement in the creation and maintenance of relevant metadata standards.
  • Demonstrated ability to use scripting languages such as Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, or XSLT to transform metadata
  • Experience with traditional metadata standards (MARC 21, AACR2, RDA).

Compensation and Rank: Rank and salary are dependent upon qualifications and experience. Fringe benefits include liberal vacation, excellent insurance and health care coverage, state or TIAA/CREF retirement options, and educational privileges. In addition, faculty in the University Libraries are afforded funds for professional development travel annually. Faculty may be asked to travel as official representatives of the Libraries to certain events and those trips are reimbursed at full cost within limits established by the University.

Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted online. To be considered for the position, interested candidates should upload a letter of application, resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references (including email addresses). Please reference Box META-PSUL in your letter of application. Review of applications will begin June 18, 2014 and continue until position is filled. Questions may be addressed to Lindsey Harter, Faculty Search Coordinator, at


Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, and other protected groups.

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS:  For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

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