Senior Resource Description Specialist

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime

Emory University is a leading research university that fosters excellence and attracts world-class talent to innovate today and prepare leaders for the future. We welcome candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of our academic community.

Reporting to the Head of Resource Description, the Resource Description Specialist (Sr) provides original and complex adaptive cataloging for print European- and English-language materials in all subject areas and for all material and media types and participates in authority work. The Resource Description Specialist (Sr) may perform batch loading and batch editing of bibliographic records. This position may investigate and resolve bibliographic record problems submitted by users or identified during regular database maintenance.



  • Performs complex bibliographic management operations (e.g. searching; checking the series and name authority files; and creating, reviewing or updating the cataloging record) using a specialized knowledge of online databases, microcomputer applications, complex reference tools, and/or foreign language skills.
  • Creates permanent machine-readable bibliographic and authority records; may perform online bibliographic updates.
  • May establish headings to contribute to the Library of Congress Name Authority database.
  • Verifies or assigns subject headings and classifications (e.g. Library of Congress, National Library, or Dewey Decimal.)
  • May supervise or direct the work of staff/students.
  • Performs related responsibilities as required.
  • May supervise or direct the work of students.
  • May act as a resource person for other staff or students. This position collaborates on special projects prioritized within the Access and Resource Services Division; and may be called upon to participate in team-, division-, and library-wide working groups and committees.
  • Key Responsibilities & Duties:

Cataloging Services, Bibliographic Database maintenance, Authority work (85 %):

  • Performs original and complex MARC-based adaptive cataloging of monographic resources in a wide range of subject areas and languages for all material and media types.
  • Edits OCLC bibliographic records that require substantial adaptation & upgrading, applying knowledge of AACR2, RDA, Library of Congress, SuDoc, NLM classification and subject headings, and OCLC MARC format for monographs
  • Creates, maintains, and upgrades bibliographic and holdings information in the Library’s online catalog
  • May perform batch loading and batch editing of bibliographic records
  • May participate in ongoing authority control and maintenance
  • Investigates and resolves bibliographic record problems submitted by users or identified during regular database maintenance.
  • Maintains a thorough knowledge of cataloging practices including AACR2, RDA, Library of Congress, SuDoc, NLM classification and subject headings, OCLC MARC format for monographs, and authority control.
  • Maintains knowledge of national, international, and local in-house cataloging standards and procedures
  • Serves as a resource person for cataloging, bibliographic data, and industry standards
  • Maintains monthly statistics on personal cataloging production.

Training, Supervision, Projects oversight (5 %):

  • May train students to perform searching in national and local bibliographic databases, cataloging, database maintenance, marking and processing of physical library materials.

Documentation (5%):

  • Develops and communicates policies and procedures; creates and maintains documentation and training materials.

Committee and Group Participation, Professional Development (5 %):

  • Contributes to a positive work environment by demonstrating willingness to participate in solution processes and shows commitment to teamwork and customer service within a large, complex organization
  • Uses independent judgment to resolve complex problems related to the daily and project work of the team
  • Identifies and attends appropriate continuing education workshops/seminars
  • Participates in special projects, library working groups, committees, and activities as needed to support the changing environment of the library and the academic community
  • Understands and accepts the change process and how it will impact daily activities; ability to change strategies/behaviors in response to changing priorities and conditions
  • Adapts to and learns new software


  • Bachelor's degree in a related field and three years of related experience, OR equivalent combination of experience, education, and training.
  • Requires one or more of the following: computer skills, special skills or a proficiency in a foreign language.

Library Preferred Qualifications:

  • Combination of training and/or experience in library technical services
  • Demonstrated proficiency and capabilities with personal computers and software, the Web, and library-relevant information technology applications.
  • Working knowledge of standard computer office applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint or other productivity software
  • Ability to build and sustain effective interpersonal relationships with library staff, faculty and students, off campus faculty and administrators, campus administrators, etc.
  • Evidence of analytical, organizational, communication, project, and time management skills and demonstrated ability to set priorities, meet deadlines, and complete tasks and projects on time and within task/project parameters.
  • Original and complex adaptive cataloging experience, preferably in a large research library; experience using library ILS systems, such as Ex Libris’ Alma or other integrated library system
  • Experience using AACR2, RDA, Library of Congress subject headings and classification and/or SuDoc or NLM classification and headings in an academic library setting
  • Initiative and ability to analyze procedures and initiate suggestions for improved work efficiency
  • Demonstrated knowledge of extant and emerging cataloging standards and trends for use in academic libraries
  • Working knowledge of software and technology tools commonly used in technical services in academic library settings
  • Commitment to fostering a diverse work environment and an ability to work effectively with a diverse library staff population
  • Capacity to thrive in an ambiguous, future-oriented environment of a major research institution and to respond effectively to changing needs and priorities
  • Fluency in one or more foreign languages


NOTE: Position tasks are generally required to be performed in-person at an Emory University location.  Remote work from home day options may be granted at department discretion. Emory reserves the right to change remote work status with notice to employee.

To ensure the safety of our campus community, the COVID-19 vaccine is required. For more information on the University and Hospital policies and potential exemptions, please see our website.
Emory University is dedicated to providing equal opportunities and equal access to all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and veteran's status. Emory University does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment on the basis of any factor stated above or prohibited under applicable law. Students, faculty, and staff are assured of participation in University programs and in the use of facilities without such discrimination. Emory University complies with Executive Order 11246, as amended, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veteran's Readjustment Assistance Act, and applicable executive orders, federal and state regulations regarding nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. Emory University is committed to achieving a diverse workforce through application of its affirmative action, equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policy in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training. Inquiries regarding this policy should be directed to the Emory University Department of Equity and Inclusion, 201 Dowman Drive, Administration Building, Atlanta, GA 30322.
Emory University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact the Department of Accessibility Services at 404-727-9877 (V) | 404-712-2049 (TDD). Please note that one week advance notice is preferred.

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