Head of Technical Services – University Libraries, Washington, DC

Position Information

This position provides leadership for Cataloging, Acquisitions, Serials and electronic resources management for the technical service areas of the University Libraries and the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Responsible for the maintenance of the Integrated Library System in coordination with the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC.)


Responsible for orienting and training others, and assigning and reviewing their work. May also be responsible for acting in a “lead” or “senior” capacity over other positions performing essentially the same work, or related technical tasks and reporting to a higher level on a formal basis.


Internal contacts include administrators, staff, and faculty and student workers. External contacts include vendors, other catalogers, and collaborating with technical service professions within the WRLC.


  • Provide leadership and oversight of technical service functions including policy development, implementation and review of procedures including policy development, implementation and review of procedures including policy development, implementation and review of procedures related to changes in accepted professional practices.
  • Perform original and complex copy cataloging of library resources in all formats and languages collected by creating descriptive and subject access to print, media, and digital materials using current cataloging and metadata standards, such as the next generation descriptive cataloging standard, RDA.
  • Provide training for cataloging of electronic resources and provide metadata support on digital projects that require a knowledge of DUBLIN Core, METS, and MODS metadata schemas.
  • Oversee all cataloging activities related to electronic resources, such as abstracts and indexes, full text journals, and documents.
  • Work collaboratively with bibliographers, publishers/vendors, and WRLC representatives, committees and task forces, to seamlessly integrate Howard’s print and electronic resources into WRLC’s services and databases and all discovery platforms.
  • Engage in university system-wide initiatives that have as their goals next generation technical devices, which redesign technical services workflows and the library’s information resources in order to take advantage of new system-wide capabilities and tools (e.g., Blackboard Classroom Management System), minimize redundant activities, improve efficiency, and foster innovation.
  • Supervise staff in the ordering and receiving of books, periodicals and other materials.
  • Supervise staff in preparing materials for the bindery and repairing damaged items.
  • Provide oversight for gifts processing including coordinating with donors, developing procedures and policies, evaluation and disposition of donated materials.
  • Assumes the responsibility for technical services processing in the absence of staff, including supervision of student employees.
  • Prepares and provides statistical reports for various reporting agencies for annual reports and special projects.
  • Maintains current skills in all areas of technical services and related technologies.
  • Performs system administration duties for the Integrated Library System (ILS):
  • Keeps informed of updates and new features of the ILS and works closely with consortia on planning and implementation.
  • Works on ILS projects for the Library Director and/or in coordination with other staff and departments to improve functionality.
  • Runs routine loads of records into the system and provides reports and software updates as needed.
  • Maintains current skills in all areas of the ILS by attending consortia meetings, user group meetings, and related training.
  • Trains staff on system updates and new features, also provides training for new staff.
  • Provides reference services to the University community and general public:
  • Assists users in conducting research, finding information and using the library’s resources.
  • Provides instruction on the use and interpretation of information resources:
  • Prepares and delivers class presentations and demonstrations.
  • Develops instructional material and prepares subject and resource guides in various formats.
  • Maintains current skills with library instruction techniques and technologies.
  • Participates in library collection development:
  • Liaises with designated academic departments, coordinating and facilitating the selection of library materials appropriate to the curriculum and the library’s collection development policy.
  • Participates in professional organizations and takes part in academic activities:
  • Participate in professional and scholarly activities, including attending conferences, contributing to the literature and serving on committees.
  • Contribute to the cultural and outreach programs presented by the assigned departments and affiliated agencies.


  • Knowledge of principles, procedures, and practices associated with the cataloging standards including: OCLC, MARC formats, AACR2, RDA, LCSH, LC classification.
  • Experience working with the Voyager and ALMA Cataloging module, and SerialsSolutions’ 360 Link or other link resolvers.
  • Knowledge of standard metadata formats from the library, digital library and publishing communities (e.g., MARC, EAD, METS, MODS, DUBLIN CORE).
  • Experience with computer applications such as Microsoft Office Excel, and Blackboard Course Management system.
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills and technological expertise.
  • Strong verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to work in a strongly collaborative environment and fit into the cross-functional nature of a mid-size HBCU University Library
  • Demonstrated ability to lead in a rapidly-changing environment, and to work in collaborative environments.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the use of new information technologies.
  • Commitment to professional development and service excellence.
  • Other duties as assigned.


ALA accredited MLS or comparable master’s degree, and two (2) years of progressively responsible experience in an academic or research setting as a cataloger.

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