Monday, April 10, 2017

Duke University: Serials Librarian

Position Summary
The Serials Description Librarian performs original and complex copy cataloging of serials in all subjects and assigned languages. This position reports to the Head of Serials and Retention Management. Exercises considerable independent judgment in carrying out daily work activities. Further information:


  • Performs complex copy and original cataloging of serials in accordance with established policies, procedures, and standards. Creates and modifies cataloging records in the national cooperative cataloging environment, in accordance with both local and national standards, such as RDA, CONSER standards, and the MARC format.
  • Inputs and maintains bibliographic, holding, and item information as needed to ensure accuracy and completeness of information. Creates holdings data fields including captions and patterns, and textual holdings for serials following MARC 21 format for holdings data and ANSI/NISO Z39.71 for serials.
  • Searches and updates records in OCLC in accordance with established policies, procedures and standards.  Inputs local data in order for our discovery layers to work in sync
  • Re-cataloging of held serials identified for local and shared print retention.  
  • Handles highly complex problems regarding serials described using older standards, bringing them up-to-date as needed to facilitate user access.
  • Shares expertise with others throughout the Duke University Libraries and serves as a primary resource for cataloging policies, issues, formats, and standards for serials. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Head, Serials and Retention Management.
  • Reviews professional literature; networks with research services, collection development and other library professionals outside the University; and participates in activities to stay abreast of trends in serials cataloging in academic research institutions. 
  • Contributes to library-wide initiatives; participates in departmental and library-wide activities; serves on library committees and task forces.
  • Displays continuing growth in professional and subject knowledge by taking an active interest in the profession. This growth and interest may be demonstrated through continuing development of professional knowledge and abilities, membership and participation in professional organizations, and/or service to the library, University, or community in a professional capacity.

Supervisory Responsibilities

It is the expectation that all Duke University Libraries staff members will demonstrate exceptional workplace behaviors in the execution of their specific position responsibilities. These behaviors are customer focus, collaboration, creative problem solving, continuous learning and a commitment to diversity.

Required:  MLS or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Experience and Other Qualifications:

  • Experience performing serials copy cataloging in an academic setting
  • Familiarity with national cataloging utilities such as OCLC Connexion
  • Experience with MARC formats including bibliographic and holdings
  • Familiarity with the use and application of RDA or other bibliographic description standards, subject analysis, and application of a standard classification system 
  • Reading knowledge of at least one language in addition to English and facility in working with a variety of languages
  • Aptitude to develop skills in original serials cataloging
  • Effective interpersonal, oral and written communication skills
  • Commitment to collaborative work; strong analytical aptitude
  • Strong commitment to customer service


  • Prioritized language competencies in non-Roman languages, particularly Chinese
  • Experience applying CONSER and NACO standards
  • 1-3 years of experience performing complex copy or original serials cataloging
  • Familiarity with an ILS such as Aleph 
  • Current awareness of national trends and developments in cataloging and metadata standards such as BIBFRAME
  • Familiarity with standards for cataloging rare materials

About the Department
Serials and Retention Management is a reimagined department in DUL Technical Services whose mission includes resource description for serials, databases, and integrating resources, item processing for shared print and retention programs and data normalization of bibliographic records. This work involves original and complex copy cataloging, transfer and withdrawal of physical items, management of holdings for effective user discovery and interlibrary lending, update of print retention statements in OCLC and other appropriate knowledgebases. This department also participates in routine quality control for Technical Services metadata integrity as well as other prioritized project-based data normalization

Working Conditions

  • Must be able to work in an environment in which exposure to materials containing dust and mold is possible 
  • Must be able to lift 20 pounds and unpack, shelve and shift large quantities of library materials
  • Frequent bending, crouching, stooping
  • Normal office environment

Cover letter, detailed resume and the names, addresses (mailing and e-mail), and telephone numbers of three references should be submitted to: . Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.