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Head, Metadata and Discovery

The Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries invites applications and nominations for the position of Head, Metadata and Discovery. The Head, Metadata and Discovery provides strategic and innovative leadership and oversight of metadata and cataloging, authority control, and bibliographic maintenance. The successful candidate will join a culturally and academically diverse faculty of the highest caliber.

Located in culturally diverse, historic, and dynamic Richmond, Virginia, convenient to the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the recreation destinations of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Commonwealth University is one of Virginia's largest universities and among the nation's leading research institutions. The VCU Libraries, one of Virginia’s outstanding research library systems, advances the University’s teaching, research, service, and patient care mission with comprehensive print, journal, database and collections in the health and biological sciences, social work, the arts, the history of medicine, and comic and book arts.

Diversity and Inclusion

VCU’s commitment to diversity is one of the institution’s unique strengths. Our student body is one of the most diverse in Virginia in terms of race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and one of the four themes of our Quest 2025 Strategic Plan is “Diversity driving excellence.” VCU is committed to building an increasingly diverse faculty and leadership team, and is actively engaged in partnerships with diverse communities in the Richmond metro area. VCU Libraries is purposeful in our efforts to advance diversity and inclusion and expects that the Head, Information Services & Learning Spaces will be a leader in fostering a welcoming atmosphere for all members of the VCU community at Cabell Library. The successful candidate will receive generous support for research, service, and professional development and will have ample opportunity to pursue diversity and inclusion related opportunities in those areas.


Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Collections, Discovery and Budget, the Head, Metadata and Discovery provides leadership and strategic direction of the department. Manages and directs staff in the creation of metadata and cataloging in all formats. Creates, documents, manages, and refines cataloging and metadata workflows for materials including, but not limited to, print and electronic monographs, series, standing orders, serials, digital collections and media. Proposes and monitors vendor services that facilitate processing and delivery of information resources. Provides staff training in metadata description and cataloging. Manages and reports metrics for assessment and external reporting. Directs bibliographic and authority maintenance activities, ensuring database quality and accuracy. Supervises three librarians, five
staff members, and student workers.

The Head, Metadata and Discovery is an essential member of the division’s leadership team and is expected to play an integral role in the success of division-wide operations. As a member of the VCU Libraries’ management council, the position will work with department head colleagues across the libraries to advance strategic initiatives. The Head, Metadata and Discovery is expected to be active professionally and to contribute to developments in the field. Faculty with the VCU Libraries are evaluated, and promoted, on the basis of job performance, scholarship, and professional development and service.

Required Qualifications

ALA-accredited graduate degree or accredited graduate degree in another appropriate discipline. Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.

Preferred Qualifications

At least three years of increasingly responsible professional cataloging and metadata practice and managerial supervisory experience in an academic or research library. Comprehensive knowledge of and experience guiding others in applying cataloging principles and standards, including RDA, AACR2, LC-PCC PSs, MARC and non-MARC metadata schemas. Experience with NACO, BIBCO or other PCC programs. Familiarity with emerging standards and initiatives, such as BIBFRAME, RDF, and linked data. Experience guiding others in creating original as well as copy bibliographic records, with OCLC Connexion, national bibliographic utilities, integrated library systems, vendor cataloging services, ebook management, authority control services, and automated routines for bibliographic maintenance. Knowledge of languages in addition to English. Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills. Experience at urban research institutions, HBCU or minority serving institutions is desired.

Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU Libraries

As one of only 28 public universities with academic medical centers to be designated by the Carnegie Foundation as “Community Engaged” with “Very High Research Activity,” Virginia Commonwealth University ranks among Virginia’s largest research universities, enrolling over 31,000 students. Located in the heart of Richmond, VCU offers 42 doctoral, 68 masters, 3 professional, and 68 baccalaureate degree programs. Thirty-four of VCU's graduate and professional programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation, with 20 programs ranking in the top 50 and sculpture and nurse anesthesia ranked number one. Over 3,200 faculty comprise the University's teaching force. Research strengths at the University include health and life sciences, education, engineering, social work, behavioral sciences, public affairs, advertising and design, and the fine arts. Sponsored research funding totals over $310 million, placing VCU among the top 100 research institutions in the United States.

Libraries at Virginia Commonwealth University, including the James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus, employ over 66 professionals and 83 staff with annual expenditures exceeding $21 million. VCU also operates academic programs in Doha, Qatar, supported by a library there, and in various locations throughout the U.S. and the world. The VCU Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, Center for Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), a statewide networking consortium for shared access to electronic and print resources, as well as a Resource Library in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. The VCU Libraries has adopted Primo as its discovery layer and was one of the first libraries worldwide to have implemented Alma as its next generation cloud-based system for library management. Islandora, Digital Commons, ArchivesSpace, and Omeka supplement the foundation of its system architecture to enhance access to its collections and services.

The Monroe Park Campus of VCU is located in Richmond's Fan District, a large, residential neighborhood of townhouses, shops, and cafes. The campus is home to most of the University’s undergraduate and many of its graduate programs, including the School of the Arts, the Colleges of Humanities and Sciences, and Engineering and the Schools of Business, Education, and Social Work. The School of Social Work also offers the Masters of Social Work at the Northern Virginia Campus in Alexandria, Virginia. In addition, VCU’s Qatar campus in the Middle East offers degree programs through the School of the Arts.

The MCV Campus, located in historic Court End near state and local government and financial centers, is home to the VCU Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy; VCU College of Health Professions; the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research; and, VCU Health. VCU Health includes VCU Medical Center, a Magnet Recognized hospital with 771 inpatient beds, outpatient clinics, a Level 1 trauma center, and over 800 physicians in nearly 200 specialty areas, many of national and international renown, as well as the Children’s Hospital at VCU and Massey Cancer Center, Virginia's first NCI-designated cancer center. In addition to multidisciplinary centers for cancer, cardiology, neurosurgery, and transplantation, VCU Health offers virtually every form of contemporary medical service.

Salary: Salary commensurate with experience, not less than $70,000 annually. This is a full-time, non-tenured faculty position. Normal faculty benefits apply, including 24 vacation days annually and choice of retirement and annuity plans. Relocation assistance, as well as a generous professional development allowance. For more information about benefits, see the Faculty Benefits page.

For more information about the VCU Libraries, please visit our home page at VCU Libraries. Review of applications will begin April 1, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled. To apply, go to, complete the application and submit a cover letter, resume, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references.

Virginia Commonwealth University is an urban research institution with a richly diverse university community and commitment to multicultural opportunities. Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

Apply at VCUJobs