Metadata Librarian (Special Collections)

The Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries invites applications and nominations for the position of Metadata Librarian (Special Collections). Joining a newly forming team of metadata colleagues, the Metadata Librarian (Special Collections) is responsible for coordinating and performing original and complex copy cataloging, with a focus on special collections and rare materials found in both the Special Collections and Archives department and general collections. This position uses in-depth, specialized knowledge of metadata standards to catalog and maintain descriptions of all print and non-print materials for the special collections including reparative metadata, batch record manipulation with data tools and analytics, and remediation of current records for improved access. The successful candidate will join a culturally and academically diverse faculty of the highest caliber. 

Resource Acquisition and Metadata Services leads the acquisitions and cataloging of the Libraries collections, the fiscal administration of the Libraries collections budget, the licensing of electronic resources, and the strategic direction and maintenance of MARC and non-MARC metadata across systems. Resource Acquisition and Metadata Services achieves its mission to ensure our communities’ discovery of and access to the Libraries collections through departmental activities, acquiring, describing, and organizing resources, and through collaboration across VCU Libraries. The successful candidate will join 4 faculty and 6 professional staff as a member of the Resource Acquisition and Metadata Services department.

Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library and the Health Sciences Library connects students, faculty, researchers, and community members with rare and unique materials in areas such as comic arts, book arts, Richmond and Central Virginia history; African-American, women’s and LGBTQ community histories; social movements and activism; 15th-19th- century medical texts and imprints, health sciences history focused on Virginia and the South; and University Archives.

Located in diverse, historic, and dynamic Richmond, 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 among the nation's leading research institutions. VCU Libraries, one of Virginia’s outstanding research library systems, advances the University’s mission and strategic plan with distinguished collections, comprehensive services, and innovative facilities and resources for its community. In February 2018, the Association of College and Research Libraries recognized VCU Libraries with the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.

Diversity and Inclusion

VCU’s commitment to diversity is one of the institution’s 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, as explained in our diversity statement. The successful candidate will receive support for research, service, and professional development, including opportunities to pursue diversity and inclusion-related initiatives.


Reporting to the Head of Resource Acquisition and Metadata Services, the Metadata Librarian (Special Collections) coordinates and performs original and complex copy cataloging, with a focus on special collections and rare materials. This position works in close collaboration with Special Collections and Archives to identify, create, and assess special collections cataloging priorities and workflows, and with departments and stakeholders across the Libraries to ensure consistent metadata description to provide seamless access to the collections. Additionally, the Metadata Librarian (Special Collections) is responsible for: 

  • Cultivating a team of metadata colleagues;
  • Resolving complex metadata projects including records remediation of the Health Sciences Library collections; 
  • Reparative metadata planning, organizing, and cataloging; 
  • Training and managing student employees and staff in complex projects;
  • Developing application profiles, metadata crosswalks, scripts and index normalization rules that support efficient data interoperability; 
  • Engaging in regional and national communities of practice, integrating evolving standards. 

The faculty of the Resource Acquisition and Metadata Services department are educators. This position will advance cataloging and metadata education through hands-on training, intern supervision, and other professional development activities. Faculty with the VCU Libraries are evaluated, and promoted, on the basis of job performance, scholarship, and service. 



  • ALA-accredited graduate degree or accredited graduate degree in another appropriate discipline.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of cataloging standards and principles, including RDA and LC-PCC rules and authority control practices.
  • Progressive responsibility in special collections and/or rare materials cataloging.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of integrated library systems (Ex Libris Alma preferred) and bibliographic utilities (OCLCConnexion).
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.


  • Demonstrated experience in planning and/or overseeing cataloging projects.
  • Reading knowledge of one or more non-English languages.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of specialized standards and principles, including DCRM, DACS, RBMS and AAT thesauri, and Dublin Core.
  • Facility with batch editing, scripting queries, and linked data.
  • Facility working both independently and collaboratively in a rapidly evolving, multi-departmental environment.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills and motivated by contributions toward service.
  • Commitment to research and ongoing professional development.
  • Candidates need not meet preferred qualifications to be fully considered. We value individual and unique skills that would strengthen the VCU Libraries and our teams.

Salary: Salary commensurate with experience, not less than $65,000 annually. This is a 12 month, full-time, non-tenured faculty position. Relocation assistance and professional development allowance provided. Full-time faculty benefits apply, including 24 vacation days annually and choice of retirement and annuity plans. For more information about benefits, see

Interviews: Initial interviews will be conducted virtually. We anticipate inviting finalists to campus. 

Learn about the position in an online information session

We are hosting information sessions for interested applicants in advance of the January 31, 2024 review date.

Please consider joining one of these sessions to learn more about the position; meet the supervisor, Amanda Echterling; and get answers to your questions about the position.

Join one of our info sessions via Zoom:

Monday, Dec 18, 2023 from Noon to 1pm EST.
Friday, Jan 12, 2024 from Noon to 1pm EST.

The attendee list for each Zoom session will be hidden and those asking questions may do so anonymously. Live captioning will be provided. To attend a session, please complete the confidential form to receive a Zoom link.

Questions? Please contact Amanda Echterling, Head, Resource Acquisition & Metadata Services, at 

Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU Libraries

As one of only 64 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 28,000 students. Located in the heart of Richmond, VCU offers 44 doctoral, 64 masters, 3 professional, and 66 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 29 programs ranking in the top 50 and sculpture and nurse anesthesia ranked number one. Over 2,500 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 $460 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 Health Sciences Library on the MCV Campus, employ over 65 professionals and 80 staff with annual expenditures exceeding $22 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. 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 Network of the National Library of Medicine, among others. The VCU Libraries uses the following packages for its system architecture: Alma, Primo VE, Digital Commons, ArchivesSpace, ILLiad, and Omeka. 

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, Pharmacy and Population Health; 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 812 inpatient beds, outpatient clinics, a Level 1 trauma center, and over 800 physicians in 200 specialty areas, many of national and international renown, as well as the Children’s Hospital at VCU and Massey Comprehensive 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.  

For more information about VCU Libraries, please visit our home page at Review of applications will begin January 31, 2024 and will continue until the position is filled. To apply, go to VCU Careers site, complete the application and submit a cover letter, resume/CV, and the names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of three references. Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion providing your career aspirations and contributions toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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 status, political affiliation or disability.  

Apply at VCUJobs