Digital Image Metadata Librarian

Digital Image Librarian – Librarian I or II

The University of Massachusetts Amherst

The University of Massachusetts Amherst seeks candidates for the position of Digital Image Metadata Librarian, Image Collection Library. The Digital Image Metadata Librarian will collaborate with faculty, librarians and information technology staff to develop, deliver and integrate digital images and other objects into the curriculum. (*note: this is an edited version of a much longer job description)


  1. Master’s degree in library sciences – or equivalent degree – from a program accredited by the American Library Association, or its appropriate equivalent in librarianship from another country, or have appropriate equivalent experience.
  2. Experience with one or more of the following metadata standards:  VRA Core 4.0, Dublin Core, CDWA, METS/MODS, OpenURL, OAI-PMH, EAD, XML, TEL or others
  3. Familiarity with AACR 2nd ed. Rev., Cataloging Cultural Objects, Library of Congress Subject Headings, MARC 21 format, and the OCLC cataloging system.
  4. Knowledge of digital asset management systems, such as the Luna Imaging Software Suite, Fedora, Dspace, CONTENTdm.etc.
  5. Awareness of the latest trends in academic librarianship.
  6. Strong commitment to excellent service and the ability to interact effectively and work productively and collaboratively with a wide variety of library staff and users.
  7. Excellent analytical, interpersonal, and communications skills, as well as initiative, flexibility and willingness to engage in continual learning.
  8. Ability to plan, coordinate, and implement projects.
  9. Ability to distinguish colors as they relate to the color correction processing of digital images.
  10. Advanced computer skills.  Familiarity with Microsoft Windows Office Suites, Photoshop and other productivity tools.


  1. Knowledge of visual literacy concepts, digital media literacy techniques and learning management systems.
  2. Experience with creation and/or management of digital objects in various image, text, sound, and/or video formats.
  3. Knowledge of how digital image collections and electronic objects are used in an academic setting.
  4. Academic degree in Visual Arts and working knowledge of French, and/or German, Italian, or Spanish.

Hello, (almost) dream job! This position was sent out to the Art Library Students & New ARLIS Professionals (ArLiSNAP) listserv in January, and it caught my attention then as well as in the context of this week’s module. I found it to be a nice example of a lot of the points touched on by the readings. Since it is an arts-related position, there were a number of preferred abilities not found in job listings that others in the class have posted for positions outside of the art field (e.g., ability to distinguish colors in color correction processing of images and preference for a degree in visual arts).

A few things I found particularly interesting in the requirements for the position: 1) although they list a requirement for an ALA-accredited masters degree, they also say that equivalent experience could be sufficient. 2) No mention of RDA. 3) Preferred language proficiency.

Degree vs. non-degree – This requirement is surprising to me, given that this position is with a university. In fact, I was surprised to read in Choi & Rasmussen’s study that only 79.3% of advertised positions require an ALA-accredited degree. That does seem like a pretty large percentage of jobs out there that don’t require them. I am curious to know if there is a difference in salary for those applying with degrees vs. those that don’t. If so, that brings up a whole other issue – will institutions begin leaning towards applicants without degrees so they can spend less money on employee salaries?

RDA – I found it so interesting that this wasn’t mentioned in the requirements. This position was posted only a few months ago, so we in the field knew of its imminent arrival. Is this something they forgot to include in the job posting? Or were they really not considering it when hiring?

Language – Again, I think this preferred skill is a result of the position being arts-related. As an art librarian in training, this is one of the things I’ve struggled with in the UW program. This is one of a number of postings I’ve seen that requires a language proficiency of some kind, but there are no reading-knowledge classes offered at UW above the 400 level (which means graduate students can’t take them). This is frustrating to say the least.

That being said, the UW program is wonderful in terms of its pushing its students to gain a wide set of skills as well as its support for non-curricular opportunities. Recommending students hold as many jobs as possible while in school was mentioned during orientation last year, and I think this is definitely a strength of the program. I was at the ARLIS/NA conference over the weekend and met a graduating student from another program who hadn’t worked the entire time they were in school. I found this shocking. It made me realize how lucky I am to have as many opportunities as we do through this program. In fact, the practicum element of the program was why I ultimately chose UW over the other schools I was accepted to. Anyway, I suppose this is my roundabout way of saying that I wholeheartedly agree with Tzoc & Millard’s findings about students seeking out non-curricular activities in the field. Though not guaranteed, this is one of the best ways to ensure students can set themselves apart from others in the job market.


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