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Resource Description and Processing Manager

American University is a student-centered research institution located in Washington, DC, with highly-ranked schools and colleges, internationally-renowned faculty, and a reputation for creating meaningful change in the world. Learn more about American University


Technical Services

Time Type:

Full time

Work Modality:

Hybrid 01 (On Campus 3-4 Days/Week)


Job Description:


The Resource Description and Processing Manager leads the day-to-day operations of the Metadata Management Unit. Ensures that library resources are accurately received, described, and processed for accurate discovery in library systems. Manages workflows within Technical Services for physical resources acquired by the library. Supervises three full-time and one part-time staff members. Directly or indirectly supervises part-time student employees. Collaborates with others in Technical Services and other areas of the library to establish, assess, and enhance workflows and processes. Develops best practices in resource description and processing. Manages and ensures projects are carried out and completed in a timely manner. Resolves receiving, cataloging, and processing problems. Serves as the primary point of contact for contracting and outsourcing including serials processing and establishes vendor processing options. Oversees cataloging and metadata production and processing.

Essential Functions:
  • Leads the day-to-day operations and management of the Metadata Management Unit. Provides management, supervision, and technical expertise in the unit. Plans and oversees the day-to-day unit routines and special projects. Assesses and manages workflows and processes for physical materials and seeks ongoing improvements to increase efficiencies in managing physical resources. Plans projects and oversees workflows and associated problem resolution for receiving, cataloging, processing, and routing of physical library resources. Contributes to strategic and annual planning goals for the unit, department, and library. Maintains and reports unit statistics. Creates and maintains relevant documentation. Oversees processes and serves as the point of contact for serials processing outsourcing. Runs Analytics reports to support statistics quality control and data gathering. Ensures serial holdings are accurately reflected in relevant platforms. (25% of time) Manages and provides effective supervision to Metadata Management Unit staff. Coordinates and oversees hiring and management of student employees. Oversees hiring and training, planning and assigning work, and evaluating staff performance. Develops and documents staff training materials and provides effective and timely training to staff. Facilitates staff skill development through training, and monitors staff productivity.

  • Provides technical expertise for the library’s LMS to streamline processes, ensure accuracy, and apply standards. Manages relevant import profiles, normalization rules and processes, and local templates within the library’s LMS to ensure discoverability for front end users. Serves as a primary point of contact for cataloging problem resolution. Performs copy and original descriptive and subject cataloging and classification as needed and participates in special collections metadata projects. Ensure holdings maintenance Batch processes records as needed. Participates in implementation and maintenance of WorldShare Collection programs and tools. Supports maintenance of WorldCat KnowledgeBase holdings. Supports post-cancellation coverage of e-resources using LOCKSS and PORTICO. Investigates processes for improving Community Zone record quality for improved electronic resources access and discovery.

  • Serves as American University Library’s representative to the WRLC Metadata Committee. Serves on other internal and consortia committees and teams as necessary. Ensures that policies are implemented and communicated. Stays up to date on LMS and other relevant platform updates and communicates and trains staff on updates as needed. Collaborates with Coordinator of Original Cataloging and Metadata Coordinator to establish best practices and plan for projects. Collaborates with others to manage communications and associated workflow for bindery. Partners with other stakeholders as needed.

  • Other duties as assigned.

  • Managing Performance.

  • Building and Supporting Teams.

  • Developing Plans.

  • Making Accurate Judgments and Decisions.

  • Evaluating and Implementing Ideas.

  • Driving Continuous Improvement.

  • Championing Customer Needs.

  • Prioritizing and Organizing.

Supervisory Responsibility:
  • 1-3 years of supervisory experience preferred.

  • Supervises three full-time and one part-time staff members.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:
  • Full-Time.

Salary Range:
  • Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience:
  • Master's degree or equivalent

  • 2-4 years of relevant experience.

  • Experience with cataloging, classification, and subject analysis including MARC, RDA, LC Classification, LCSH..

Preferred Education and Experience:
  • Master’s in Library and Information Science or equivalent preferred.

  • 3-5 years of relevant experience in a academic library.

  • Demonstrated experience with original cataloging, authority control, and MarcEdit.

  • Experience with library management systems and enterprise platforms such as Alma, Primo, OCLC Collection Manager and Connexion.

  • Experience with acquisitions receiving, knowledge bases, and serials management.

  • Experience working with external vendors.

  • Experience creating and managing documentation. .

Additional Eligibility Qualifications:
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues, staff at all levels of the campus hierarchy, a diverse community, and vendors and other external partners.

  • Excellent communication, analytical, problem solving, and organizational skills with the ability to present information and ideas clearly and concisely.

  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities, exercise flexibility in meeting objectives, effectively manage multiple projects simultaneously, and adjust as circumstances change.

  • Ability to mentor and develop talent, foster and manage change and innovation, and engage professionals in the collaborative planning and delivery of user-centered services.

  • Demonstrated ability to be flexible, navigate ambiguity, and adapt to change in a dynamic environment.

  • Strong customer service skills including the ability to be responsive to service needs of constituents in a courteous and consistent manner.

  • Personal leadership through example coupled with ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and staff to create a results-driven, team-oriented environment.

  • Evidence of a strong commitment to diversity and a leadership style that is ethical, transparent, and inclusive.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects, develop and manage workflows, and create and maintain documentation.

  • Ability to develop policies and best practices in line with national and local standards.


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options .

Other Details
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.

  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.

  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

  • American University is an E-Verify employer.

Current American University Employees

American University current employees must apply through their employee Workday account. If you are a current employee at American University, please log into Workday and select the Find Jobs report which will take you to our internal career listings.

Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email .

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

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