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Systems Librarian, Columbia University, New York City, NY


Columbia University Libraries seeks an experienced Systems Librarian to join our Library Systems team. Reporting to the Head of Library Infrastructure Systems, the successful candidate will provide knowledge and expertise in the areas of software programming and analysis, specializing in library technologies and services. This role is crucial to maintaining discovery and access to the vast and rapidly growing print and electronic holdings of the Libraries. The services developed and maintained by the Systems Librarian directly serve all faculty, students and scholars who use Columbia’s unified discovery system, CLIO, to access the Libraries’ collections for their research and teaching needs.

The Systems Librarian will support the research and learning needs of the University by ensuring that the catalog and related services and systems are properly maintained. The processes and procedures designed, implemented and maintained by the Systems Librarian will enable the successful delivery of physical and digital collections to users. The Systems Librarian will ensure University IT policies regarding both systems design and implementation as well as patron privacy and systems security are adhered to.                              

The Systems Librarian in this position will incorporate the skillsets of a programmer/analyst as well as that of an academic librarian with knowledge of library systems. This position will work to ensure optimal performance of the libraries’ systems. Columbia University Libraries environment includes the Voyager ILS, Blacklight discovery layer, self-hosted EZProxy, ILLiad, BorrowDirect, various digital collection management and archival management services, and other applications.


▪ Analyzing library applications in terms of systems and programming requirements; analyzing system and operational problems and preparing recommended solutions; working with users and technical staff to develop written requirements and specifications for new and modified web-based and client-server applications.

▪ Participating in implementing, testing, maintaining and enhancing the library’s Oracle based Voyager Integrated Library System; developing custom web-based applications in support of the Voyager ILS.

▪ Manage and support other critical library services including EZProxy configuration and maintenance, Blacklight services, and other Ruby on Rails applications

▪ Develop and document internal processes and procedures to support operations within the Library Systems Group

▪ Monitor industry trends and best practices related to information access and discovery, and recommend improvements to existing tools and workflows as appropriate.

▪ Collaborate with librarians and colleagues across the campus on committees and projects to support library services

▪ Provide leadership in solving problems associated with the ILS and discovery services

We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, identities, and abilities to apply for this unique opportunity to become a part of our evolving Libraries and University community. Columbia University Libraries is a globally-recognized academic research library system, serving one of the world’s most important centers of research and learning in the most exciting and dynamic city in the world. Talented Libraries staff build, sustain, and make discoverable collections that transcend traditional boundaries of format and domain, keeping pace with a dynamic and rapidly evolving information environment and creating opportunities for users to encounter 4,000 years of human thought.

Our decisions are informed by new curricula developed to meet the needs of a more diverse student body, new and emerging areas of research being conducted by a broad spectrum of researchers, including graduate students and newly-hired faculty, as well as by perspectives from the diminished or entirely lost voices of historically oppressed, marginalized, and underserved populations and communities. As an organization, the Libraries provides a supportive, connected environment where every employee’s perspective is valued and every employee is encouraged to grow. All staff members have an impact on Columbia’s mission to advance knowledge at the highest levels and make the results of research accessible to the world.

Columbia University has a longstanding commitment to diversity rooted in values of inclusion and social justice, a commitment reflected in the curriculum and throughout University life. Columbia welcomes applications from candidates who share these values and who will foster their contribution to the University’s educational mission. We invite applicants who have demonstrated creative approaches to empowering and mentoring staff, leading projects, solving problems, and developing user-centric programs, services, or collections. We offer salary and benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience.  

Minimum Qualifications:

▪  Master’s Degree in Library Science or equivalent combination of education and experience

▪  Familiarity with library metadata standards including MARC

▪  Familiarity with library processes and automation

▪  Demonstrated excellence in leadership, communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills.

▪  Demonstrated ability to learn new technologies and adapt to change

▪  Demonstrated commitment to and support for an inclusive environment for staff and library users.

Preferred Qualifications:

▪  Progressive experience in technical analysis, enterprise systems deployment, computer systems design, complex system configuration, or technical implementation of library systems and services

▪  Programming experience in one or more of: Perl, Python, Ruby, Shell scripting

▪  Experience with Unix operating environments

▪  Experience with relational databases and SQL

▪  Experience with enterprise-level service and technology migrations

How to Apply:

For immediate consideration, please apply online at:

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this position.