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Catalog Update Specialist, Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts

Position Description:

The Countway Library is seeking a detail and deadline-oriented individual for a catalog data integrity initiative. The Catalog Update Specialist will verify the physical location of published language materials (books, pamphlets, and other printed materials) and ensure accurate metadata, holdings, and item information is recorded in HOLLIS, Harvard University’s online public access catalog. The Catalog Update Specialist will spend a maximum of six months working with serials in the General Collection and eighteen months working with published language materials in Countway’s Center for the History of Medicine. The Catalog Update Specialist will play a crucial role in ensuring a global community of researchers can easily request and access Countway’s collections.

Reporting to the Collections Services Archivist in the Center for the History of Medicine, the Catalog Update Specialist will:

  • Verify locations for physical holdings and correct MARC bibliographic information to facilitate discovery and access in Harvard’s HOLLIS catalog, including author names, titles, publication dates, call numbers, provenance, and other relevant data, and ensure Harvard’s minimal metadata requirements are met.
  • Update holdings and item records, create new bibliographic records, and withdraw items using Ex Libris Alma per project guidance and workflows.
  • Assign, modify, and delete item barcodes.
  • Collaborate with staff to identify and resolve cataloging errors and inconsistencies.
  • Perform other tasks as necessary to support catalog clean-up.

The Countway Library is one of the most comprehensive academic health research libraries in the country and a leader in supporting history of medicine, dentistry, and public health scholarship. The Countway Library advances the health and biomedical sciences through its services and robust circulating and online collections. Its Center for the History of Medicine is one of the world’s leading resources for the study of the history of human health and medicine and attracts a global audience of researchers. The Countway Library champions open knowledge and access to advance education, research, teaching, and professional growth.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in library/information sciences from an ALA-accredited library school required.
  • 2+ years relevant experience.
  • Strong knowledge of library cataloging principles, standards, and practices, including familiarity with MARC.

Additional Qualifications and Skills:

  • Experience using Ex Libris Alma or demonstrated proficiency in using other library cataloging systems.
  • Careful attention to detail and strong organizational and analytical skills.
  • Ability to manage time and complete projects in a timely manner.
  • Ability to work independently and ask questions in a team-based environment.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Professional interest in working in a special collections and archives environment.

Physical Requirements:

Candidates must be tolerant of library-related allergens and have the ability to routinely load and push a book cart to and from a workstation.

Working Conditions:

This Catalog Update Specialist will spend a significant amount of time performing repetitive keyboarding tasks and looking at a computer screen.

How to Apply:

Additional Information

Cover letters are strongly encouraged as part of the application process.

This is a two-year term position from the date of hire, with the possibility of extension, contingent upon work performance and continued funding to support the position. 

This is an in-person position based on our campus in Boston.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Please note that we are currently conducting a majority of interviews and onboarding remotely and virtually. We appreciate your understanding.
The Harvard Medical School is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.
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We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.