Harvard University

Job Title

Cataloger for Japanese Resources


Harvard Library


Opening Date: 10/06/2021
Closing Date:  01/04/2022

Job Description

Information and Technical Services actively supports the teaching and research mission of the Harvard Library by managing monograph, serial and e-resource acquisitions, metadata creation, and metadata management for the Harvard Library.

Under the supervision of the unit manager in Metadata Creation, the incumbent provides timely access to Harvard Library collections by providing original cataloging, and coordinating various cataloging activities for Japanese language materials, in all formats.

Priorities will be set to maximize contributions to the overall goals of the Information and Technical Services Department of the Harvard Library. Due to the varied nature and volume of the work in ITS, all ITS staff may be called upon to contribute to work in any unit or team of the ITS department, as organizational needs warrant.


Job Duties

  • Performs original and complex copy cataloging for Japanese language materials in all formats. Does subject analysis and classification and creates supporting authority records following national standards and local practice. May also contribute to other language materials as needed.
  • Determines level of cataloging required for diverse materials, including the use of collection level records.
  • Contributes to national programs, such as NACO and BIBCO, as appropriate.
  • Resolves problems of incorrect, incomplete, or conflicting bibliographic, holdings, and item data. Performs database cleanup regarding metadata for Japanese materials.
  • Works on special projects, including identifying scope and staffing needs, and providing oversight.
  • Stays informed of technical services trends, changing practices, new cataloging software applications, and local technology changes. Participates in local meetings and discussion groups. Participation in professional organizations and attendance at regional and/or national conferences is valued.
  • Performs duties with professionalism, which includes relating to others in group settings and individually in a courteous, cooperative, sensitive, and collegial manner.
  • Maintains the confidentiality of all department and University information.
  • Manages the backlog of Japanese materials, including consistently removing materials, assessing the remaining materials, and implementing strategies to reduce the backlog.
  • Works according to changing daily priorities, demonstrates flexibility and ability to shift between multiple tasks effectively.
  • Suggests innovations and generates ideas for improving workflows and creating efficiencies.
  • Critically assesses metadata in light of diversity, equity and inclusion, and makes changes as appropriate.
  • Initiates changes to systems and procedures and implements and executes approved changes; collaborates with manager and staff in planning of new projects and work initiatives.
  • Creates and updates training and procedural documentation.
  • Serves as a principal source of information on established technical/professional and administrative policies and procedures; as well as the principal resource for all issues related to metadata for Japanese materials.
  • Acts as liaison with other related library units within or outside the University.
  • Participates in unit-wide planning and implementation of new policies and procedures.
  • Trains staff in advanced metadata creation methods and procedures.
  • May assist in hiring, scheduling, and distributing work to staff and student workers, including supervision of student workers as needed.


Basic Qualifications

  • MLS or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Two+ years' experience in an academic library technical services environment required.
  • Experience with cataloging Japanese language materials.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Fluency in Japanese; working knowledge of classical Japanese; familiarity with pre-modern Japanese books and manuscripts, and their bibliographic practice; familiarity with the ALA-LC romanization table for Japanese.
  • Demonstrated understanding of RDA, LC PCC Policy Statements, AACR2, Library of Congress Subject Headings, Library of Congress Classification, and MARC 21 bibliographic formats.
  • Demonstrated understanding of authority control, including the creation and use of authority records.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the cataloging of non-book format materials.
  • Demonstrated understanding of OCLC searching and cataloging procedures and the use of integrated library systems.
  • Must have good English language communication skills
  • Must be able to resolve complex bibliographic problems and communicate results with staff. Must be able to remain calm under pressure and maintain a professional demeanor when assisting colleagues.
  • Must be able to perform work accurately with acute attention to detail; ability to work productively and cooperatively in a team environment, with flexibility and versatility in an evolving work situation required; ability to work with minimum supervision in performing complicated tasks required. Must exhibit strong initiative.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism.
  • Demonstrated facility with automated systems, including using online databases, working with spreadsheets and knowledge of file management techniques
  • Must demonstrate a customer service orientation and responsiveness in working on time-sensitive matters that may arise.

Physical Requirements

 The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions

  • Keyboarding for at least 6 hours a day may be required.
  • Employee must be able handle books and other library material, including moving and shifting these materials between workstations, shelves, book trucks and boxes

Working Conditions

 The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This is an office environment; opportunities for flexwork may be available

Supplementation Information

Statement of Values 

Harvard University aims to be the world’s recognized leader in sustainable inclusive excellence by fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. Working in close collaboration with offices across the university, the Harvard Library is becoming one of the campus leaders in advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and antiracism. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success. As well, we believe that our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also advance our diverse society. 

Harvard Library’s core values are the foundation upon which our antiracism agenda is being developed. Our values emphasize that we lead with curiosity, seek collaboration, champion access, aim for the extraordinary, and cultivate and celebrate diversity in our collections and our community to construct a more inclusive and just world. Our focus on antiracism is a commitment to live our values. It is about building not only a better organization, but a better research library – an exemplary antiracist research library. We aspire to be global leaders in expanding world knowledge and intellectual exploration, and that starts on our campus, where we are a center for knowledge supporting our faculty and students in pursuing antiracism through their research, teaching and learning. 

Diversity and Inclusion at the Harvard Library 

Our commitment to antiracism is a commitment to addressing other forms of discrimination as well, such as those based on gender, sexuality, religion or ability. Our antiracism work will continue a strong record of diversity initiatives, ranging from targeted collection development and the design of inclusive spaces to a learning journey for staff and a focus on employee recruitment and retention. We are deeply committed to increasing diversity in the profession, through activities such as our longstanding membership in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance. 

How to Apply

Apply Online: Apply Online:

To learn more about this position, please reach out to Isabel Quintana ([email protected]).

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