Librarian for Description, Documentation, and Discovery, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

Reporting to the Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Special Collections, University Archives, and Preservation, and collaborating closely with departmental team members, the Librarian for Description, Documentation, and Discovery leads the work of special collections cataloging and processing for the University Libraries, supervises student employees, establishes and carries out procedures and manages workflow for all special collections acquisitions, cataloging, and processing. Through metadata creation, this position ensures researchers’ discovery of and access to our special collections, including the rare book, manuscript, and archives collections, the Malibu Historical Collection, the Starr Art and Music Collection, the University Archives, and the Churches of Christ Heritage Center collection. This position also has liaison responsibilities to academic divisions and departments to facilitate collection development, research, and instruction.


  • Develops and carries out forward-thinking plans and processes to increase the discoverability and accessibility of special collections materials in collaboration with special collections colleagues and in alignment with strategic priorities and key initiatives. Explores innovative ways to promote special collections materials through description, documentation, and digital representation.
  • Leads the work of special collections cataloging and processing for the University Libraries. Tasks include: original and complex cataloging of rare books, manuscripts, and other special collections items; creating metadata; conducting authority work; applying Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Material (DCRM) or a similar level of detailed description for printed books, manuscripts, and other special collections items; maintaining and reporting statistics for all work performed.
  • Serves as liaison to faculty in select academic division(s) assigned based on the librarian’s academic background and work experience. Provides lectures, briefings, and instruction sessions to students and faculty on topics pertaining to the description, discovery, and use of special collections. Tasks may include: providing in-person and online library instruction sessions, developing online instructional resources and tutorials to support the use of special collections, and working collaboratively with librarians and staff to promote the use of general and subject-oriented print and electronic research guides and other instructional materials that promote the use of special collections.
  • Confers regularly with the AUL for Special Collections, University Archives, and Preservation, reviewing, suggesting, and developing services, technology, policies, and procedures consistent with the Pepperdine Libraries mission and the goals and objectives of the unit.
  • On an occasional basis, supports cataloging and processing in the general collections, including creating metadata using RDA standards and both Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal Classification, and assists with digital collections, including customized knowledge bases in WMS, ETDs, and ebook/streaming video collections.
  • Perform other duties as assigned, including serving on faculty committees and representing the library in professional settings.
  • Uphold University mission and Libraries’ core values through work performed.

The above information has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.

Skills and Qualifications

Required: Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited institution or equivalent, or comparable graduate degree from a non-US university (reviewed on a case-by-case basis). An appreciation for and understanding of the University’s Christian mission, and a desire to contribute to that mission; demonstrated commitment to diversity and experience promoting inclusive excellence; strong verbal and written communication skills; ability to build and cultivate essential partnerships with key stakeholders and to work both independently and collaboratively across the organization; excellent leadership and organizational skills; demonstrated sound judgment and emotional intelligence; proven ability to plan and carry out projects in a timely manner; self-motivated and detail-oriented; experience engaging faculty in conversation related to their discipline; evidence of ability for ongoing professional development and contribution. Demonstrated experience cataloging a wide range of special collections materials in multiple formats, using appropriate standards (e.g., MARC, RDA, LCSH, Dublin Core, etc.). Google Workspace, Microsoft Office, and Zoom; the ability to learn new technologies and adapt to change.

Preferred: Successful completion of an advanced-level cataloging/metadata course or equivalent. Knowledge of the semantic web, RDF, and linked data; supervisory experience. NACO experience; the ability to build and/or adapt XML schemas, XSLT stylesheets, and RDF ontologies for digital projects; expertise in developing architecture for managing metadata; experience with OCLC and an integrated library system.

Qualified individuals should be able to articulate a strong commitment to diversity, and have the ability to work effectively with individuals from different backgrounds.

Offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal, education, and employment screening. Qualified individuals with criminal histories will be considered for employment in compliance with applicable laws.

This is a Librarian, Exempt, 40 hour per week position.

Salary: Commensurate with experience.