Islamic and Christian Arabic Metadata Librarian – Saint John’s University

Job Title: Islamic and Christian Arabic Metadata Librarian
Opening Date/Time: Fri. 05/10/19 12:00 AM Central Time
Salary: Not Displayed
Job Type: Exempt, Administrative Staff, Full Time
Location: Saint John’s University – Collegeville, Minnesota
Department: Hill Museum & Manuscript Library – SJU

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John’s University invites applications for the full-time, benefit eligible position of Islamic and Christian Arabic Metadata Librarian. This is a grant-funded position for up to 36 months with possibility of extension contingent upon available funding.

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library holds the world’s largest archive of manuscript photographs in both microfilm and digital format. HMML identifies manuscript collections around the world that need photographic preservation and its archives now contain more than 200,000 complete manuscripts, ranging in size from large codices of hundreds of folios to brief documents consisting of just a few leaves.

HMML preserves and shares the world’s handwritten past to inspire a deeper understanding of our present and future. Visit to learn more about the places of fieldwork sites, the people and communities that have been part of HMML’s global team, and the manuscripts in HMML’s digital and microfilm collections.

Saint John’s University (SJU), a liberal arts college for men, is located in the central lakes area of Minnesota. The campus is minutes away from St. Cloud, an increasingly diverse regional center with a population of over 100,000, and 70 miles from Minneapolis and St. Paul. Some SJU staff choose to reside locally, while others commute from the Twin Cities. Both St. Cloud and the Twin Cities offer a wide range of fine arts, cultural, dining, recreational, and sporting opportunities.

SJU is a Catholic college in the Benedictine tradition enlivened by values of community, hospitality, stewardship, and justice. The university is dedicated to cultivating an equitable, inclusive community founded on respect for all persons. Students, staff and faculty from many diverse belief systems and backgrounds collectively bring a rich dimension to the academic, cultural, and religious experience at SJU. Learn more in our Statement on Diversity.

With a total enrollment of approximately 1700 students, SJU has a unique coordinate partnership with the College of Saint Benedict (CSB), a liberal arts college for women. CSB and SJU are committed to the holistic and transformational development of women and men within the context of a unified, coeducational experience. All students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to experience and engage with the two institutions. For further information, see .

SJU offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits program.

The Islamic and Christian Arabic Metadata Librarian will create metadata in collaboration with HMML catalogers for HMML’s Eastern Christian and Islamic collections for records entered into HMML’s digital platform, vHMML Reading Room. This metadata librarian will be responsible for creating metadata for authors and titles not found in VIAF or Library of Congress authority files according to Library of Congress standards, as well as using known LC and VIAF authority files in line with some local practices used at HMML. The metadata librarian will work with HMML staff to maintain the metadata in the database, including periodic audits and corrections. The Metadata Librarian will participate in the further development of HMML’s online platforms and their links to digital humanities projects at other institutions. The Metadata Librarian will report to the Coordinator of Digital Humanities Projects.

Primary Responsibilities:
• Working with HMML staff on assessing authority controls and ensuring consistent descriptive practices for manuscript cataloging of Islamic and Christian Arabic materials.
• Updating and maintaining catalog records in vHMML Reading Room.
• Developing procedures and workflows to enable effective editing of both legacy and newly generated metadata created by on-site and off-site catalogers.
• Training new catalogers according to HMML’s standards.
• Guiding the implementation of library standards for HMML’s metadata.
• Collaborating with other HMML staff to further the goals of HMML’s digital initiatives.
• Perform other duties as assigned.

• Earned Master in Library/Information Science (MLIS), with a strong background in the humanities, or substantial demonstrated experience with metadata control and management.
• Previous experience in establishing names and titles in Arabic, with transferable experience to Syriac and other Eastern languages.
• Familiarity with NACO and NACO procedures.
• Excellent knowledge of Arabic.
• Knowledge of computer databases and familiarity with best practices for database management.
• Interest and awareness of technological issues and developments relevant to HMML’s mission, specifically an interest in digital humanities projects.
• Experience with digital library standards, particularly metadata standards from LC and VIAF authority files.
• Familiarity with current digital issues of importance for libraries, museums, and cultural institutions.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

• Knowledge of Syriac, Armenian, Turkish, Persian, and/or Ge’ez.
• Experience with Excel and Excel formulas.
• Experience with JSON
• Experience with MySQL or similar databases.
• Familiarity with general cataloging practices and standards, such as MARC, RDA, etc.

To Apply:
Applications are accepted online by clicking on “Apply” above. Candidates should complete the full application, including a cover letter and resume. Official transcript required upon hire.

If you require an accommodation to participate in the Saint John’s University hiring process, please contact Human Resources at (320) 363-2508 or

It is the policy of SJU to conduct a pre-employment background check. An offer of employment is contingent upon a successful background check.

Saint John’s University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Original posting / application information