Cataloging Assistant


Requisition Number: 091591  

Title: Cataloging Assistant

Division/Department: Collection Services/Technical Services - Monographic Cataloging

Classification: C-8

Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 37.5 hours per week

This position is covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.


Under the direction of the section head and following departmental guidelines, performs complex copy cataloging of monographs in all formats in national and local databases. Participates in local database maintenance projects. Performs work in accordance with Library standards and procedures. 


85% - Performs complex copy cataloging of materials as assigned, which may include current acquisitions, special projects, hidden collections, and Special Collections resources:Searches for, evaluates, selects, edits, and downloads appropriate cataloging copy from OCLC; identifies resources that require altogether new metadata records and derives and creates new metadata in OCLC and the local database, when appropriate; evaluates when an existing record is too brief and needs enhancement to facilitate discovery and access; edits or adds fixed and variable field information in OCLC and local MARC records according to departmental copy cataloging procedures; evaluates overall quality of copy cataloging records and applies procedures for assessing when additional or edited data is appropriate for the master national record in OCLC versus when the data is local-only;adapts available cataloging copy to match piece in hand as necessary to account for variations in format or edition; assigns either a call number or a subject heading based on the content of the resource according to departmental policies and procedures, consulting with the supervisor when needed; assigns call numbers to literary works using Library of Congress author numbers and following LC guidelines uses a variety of resources and tools when assigning call numbers or subject headings, including OCLC authority records, the local database, department documentation, Library of Congress Classification Web, Cataloger's Desktop, reference sources for rare books (e.g., the online English Short Title Catalogue); in consultation with the Rare Books Librarian, may perform complex copy cataloging of a variety of rare materials, including gifts, new acquisitions, and unprocessed arrearages, applying local procedures and standards as applicable; refers authority control issues to original catalogers; participates in special and ongoing department projects to provide access to hidden and other unprocessed collections; works with supervisor to resolve process-related issues; participates in informing workflows and processes related to copy cataloging generally.

10% - Performs database maintenance work, such as:
Performs maintenance of access points occasioned by outsourced authority control; performs general database cleanup and maintenance as required (e.g., correcting typographical errors); enhances local bibliographic records with links to online full-text.

5% - Other Functions:
Other work as assigned, including:
Creates and maintains documentation of section procedures using word processing software, web page editors, etc.;
communicates and consults on cataloging matters with staff in and outside of the department; maintains accurate statistics of own daily processing in department statistics database;
may assist in training new section staff or in training other section staff in specific procedures, such as media processing;
may work with various metadata schemes (e.g., Dublin Core) for all formats: serials, monographs, integrating resources, etc.


Candidates must demonstrate the following competencies: manage interpersonal relationships and interact/communicate with clarity, tact and courtesy with patrons, patients, staff, faculty, students and others; communicate effectively in English, both orally and in writing; identify priorities; recognize and resolve or refer problems; work effectively with supervision and as a part of a team; use or learn a range of position-related software applications.

Previous library experience, or an equivalent combination of position-related education and experience required; ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing required; reading knowledge of one or more non-English Western European languages required; Excellent computer skills required; ability to learn and work with a variety of online resources required; knowledge of library procedures preferred; familiarity with library-specific systems preferred; sustain attention to detail in all aspects of the work required; maintain quality and quantity of work, and prioritize multiple tasks required; recognize problems, and resolve or refer according to department guidelines required; work independently, exercise effective judgment, and consult supervisor and colleagues when appropriate required; adapt readily to changes in technology and workflow required.


Working on computer for extended periods of time, including use of keyboard and mouse; Handling, including grasping and turning printed volumes, applying barcode labels; Pushing/pulling full book trucks within the building;Ability to lift, push and pull up to 30lbs.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not an exhaustive list of duties and responsibilities associated with it.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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