Social Sciences Data Services Librarian

Posted to IASSIST on: 2011-01-19

Employer: University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Employer URL:


Reporting to the Assistant Director for Research and Instructional Services, the Social Sciences Data Services Librarian provides expertise and leadership in developing numeric and geospatial data services and promoting these services to the University of Pennsylvania community and in developing the Libraries’ collections of data resources. As a member of a team of 10 librarians in the Research and Instructional Services department, the incumbent participates in developing reference, outreach, and instructional programs and services in the humanities and social sciences and provides direct assistance to library users both in-person and virtually.


  • Provide reference, outreach, and instructional services related to the identification, capture, and extraction of numeric and geospatial data to faculty and students from all disciplines within the Penn community.
  • Work closely with the Social Sciences Librarian and other colleagues to select and support the Libraries’ print and electronic data resources and promote the use of these collections to the Penn community through guides, pathfinders, and web resources.
  • Develop public service initiatives, workshops, and course-related instruction to support data analysis, GIS, and metadata creation.
  • Participate in the Libraries’ Data Taskforce, keep abreast of the activities of departmental libraries and units, and collaborate with library colleagues to support eScience and other new forms of scholarship as they relate to data curation.
  • Serve as an entrepreneurial leader, keeping abreast of school and departmental initiatives and the activities of campus data centers, and exploring opportunities for collaboration.
  • Prepare and offer course-related instruction for classes in a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences and, contingent upon disciplinary qualifications and experience, serve as the liaison to select departments in the School of Arts and Sciences.
  • Provide reference and research services in person in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center and virtually through the Libraries' Chat/IM/Texting service.
  • Keep abreast of current trends, developments, and best practices and act as the Penn Libraries’ liaison to state, national, and international data organizations.

An ALA-accredited Master’s degree in library and information science, or its equivalent in experience, training, and practice; a minimum of 2 years experience working in an academic library or research center; and a strong academic background in the social sciences are required. An additional graduate degree in the social sciences is preferred. The successful candidate will also have:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of geospatial and numeric data resources and an understanding of the application of numeric data and GIS in a variety of disciplines.
  • Familiarity with common metadata standards such as DDI, experience with statistical software (SPSS, SAS, STATA), and with ArcGIS and ArcView.
  • An understanding of the major sources of Social Sciences Data, and fluency in the vocabulary employed in the social science data field, changing technical aspects of numeric data, and the content and application of data files.
  • Experience in using and preparing data set documentation and metadata.
  • Excellent teaching and presentation skills and the ability to provide instruction to new and experienced users.
  • Strong analytical skills and excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work within a collegial framework and to collaborate effectively
  • Demonstrated initiative in program development and project management.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Demonstrated leadership and demonstrated initiative.

Archived on: 2011-02-01