Spatial and Numeric Data Librarian

Posted to IASSIST on: 2013-12-13

Employer: University of Michigan Library

Employer URL:


The University of Michigan Library in Ann Arbor is one of the largest university library systems in the United States, holding more than 8.5 million volumes. Each year, the University Library with locations across the Ann Arbor campus, adds the equivalent of 2.5 miles of new material to one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of any academic library in the world. Our seminal role in digitization enabled the creation of HathiTrust, a coalition of over 80 libraries with a growing digital collection that currently exceeds 11 million volumes.

The mission of the University Library is to support, enhance, and collaborate in the instructional, research, and service activities of the faculty, students, and staff, and contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge. This mission is accomplished through the provision of the various collections and programs available to patrons of the library system.

The University of Michigan Library is seeking a dynamic, talented and energetic librarian to join the team for the Stephen S. Clark Library for Maps, Government Information and Spatial and Numeric Data (SAND) Services, a rich and unique scholars’ resource on campus. Current campus initiatives such as those focusing on data management and archiving, opening up access to government information resources digitized through the Google partnership, and providing assistance with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are just three examples of arenas where this unit’s particular expertise provides excellent complementary services and support. Our librarians are experts in assisting faculty, and the Clark Library provides an opportunity for unprecedented and transformative collaboration.

The position of Spatial and Numeric Data Librarian provides leadership and expertise in developing library services related to the collection, discovery, use, and management of locally and externally available numeric and geospatial datasets across a wide range of disciplines; supports the use of GIS and related technologies in teaching and research both virtually and in person; serves on library-wide teams. This position reports to Manager of Stephen S. Clark Library and is a largely collaborative position that requires negotiation of relationships across the library and the University. The incumbent will supervise student employees.


Consultation and instruction services:

  • Develop advanced competencies in geospatial concepts and analysis, using GIS software, and spatial research skills across a range of academic disciplines, material types, and library settings

  • Assist and instruct diverse users regarding the access and use of spatial and numeric data, data citation, spatial analysis and visualization, data visualization and database creation. Will include staffed reference hours in the labs (SAND North at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning or the Clark Library).

  • Promote data citation standards and help researchers identify sustainable, documentable practices, and workflows

  • Collaborate with the other library research and visualization labs (Design Labs at Digital Media Commons, UM3D) to provide seamless research assistance for data across the library

  • Create resources and programs that engage with cutting edge data management, archive, analysis or display technologies to reflect the library’s practice of engaging with the scope and scale of researcher needs

  • Teach workshops on spatial and numeric data topics including data access and use and GIS. Create new workshops in collaboration with subject selectors on subject specific data needs, including data citation

  • Create online help guides, create video and other forms of tutorials, and create sustainable practices for assisting the widest range of patrons

Collection Development and Access:

  • Assist in identifying and fulfilling collection development needs for spatial and numeric data across subjects; coordinate with appropriate committees to ensure annual assessment and confirmation of collection scope and value; identify appropriate alternate digital data assets to collect

  • Collaborate with metadata specialists and technical services librarians and staff to describe data resources

  • Collaborate with Library Information Technology to engage mechanisms for geospatial data collection access

  • Support spatial data preservation activities

  • Maintain knowledge of current metadata standards for data description, access and archiving, including FGDC and ISO 19115; create metadata for geospatial data

  • Serve as data expert on library-wide committees about content development and access

Professional Development and Library Service

  • Participate in University Library and campus planning activities, committees and task forces as appropriate.

  • Participate in relevant conferences and meetings, make presentations where appropriate.

Required Qualifications*

  • ALA-accredited Master’s Degree or an equivalent combination of a relevant advanced degree and experience.

  • Ability to provide reference and consultation for ArcGIS Desktop in an academic library environment.

  • Understanding of geospatial concepts.

  • Flexible, creative, proactive approach to service.

  • Strong reference and communication skills. Highly organized and able to work independently and collaboratively.

  • Knowledge of current data metadata standards and practices.

  • Strong technology skills; ability to engage with, explore and assess adoption of technology.

  • Ability to develop and offer workshops, tutorials and course-specific instruction

  • Ability to effectively work with a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students in a multicultural and collaborative environment

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience with server GIS technologies

  • Demonstrated ability to provide reference and consultation in an academic library environment for GIS packages such as ArcGIS Desktop, qGIS or ERDAS Imagine and SPSS, Stata, SAS or R.

Archived on: 2014-01-31