Cataloging and Metadata Librarian

Chicago, IL
Full Time


The Field Museum is a not-for-profit organization located on the Museum Campus of Chicago. Since the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, we have conducted research across all seven continents and accumulated a collection of over 40 million specimens and artifacts.


The Field Museum is searching for a Cataloging and Metadata Librarian to join our team!


The Field Museum Library supports the exhibition, research, and education programs of The Field Museum, which was founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The Library is home to a rich, world-class collection of more than 250,000 volumes in the following subject areas: anthropology, archaeology, biological systematics, botany, environmental and evolutionary biology, geology, museology, and zoology. Although borrowing privileges are reserved for Museum staff and associates, the Library's collections are available for public use. Since 2014, the Library has operated the Worldshare Management System (WMS) integrated library system. This is a cloud-based system that uses the WorldCat Discovery interface for the online catalog. Currently, the Library's holdings within the Worldcat database include approximately 130,000 records. 

In addition to purchasing new materials and receiving donated and exchanged materials, the Library began a retrospective conversion of approximately 92,000 catalog records in 2006. Converted records represented monographs, serials, and rare books acquired prior to 1978 and held in the General Collection, the Rare Book Room, and eight subject-based divisional libraries.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform copy and some original cataloging of monographs and serials in WorldCat and WMS (using national and local standards such as AACR2R/RDA, LCSH, MARC standards, and LC classification schedules). Perform copy and some original cataloging on monographs and serials in most Western European languages and some Asian languages
  • Update and maintain holdings records in OCLC’s holdings format for all materials in WMS
  • Identify and resolve problems associated with location, call number, holdings, and other copy-specific information, in particular those associated with the loading of records from vendors, bibliographic utilities, and other providers of bibliographic information
  • Add volume holdings and item records to catalog records for monographic and serial titles according to specified guidelines
  • Support the library’s digitization efforts for the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). This includes help with selection of materials, review of metadata before digitization and clean-up of metadata problems in the database
  • Assist Collections Center staff with cleanup of metadata in the Bibliographic module of the Museum’s object database EMU
  • Participate in staff development activities 
  • Keep informed of developments in the library field by reading  professional journals, attending workshops and conferences, and subscribing to appropriate listservs
  • Works with Library and Museum staff to assure that appropriate policies and procedures are developed, documented, evaluated and revised as necessary to meet the requirements of the online catalog
  • Collaborate with other Library staff to develop exhibitions for the Reading Room and Brooker Gallery
  • Perform other related duties as required



  • Master’s Degree in Library Science
  • Two years’ work experience in cataloging
  • Demonstrated understanding of the structure and function of integrated library systems, national cataloging standards, and MARC format
  •  Experience with Windows systems in a networked environment
  • Good analytical ability and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to catalog works in European languages
  • Ability to work independently with accuracy and attention to detail; to follow verbal and written instructions and procedures; to organize and prioritize work assignments; to exercise sound judgment and initiative; to effectively complete tasks according to schedule; and to establish and maintain effective and productive working relationships
  • Applicants must provide a sample of original cataloging: 2-3 bibliographic records in MARC format, preferably in print format


Important Note: In order to protect the health and safety of our employees, guests and their families, the Field Museum is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Requests for exemptions from the vaccine will not be considered as given the nature of this position, we are unable to provide an accommodation for anyone who has not been vaccinated. 


The Field Museum is an equal opportunity workplace and employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or any other protected class. We strive to create a working environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and one that promotes human dignity and mutual respect among all staff. We believe every member of our organization enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, to identify challenges, and to discover, design, and deliver solutions.

The Field Museum strives to ensure that our career website and recruiting process are accessible to all. If you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our online application, or if you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to  

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