Head of Resource Description- Law Library University of Michigan

Full Job Description

How to Apply


A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. Please also include names and contact information for three professional references and indicate your professional relationship with each.




The Law Library seeks a collaborative and service-oriented Librarian to join our team as the Head of Resource Description. This position has primary responsibility for ensuring the timely and effective intellectual access to the Law Library collections in all formats and languages following national and internal standards.

This position reports directly to the Assistant Director for Scholarly Publishing & Information Services. This position exercises administrative and functional supervision over one librarian, two information resource specialists, and one information resources assistant. The person in this position will exercise professional judgment and demonstrate strong critical thinking skills to execute the duties listed below.


Who We Are


At Michigan Law, we view our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as central to our mission as an educational institution and we seek to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment. We believe that diversity is key to individual flourishing, educational excellence, and the advancement of knowledge and we maintain a deep commitment to fostering a diverse community in which all students, staff, and faculty learn and work in an atmosphere of inclusion and respect.

The University of Michigan Law School has 82 full-time and 57 part-time faculty, and approximately 1,000 J.D., 40 L.L.M., and 7 S.J.D. students. With over 1 million volumes, the Law Library has one of the world’s premier collections. The Law Library also has one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of foreign, comparative, and international law materials. The University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, which is considered among the best places in the United States to live and work.




  • Lead, manage and coordinate the work of the Resource Description sub-unit including:
  • supervising, evaluating, and training direct reports; recommending staffing levels (librarian and paraprofessional) and work schedules;
  • coordinating and participating in all cataloging and metadata work, including for electronic resources;
  • setting policies and procedures, resolving sub-unit and inter-unit problems, answering questions from others relating to the specialized functions of the unit, and coordinating inter-unit work;
  • maintaining awareness of and utilizing current technologies and trends that anticipate, meet or exceed the research needs of the Law Library’s primary users;
  • creating and updating unit documentation
  • Participate in electronic resource description and management, including troubleshooting outages as part of the E-Resources Outages group
  • Participate in serials management including interpreting, revising, and maintaining records for complex legal continuations
  • Participate in evening and weekend rotation of Librarians at the Law Library Information Desk
  • Serve as a member of committees and working groups
  • Create statistical reports on usage of the library collections, as needed
  • Other responsibilities as assigned


Required Qualifications*


A qualified candidate for the Head of Resource Description must have:

  • MSI, MLIS, or equivalent degree from an ALA-accredited program
  • At least 5 years of cataloging/resource description experience
  • At least 3 years of experience supervising full-time staff in a large academic library
  • Proven ability to work effectively with other decision makers as part of a team, as well as independently
  • Flexibility and creativity to be effective in a changing environment
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, organizational, and analytical skills
  • Recent experience leading a serials and/or cataloging unit in an academic or research library
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with other units and staff, establishing and maintaining effective working relationships
  • Demonstrated problem solving skills and the ability to use judgment in response to unforeseen circumstances
  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to resolve complex issues in a timely manner


Desired Qualifications*


  • Experience with Innovative Interfaces Sierra LMS
  • Experience with statistical reporting
  • Experience working with complex serials
  • Familiarity communicating with library resource providers or vendors
  • Experience with batch loading records for electronic resources into a library management system
  • Demonstrated ability to work with one or more non-English languages
  • Experience leading a resource description unit (or similar) in an academic or research library


Underfill Statement


This posting may be under-filled with the title of Resource Description Librarian without sub-unit leadership responsibility at a level of Assistant, Associate, or Senior Associate Librarian, depending on qualifications.


Union Affiliation


This position is covered under the collective bargaining agreement between the U-M and the Lecturers Employee Organization, AFL-CIO, on behalf of their Librarian, Archivists, and Curator bargaining unit (LEO-GLAM), which contains and settles all matters with respect to wages, benefits, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.


U-M EEO/AA Statement


The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


Job Opening ID


Working Title

Head of Resource Description- Law Library

Job Title


Work Location

Ann Arbor Campus

Ann Arbor, MI

Full/Part Time




FLSA Status


Organizational Group

Law School


Law Library

Posting Begin/End Date

5/08/2023 – 6/07/2023

Career Interest

Legal & Government Relations

Libraries & Museums