Head, Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Division (Univ. of Washington, Seattle)

TITLE: Head,  Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Division
LOCATION: Resource Acquisition and Description/Information Technology Services


Among the largest academic research libraries in North America, the University of Washington Libraries has a collection of more than seven million cataloged volumes, an equal number in microform format, more than 50,000 serial titles, and several million items in other formats. Students and faculty recognize the value provided by the Libraries and rank the Libraries as the most important source of information for their work. The Libraries also receives the highest satisfaction rating of any academic service on the surveys of graduating seniors conducted by the Office of Educational Assessment.

Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Division:

The Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Division is one of three technical services divisions within Resource Acquisition and Description/Information Technology Services; the others are Metadata and Cataloging Services, and Preservation Services (which includes the marking and binding operations).  The Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Division was recently created from the formerly separate Monographic Acquisitions Section and Serials Acquisitions Section and serves as the Libraries’ central acqusitions unit, acquiring materials in all formats.  Working closely with Metadata and Cataloging Services, the Division also performs simple copy cataloging of material with copy from the Library of Congress and OCLC member libraries.  The Division works with the Libraries’ Digital Initiatives unit to carry out digitization projects, including rights management, scanning, and providing descriptive metadata.

The Division orders approximately 22,000 monographic titles annually from vendors around the world, and manages approval programs for newly published North American and Western European books that adds another

8,000 titles to the collection each year. YBP is the Libraries’ major monographic vendor.  The Libraries has invested heavily in electronic journals and now offers more than 35,000 e-journal titles.  The Division manages 7200 active serial subscriptions and 2600 standing orders, with the bulk of the subscriptions handled through SWETS.

The Libraries is an active participant in the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of 37 academic libraries in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.  The Alliance is committed to cooperative collection development, considers the combined collections of member institutions as one collection, and has begun to acquire electronic resources on behalf of the members.  The Alliance is also engaged in an RFP process for a shared library management system to be used by all Alliance members.


Reporting to the Associate Dean of Libraries for Resource Acquisition and Description/Information Technology Services, the Head is responsible for managing serial and monographic acquisitions, ordering and invoicing for electronic resources, recording fund expenditures, managing vendor relations, and supervising the 14-member Acquisitions staff.

Collection development within the Libraries is a distributed effort.  Collection Management Services (CMS) manages the materials budget and has oversight responsibility for electronic resource licensing, as well as coordinating the work of approximately 70 subject selectors; Acquisitions staff work closely with the selectors and with CMS to facilitate the acquisition of both print and electronic resources in a timely and cost-effective manner.  The Head also manages the copy cataloging activity that takes place within the Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Division, and works closely with the Head of Metadata and Cataloging Services to establish standards and procedures for rapid cataloging.


  • Manages the work of the Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Division, developing and implementing policies, procedures, and workflows as needed.
  • Coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the activities of the Division including vendor selection, order placement, invoicing, receipt, and claiming.  Monitors vendor performance and resolves problems.
  • In consultation with the Libraries Budget Officer, Collection Management Services and others, establishes and implements policies and procedures for creating, maintaining, and reconciling financial records for purchased items and services, in accordance with Libraries, University and State policies.
  • Participates in developing system-wide standards for encoding and maintaining accurate management information to support collection development and collection management activities.
  • Coordinates acquisitions activities with the Libraries’ other acquisition units (International Studies, East Asia Library).
  • Insures that accurate and complete documentation of Division’s outward-facing policies, plans, and services are available to Libraries’ staff.
  • Recommends hiring and termination of staff; insures that staff receive appropriate training and supervision, and the support they need to excel at their jobs.
  • Manages the Division’s student/hourly budget.
  • Cultivates and maintains collegial working relationships across the Libraries, particularly with subject librarians, fund managers, and staff in Collection Management Services.
  • Maintains an in-depth knowledge of vendor and publisher services, the publication trade, and emerging standards, technologies, and practices in academic library acquisitions.
  • Maintains an in-depth understanding of the automated library system’s functions as they relate to the work of the Division.
  • Using the Libraries Personal Communication Responsibility Guidelines, communicates effectively and positively with coworkers, supervisors and supervisees.
  • Participates in Libraries’ committees and task forces as required. Represents the Libraries regionally, nationally and internationally on acquisitions-related matters.
  • Assumes other responsibilities as assigned; preforms other duties as required.



  • Graduate degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association or an equivalent graduate library science/information studies degree.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and understanding of the contributions a diverse workforce brings to the workplace.
  • Supervisory experience and ability to work effectively with individuals and groups within a large organization.
  • Three years post-MLS or publishing trade experience in acquisitions, with knowledge of the domestic and foreign publishing trade for both monographs and serials.
  • Experience with an integrated library system and bibliographic utilities.
  • Familiarity with current cataloging practices.
  • Technologically adept, with a good working knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Access.


  • Experience in a large academic research library.

SALARY: $60,000 minimum.  Starting salary commensurate with qualifications and background. This is a full time position.

BENEFITS: Librarians are academic personnel and participate in the University of Washington Retirement Plan on a matching basis.  Vacation is accrued at the rate of 24 working days per year; sick leave at the rate of 12 working days per year.  No state or local income tax.


To apply for this position, please submit the following information to libhr@uw.edu

  • Cover letter (addressed to Laura Lillard, Assistant Director, Libraries Academic Human Resources)
  • Curriculum vitae or resume (include a telephone number, mailing address, email address and salary requirements)
  • List of three references who are knowledgeable of your qualifications for this position (include telephone numbers, mailing addresses, and email addresses)
  • Please use “Librarian Application” in the subject heading.
  • Please submit all three components in a single, multi-page PDF document.  All submissions will be maintained in a secure, password protected online file space until interviews are conducted. Then, some application materials will be circulated.


To ensure consideration, applications should be received no later than 5:00 pm, August 31st, 2012.

University of Washington Libraries Home Page is http://www.lib.washington.edu

University of Washington, an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, is building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from female and minority candidates.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the University is required to verify and document the citizenship or employment authorization of each new employee.

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