What does a DH librarian look like?

Image from page 9 of "Colour : an elementary manual for students" (1891)
“The Three Color Sensations Illustrated”. From” Colour : an elementary manual for students” (1891). Flickr Commons.

There have been a lot of job announcements in the last couple of months from libraries looking for digital humanities professionals. It makes me wonder, what is the background and what are the skills for a DH position in libraries?

I chose five recent postings to examine and compare:
Humanities Data Curator at UC Santa Barbara

Digital Humanities Specialist at University of the Pacific

Humanities and Digital Scholarship Librarian at Grinnell College

Digital Humanities and Web Services Librarian at University of Delaware Library

Lead Developer for Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton University

  • Four of five postings are looking for an MLS/MLIS.
  • Four of the five postings use the word “collaborate” or “collaborative”.
  • Four of the five postings want someone with experience with Omeka.
  • Four of the five postings include traditional librarian duties such as reference, collection development and instruction.
  • Three of the five postings use the word “creative”, and use it in the first sentence.
  • Three of the five postings specify experience with WordPress.
  • Two of the five postings specify experience with metadata standards.
  • Two of the five postings include digital exhibitions in the duties.
  • Two of the five postings reference creating or managing digital collections.
  • Two of the five postings specify working with digital assets.
  • Two of the five postings mention working with archives collections.
  • One of the five postings wants familiarity with database structure.
  • One of the five postings wants experience with digital publishing.
  • One of the five postings specifies information visualization in the job description.
  • One of the five postings specifies working with images or media.
  • One of the five postings asks for management experience.
  • None of the jobs mention cataloging, RDA,  or MARC.
  • How many jobs want which programming skills? XML/XSL (4), HTML (2), CSS (2), PHP (2), Python (2)

Do you find these elements surprising? Do these some of these specifications sound unfamiliar to you or in line with skills you have been developing? Are there skills that a DH professional in an art library or museum would need in particular that aren’t listed here?

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