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Columbia University Libraries & Information Services (CUL/IS) invites applications for the Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian who will develop distinctive research collections and deliver innovative instructional and research services to the University and broader scholarly communities.

Reporting to the Director of Area Studies, the Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian will manage a highly-ranked research collection in support of distinguished academic and teaching programs. The Librarian will exercise direct responsibility for building research collections in all formats and subjects from and about the Middle East and about Islamic Studies in a wide range of languages including Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, English and other languages of significance to the field. Collection development responsibilities include collection budget management and planning, collection assessment and evaluation, identification of appropriate vendors and sources of acquisitions, and active support for efforts to enhance bibliographic access to the collections. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Librarian will work in close coordination with other subject specialist librarians in the humanities, social sciences, and Area Studies and with appropriate technical services units. In addition the Librarian will be responsible for developing initiatives to broaden access to unique and important collections through digital project initiatives and will actively acquire and promote both licensed and freely available digital resources of value to researchers at Columbia and beyond. The Librarian will play a leading role in decisions about the management of extensive print holdings and about access to and preservation of Middle East and Islamic Studies collections.

The Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian will work closely with faculty, students and other scholars to provide proactive research support and instruction in collaboration with instructional technology, scholarly research, and digital program units within CUL/IS and the University. The Librarian serves as a liaison to the Middle East Institute (a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center), to faculty in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), the Columbia Global Center in Amman, Jordan, and to a variety of other departments, schools, institutes and centers with programs and interests in Middle East and Islamic Studies.

A central feature of this position will involve forging innovative methods of sustaining and enhancing specialized collecting and research support in active collaboration with Cornell University Library in the context of the 2CUL initiative. In addition to 2CUL, the Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian will actively develop international partnerships and collaborations and will represent Columbia in appropriate regional, national and international forums such as the Middle East Librarians Association (MELA) and the Middle East Microform Project (MEMP).

The successful candidate will have:

  • Significant experience as a Middle East and Islamic Studies librarian, or a comparable combination of academic and professional experience;
  • Accredited MLS or PhD in relevant subject area or an equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Solid command of the history and major trends in research and scholarly publishing in Middle East and Islamic Studies, including online sources of information, and with vendors able to supply appropriate materials from a variety of sources;
  • Experience in developing and delivering innovative instruction and research support services;
  • Excellent language skills in Arabic and a strong command of one or more relevant languages, including, Persian, Turkish, and Armenian; the ability to identify and work with materials in other languages relevant to Middle East and Islamic Studies is preferred;
  • Experience in using bibliographic utilities and databases to search non-Roman scripts;
  • Excellent communication skills in English and the demonstrated ability to work effectively and creatively in a collaborative and complex environment.

One of the world’s leading research universities, Columbia provides outstanding opportunities to work and grow in a unique intellectual community. Set in the Morningside Heights academic village, Columbia also presents the unmatched dynamism, diversity and cultural richness of New York City. The University Libraries, grounded in collections of remarkable depth and breadth, are also building extensive electronic resources and services. The Libraries at Columbia are committed to collegiality, professionalism, innovation and leadership.

We offer a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience and excellent benefits.

To apply for this position please visit the following link:

Applications will be accepted immediately and until the position is filled; however, applications submitted before November 4, 2011 will receive priority consideration.

Columbia University is An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply

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