Library Assignment: The George Washington University Libraries

Primary Location: The Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, Washington, DC

The George Washington University is located in Washington, DC, a few minutes’ walk from the headquarters of major international organizations, think tanks, NGO’s, U.S. government agencies, and the White House. This decades-old juxtaposition has lead to a strong, synergistic relationship between the University and its internationally-focused neighbors. Notably, the University is home to the Elliott School of International Affairs, a professional school with top-tier standing. Moreover, globally-focused curricula are spread throughout the university’s schools, departments and programs The University has been rapidly expanding its support for the study of the Middle East and North Africa adding several new faculty positions and in 2007 establishing the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES). In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education designated IMES a Title VI National Resource Center.

The George Washington University Libraries has a long history of support for the University’s globally-focused mission. In 2010 the Libraries established the Middle East and North Africa Resource Center (MENA) as part of its Global Resources Center. The GRC has five specialized resource centers that parallel the university’s priorities; these include the China Documentation Center; and the Resource Center for Russia, Eurasia, Central and Eastern Europe; and the Middle East and North Africa Research Center (MENA). MENA’s collections focus on contemporary Middle East/North African politics, society, economics, history and culture. Outreach is central to the GRC mission.

The George Washington University Libraries offers a unique opportunity to build a new and vibrant library program supporting the study of the Middle East and North Africa. Successful candidates will demonstrate a strong capacity to build an initiative from the ground up, the ability to effectively engage the academic community in the process, and dedication to learning about new and emerging trends in libraries and MENA studies.

The librarian for the Middle East and North Africa responsible for developing, planning and managing the services and ocllections of the MENA Research Center. To provide a foundation for future growth, a primary responsibility of the position is to actively engage in fundraising, grant writing and marketing in support of MENA and the GRC. The incumbent will also conduct ongoing outreach to faculty, students and researchers focused on the Middle East and north Africa across the social sciences and humanities; provide research and instruction support; develop associated programming, and develop, evaluate and manage strong interdisciplinary collections and services in support of the University’s evolving research mission. The position is responsible for selecting and acquiring resources in English, Arabic and other languages relevant to the study of the region.

MENA staff members work in collaboration with other GRC staff and the broader GW Libraries community to develop coordinated services and collections. These include the Reference Services and Education and Instruction Group, the library’s Resource Description Group in describing Arabic-language materials, and librarians offering related services, including the librarian for international relations for courses offered within the Elliott School of International Affairs.

As a member of the Global Resources Center management team, the MENA librarian will participate in the ongoing development of GRC collections and services. The person in this position may serve on library and university committees. The position reports to the Director of Global Resources.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in Library Science from an ALA-accredited institution, or in a humanities or social sciences discipline, with an emphasis on the Middle East/North African Studies;
  • Experience working with students and faculty in a college or university setting;
  • Reading and writing fluency in Arabic.

Desired Qualifications:

  • PhD in a humanities or social sciences discipline, with an emphasis on the Middle East/North African Studies;
  • Graduate coursework in Library Science from an ALA-accredited institution, or similarly appropriate/equivalent advanced degree (e.g. MLIS, MIS, etc.);
  • Creative programming (donor events, exhibit openings, etc.) experience;
  • Evidence of ability to conduct classroom instruction;
  • Demonstrated success in developing outreach initiatives in support of academic priorities;
  • Excellent oral and written English-language skills;
  • Reading knowledge of Persian, Turkish or other languages relevant to the study of the contemporary Middle East or North Africa.
  • Interest in building digital collections and curating virtual exhibits;
  • Demonstrated ability to create positive relations with faculty, students, donors and support groups;

Three-year, limited-term appointment with possibility of renewal. Salary: $50,600 (minimum starting). Only complete applications will be considered. To be considered, please complete an online faculty application at http://www.gwu.jobs/postings/11035 and upload a cover letter that includes an assessment of skills related to basic qualifications, and curriculum vitae

The University and department have a strong commitment to achieving diversity among librarians and staff. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from members of underrepresented groups and strongly encourage women and persons of color to apply for this position. The George Washington University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Review of applications will begin on October 29, 2012 and continue until the position is filled.

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