The African and Middle Eastern Division is recognized as a major resource center for Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Our Middle East program has custody of materials in over 70 languages, the division’s largest collections being Arabic, followed by Persian, Turkish, Armenian and Georgian language collections. Additional collections and linguistic groupings include Caucasian, and Central Asian. The division serves as the Library’s primary access point for reference and research activities related to the Ancient Near East, pre-Islamic Egypt, Biblical Studies, Jewish Studies, and ancient and modern Israel, with custody of materials in a variety of formats in Hebrew and its cognates, including Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian, as well as Amharic, Coptic, and Syriac. The division is also the focal point of the Library’s reference and bibliographic activities on sub-Saharan Africa and the Library’s collection of Africana, including sources in every major field of study in the social sciences and in the humanities. Language coverage includes English, French, German, Portuguese, and many African vernaculars.
This is a senior executive position at the Library of Congress, responsible for bringing vision, leadership, and innovation to the role. The Chief is the Library’s principal expert/specialist in matters dealing with the countries, languages and regions covered by that division. The Chief has full professional responsibility for coordinating activities of the Library related to that geographic area, and for directing the development and maintenance of the Library’s collections pertaining to these regions, including the integration of digital technology, and facilitating the effective use of these collections by scholars, researchers, and others worldwide. The Chief formulates the vision, establishes the mission and goals, determines objectives, directs the staff and resources, and evaluates overall performance of the division. He/she sets policies for, administers, and supervises division staff, programs, services, and activities. The Chief is responsible for cultivating relations with potential donors, securing funds for new initiatives, acquiring new collections, and establishing new services. The Chief provides national leadership in the fields of knowledge and information as they relate to the division’s geographic responsibility and represents the library at national and international meetings, events and programs, especially those related to the division’s regions and countries.
Provides direction and leadership for the Library in response to the rapid changes in foreign societies, in information flows from and about the regions covered by the division, and in emerging research agendas related to the division’s area of responsibility. Maintains a comprehensive knowledge of these countries and regions and of the scholarly resources and collections necessary for the study of the region, with in-depth knowledge in at least one related discipline/area.