Librarian/Curator for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, UCLA

Department: International Studies

Rank and Salary: Assistant Librarian – Librarian ($60,843 – $119,734)

Position Availability: Immediately

Application deadline for first consideration: April 23, 2019

The UCLA Library seeks a highly collaborative, knowledgeable and user-driven librarian/curator to work with students and faculty to advance research, scholarship, and teaching in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies.

Position Duties

Reporting to the Head of International Studies, the Librarian/Curator for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies is responsible for collection development and management, reference, and instruction in assigned areas in order to support and advance research-level scholarship by UCLA students and faculty. The Librarian/Curator for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies collaborates on the creation of research tools and develops plans to digitize content and collections to increase access to resources; delivers specialized orientations, instruction sessions, and consultations; and serves as a resource on issues related to digital scholarship, scholarly communications and emerging research methods. The incumbent collaborates with campus and UC colleagues on a range of issues related to collections and digital projects, participates in professional forums such as the Middle East Librarians Association and the Center for Research Libraries’ Middle East Materials Project, actively engages in outreach and community engagement activities in support of UCLA Library’s strategic priorities and serves as a member of library teams related to preservation and/or digitization, such as the UCLA Library’s International Digital Ephemera Project. The incumbent has supervisory responsibilities for .5 FTE staff member and student assistants.

UCLA librarians and academic staff are expected to participate in library-wide planning and governance and work effectively in a shared decision-making environment.

Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Develops and manages the library’s collections regardless of format, language, period, or place of publication in the areas of the social sciences and humanities published in or relating to the Middle East and its diasporas. Utilizes a creative, agile, and selective approach to collection development that is married with aggressive campus outreach, community outreach, and collaboration with scholars.
  • Manages library allocations, including those from endowed funds and other gift funds.
  • Serves as liaison to the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and all related centers.
  • Joins library preservation and digitization efforts, such as the International Digital Ephemera Project, an effort to preserve and digitize endangered cultural heritage materials globally, and participates in activities with Middle Eastern partners.
  • Participates in the Association of College and Research Libraries, Center for Research Library’s Middle East Materials Project, and other area-specific consortial activities.
  • Serves as the subject specialist for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, providing in-depth reference and research assistance to faculty and students in relevant units. May take on additional subject areas based on expertise and Library need.
  • Collaborates whenever possible with relevant faculty on digital projects, research initiatives, and curricular/teaching activities.
  • Actively collaborates with Library Special Collections on acquisition, processing, digitization, and preservation of primary source collections and rare books.
  • Collaborates with the Library’s Cataloging and Metadata Center to address technical service issues.
  • In collaboration with colleagues in the Digital Library Program, User Engagement, and other units, develops new projects, programming, services, instruction, and other scholarly activities in the newly renovated spaces on the first floor of the Research Library.
  • Develops plans for digitization of priority content and collections in the areas of responsibility. Works closely with the UCLA Library Collections Council Digitization Task Force, Imaging Services, Digital Library, and others to increase online access to UCLA content and collections.
  • Works closely with Library Development to identify and steward donors, collections, and endowed gift funds.
  • Recruits, trains, mentors and supervises staff and student assistants; assigning work, evaluating work, providing feedback and developing staff specializations as appropriate.

Required Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in Library or Information Science OR significant graduate-level coursework toward such a degree OR equivalent education and experience (subject expertise combined with professional library education and/or experience).
  • Graduate-level study, or equivalent experience, in the humanities and/or social sciences.
  • Research-level knowledge of Middle Eastern and/or Islamic Studies.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the information needs of researchers in area studies fields, including the ways research methods and scholarship are evolving.
  • Fluent Arabic; reading knowledge of Turkish or Persian also necessary.
  • Experience providing reference and/or instructional services related to humanities, social sciences, and/or area studies in an academic or research library environment.
  • Knowledge of collection development in an academic or research library, including familiarity with core print and e-resources relevant to the Middle East.
  • Knowledge of initiatives and trends related to research in international and area studies fields and to the evolving scholarly communication landscape, including knowledge of the publishing industry in the regions.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work with staff, students, and faculty from diverse cultural backgrounds and in a dynamic and complex environment within a large organization.
  • Demonstrated supervisory experience that includes training and directing the work of staff and student assistants.
  • Commitment to professional development and service.

Desired Qualifications

  • Minimum 2 years experience in an academic library setting.
  • Experience in selecting and managing research collections in one of the areas of responsibility.
  • Knowledge of current trends in information technology as they apply to collection development and management and the provision of reference and research services in the humanities.
  • Experience with the design, provision, and evaluation of curriculum and pedagogy for upper-division and graduate students.
  • Advanced degree in a humanities discipline.
  • Knowledge of additional languages relevant to Middle Eastern Studies, such as Yiddish, Kurdish, Hebrew or Neo-Aramaic.
  • Knowledge and/or interest in religious studies, specifically Islam.
  • Knowledge of cataloging and access issues for non-English language materials.
  • Demonstrated contributions to collaborative projects at the local, regional, national, and/or international level.
  • Knowledge of book vendors and book distribution in the region.
  • Experience in donor relations and stewardship.

General Information

Professional librarians at UCLA are academic appointees. Librarians at UCLA are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, University Council – American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT). This is a represented position. They are entitled to appropriate professional leave, two days per month of vacation leave, one day per month of sick leave, and all other benefits granted to non-faculty academic personnel. The University has an excellent retirement system and sponsors a variety of group health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans in addition to other benefits. Relocation assistance may be provided.

Appointees to the librarian series at UC shall have professional backgrounds that demonstrate a high degree of creativity, teamwork, and flexibility. Such background will normally include a professional degree from an ALA-accredited library and information science graduate program.  In addition to professional competence and quality of service within the library in the primary job, advancement in the librarian series requires professional involvement and contributions outside of the library, and/or university and community service, and/or scholarly activities.  Candidates must show evidence or promise of such contributions.


Application Procedures

Anyone wishing to be considered for this position should apply here:

Applications must include:

  • a cover letter describing qualifications and experience;
  • a current resume/vitae detailing education and relevant experience; and
  • the names and contact information for three professional references, including a current or previous supervisor.

Candidates applying by April 23, 2019 will be given first consideration for this position.  UCLA welcomes and encourages diversity and seeks applications and nominations from women and minorities.  UCLA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the people of California, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning.

Description of Institution and Library

As one of the world’s great public research universities, UCLA integrates education, research, and public service so that each enriches and extends the others. From its beautiful neighborhood campus in a uniquely diverse and vibrant city on the Pacific Rim, teaching and research extend beyond the classroom, office, and lab through active engagement with communities, organizations, projects, and partnerships throughout the region and around the world.

UCLA’s diverse community of scholars encompasses nearly 30,000 undergraduates pursuing 125 majors, 13,000 graduate students in fifty-nine research programs, and 4,000 faculty members including Nobel Laureates; Rhodes Scholars; MacArthur Fellows; winners of the Fields Medal, National Medal of Science, Pritzker Prize, and Pulitzer Prize; and recipients of Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, and Golden Globes. UCLA ranks tenth in the Times of London Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, twelfth in the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and fifth in the U.S. by Washington Monthly. The National Research Council ranks forty of its graduate and doctoral research programs among its top ten.

To enable these accomplished students, faculty, and staff to create, disseminate, and apply knowledge for the benefit of global society, the UCLA Library is re-envisioning how it is acquired, synthesized, and shared across academic audiences and with the public.  It was among the first academic libraries to develop subject-specialist librarians and to launch a program to enhance students’ research skills. Its Special Collections pioneered the acquisition by public institutions of rare and unique books, children’s literature, pulp and detective fiction, works by or about women and minorities, screenplays, architectural plans, and Los Angeles-related materials and today leads the way in collecting archival resources in digital format such as emails and manuscripts.  It has launched innovative data management services and an affordable course materials initiative that have served as models for other libraries.

The Library serves UCLA students, faculty, and staff whenever and wherever they need its resources and expertise. Reconfigured, high-tech spaces and services in its ten campus libraries enable users and librarians to explore and work with print and digital materials collaboratively or individually, pursue new lines of inquiry, and develop new pedagogical approaches as well as novel forms of scholarship.  More than 3.5 million people visit annually, while an additional 3.4 million visitors enter online through its virtual front doors.

Whether on campus or online, the Library forms the intellectual heart of UCLA, a hub for cutting-edge discovery, scholarship, and instruction.

Description of Unit

As a partner in the creation and dissemination of knowledge, the International Studies Department in the Charles E. Young Research Library supports the UCLA community by selecting the resources and providing the services necessary for world-class research and instruction. The department’s subject specialists in area and international studies serve as liaisons to academic departments and research units in their areas of responsibility, partnering with faculty and students on a wide variety of research projects and teaching initiatives. Departmental librarians and support staff serve the faculty and students in these disciplines by cultivating research-level collections in a variety of formats as well as providing high-level research services in person and via e-mail and digital reference. These subject specialist librarians work closely together and in cooperation with librarians from other UCLA Library units to support interdisciplinary research, teaching, and learning.

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures ( offers a wide range of courses covering the languages, history, and cultures of the Near East and Middle East and their diasporas. The well-established Centers for Near Eastern Studies (, and the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World ( also provide arenas for interdisciplinary research and teaching in this area.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.  For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:  UC Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy at

Under federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally authorized to work in the United States as established by providing documents specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.  Employment is contingent upon completion of satisfactory background investigation.

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