African Studies Librarian

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Created: August 1, 2016


Workgroup: Distinctive Collections

Reports to: Curator, Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies


Northwestern University Library seeks an experienced dynamic and creative individual to provide subject expertise and scholarship in the field of African Studies. Northwestern University supports undergraduate and graduate level research and teaching through the Program of African Studies and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) program. The African Studies Librarian will select resources in all formats, provide instruction and research consultations to students and scholars at all academic levels, create LibGuides, web pages, tutorials and other instructional materials, and seek opportunities for collaboration within the library and university communities. The African Studies Librarian is part of a team of librarians within the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies.


Reporting to the Curator of the Herskovits Library, the African Studies Librarian will contribute to the Library's strategic goals; supporting a suite of activities which include teaching and instruction, research, outreach to the Northwestern University and wider communities, digital initiatives, scholarly communications and collection development. The successful candidate will:

Manage an acquisitions budget, identify and work with vendors.

Serve as a liaison to the Program of African Studies, and other related programs and disciplines.

Provide reference, instruction and scholarly services to faculty and students with an interest in African Studies.

Develop and maintain website content, and effectively use instructional technology and social media in order to promote the subject area and reach online users.

Establish and maintain relationships with colleagues, other libraries and institutions in the field.

Contribute to the collaborative collection development programs within the African Studies community and in which the University Library participates.

Work collaboratively with Acquisitions and other library units on issues related to acquisitions, bibliographic control, cataloguing and creation of metadata, etc.

Serve on Library or University committees, task forces and working groups, contribute to the intellectual life on campus and within the profession.



ALA accredited Master's Degree in Library and Information Science (or international equivalent) and an advanced degree in an African Studies discipline.

Oral and written proficiency in a European language relevant to Africa's colonial past - French, German, Portuguese or Italian.

Reading knowledge of at least one African language.

Demonstrated record of working with an acquisitions budget and approval plans. Experience in collection development and managing publisher and vendor relationships with knowledge of the publishing industry in various African countries.

Demonstrated record of instruction, collaboration with faculty and public outreach; initiative and proactive engagement in a university environment and potential for scholarship in a relevant discipline;

Excellent oral and written communication skills.


Additional coursework in public health, economic development, peace building and governance.

Experience with Scholarly Communications and the Digital Humanities.

Experience with collection assessment.

The successful candidate should possess organizational skills and enjoy working in a rapidly changing, supportive, and engaged team environment.


Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, is a major private university with an extensive library system. This includes the Northwestern University Libraries, two branch libraries on the Evanston Campus, and three libraries on the Chicago Campus. Northwestern University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and participates in programs of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). Northwestern University Libraries participates in area studies initiatives of the Center for Research Libraries and Global Resources Network. The holdings of Northwestern University Libraries total over 4 million volumes.

To Apply:

Send a single, PDF-formatted file containing letter of application, resume or vita, and names of three references to the attention of Jan Hayes, Director of Organizational Development, to Applications received by July 25, 2016 will receive first consideration.

More information is located below:

Northwestern University Libraries :

Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies :

Buffett Center:

Program of African Studies:

Middle East and North Africa Program:



Published: Monday, August 1, 2016 17:24 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:40 UTC