George and Mary LeCron Foster Curator

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Professional Librarian Vacancy

Northwestern University Library seeks a knowledgeable, experienced, and creative curator to direct all operations, services, and collections of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies. The curator provides leadership in the development of collection, formulation and implementation of public service policies and programs, management of staff and budgets, and liaison with the clientele of the Herskovits Library. Supervises staff, including 3 FTE professional librarians, 3 FTE support staff and 5 FTE student employees.

The Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, is one of the world’s foremost research centers dedicated to Africa. Spanning a broad array of subjects and disciplines, the collection includes books, periodicals, recordings, artifacts, and other materials that document African art, literature, politics, religion, communications, and nearly all aspects of culture, past and present. The Herskovits Library supports the Program of African Studies, the new Program of Middle East and North African Studies, and all aspects of African studies across disciplines at Northwestern, along with the work of researchers worldwide.
General Information
Position Title: 
George and Mary LeCron Foster Curator
Job Title: 
Special Libraries
Jeffrey Garrett
Percent Full Time: 
Available Positions: 
Date Posted: 
Job Details
Establishes departmental priorities and policies, supervises staff, and provides leadership in developing programs and services related to the Herskovits Library. Manages departmental budgets. Determines collection development policy for the Herskovits Library in consultation with the Associate University Librarian for Special Libraries, including the acquisition of materials in all languages and formats relevant to African and Middle Eastern Studies through purchase, exchange, as gifts, and through other means. Acts as principal selector and liaison with Northwestern faculty, staff, and students in disciplines related to Africana, delegating appropriate responsibilities to Herskovits Library staff. Develops and oversees public service policies for orientation, reference, and instructional services. Develops needed services in consultation with clientele and other Departments in the Library, delegating appropriate responsibilities to Herskovits Library staff. Provides specialized reference and instructional services to Herskovits Library clientele. Plans, implements, and administers programs to house and maintain African and Middle Eastern collections. Develops preservation programs for the Herskovits Library in cooperation with Head of the Preservation Department. Works with the Dean, the Library Development Officer, other library staff, and other campus entities such as the Office of Foundation Relations to plan development activities and to consult with donors to obtain gifts, endowments, grants, and gift collections. Maintains relationships with existing donors. Fosters communication and develops productive working relationships among Herskovits Library staff and with all Library units by convening regular meetings and liaising proactively with the Program of African Studies as well as with other university and academic units. Serves on the Library’s Management Council. Serves on elected or appointed Library and University committees. Represents the Herskovits Library at the university, city, regional, national, and international levels through conference participation, by accepting/seeking out speaking opportunities, and through publications and exhibitions relevant to the collections and activities of the Herskovits Library. Maintains professional contacts appropriate to the mission of the department. Conducts research and creative activities consistent with personal, departmental, and organizational goals. Other job-related duties as assigned.
Required Qualifications: 
Required qualifications include a master’s degree from an accredited program in library science or significant experience in library, archival, or academic administration; evidence of significant advanced study in a discipline related to African studies; five or more years of successful library or equivalent experience in African studies, including administrative and collection development experience; and two or more languages relevant to African, Maghrebian, and/or Middle Eastern Studies. Candidates will be required to demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing; the ability to work effectively with faculty, students and staff; strong supervisory skills and the ability to assume a leadership role. Other desired qualifications include a strong record of research and publication, an advanced degree in a discipline related to Africana, and significant experience and understanding of African and Middle Eastern cultures gained through study, travel, or residence.
Information for Librarian Applicants
Library environment: 

Northwestern University is a major private university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois and in Doha, Qatar. One of the leading private research libraries in the United States, Northwestern University Library serves the educational and information needs of the NU community as well as scholars around the world. Its collection contains more than 4.6 million volumes and a full array of digital resources. Established in 1954, the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University is the largest separate Africana collection in existence. The Africana collection is a resource for the entire university, and most of Northwestern's disciplinary programs are reflected in the collection. In addition to serving the NU community, the Herskovits Library staff supports regional, national, and international scholars as well.University Library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and participates in programs of the Committee for Institutional Cooperation (CIC). See more information about the Library at:

To Apply: 
Send PDF formatted letter of application, resume or vita, and names of three references to the attention of Jan Hayes, Personnel Librarian, to Northwestern University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Employment eligibility verification required upon hire.
First consideration for applications received by: 
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.