Saturday, April 30, 2011

Curator, Middle East Collection: Yale University, New Haven, CT

Curator, Middle East Collection
Sterling Memorial Library
Yale University
New Haven, CT
Rank: Librarian I-III

Schedule: Full-time (37.5 hours per week); Standard Work Week (8:30-5:00); occasional evening and weekend hours

Yale University offers exciting opportunities for achievement and growth in New Haven, Connecticut. Conveniently located between Boston and New York, New Haven is the creative capital of Connecticut with cultural resources that include two major art museums, a critically-acclaimed repertory theater, state-of-the-art concert hall, and world-renowned schools of Architecture, Art, Drama, and Music.

The Yale University Library, as one of the world's leading research libraries, collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to and services for a rich and unique record of human thought and creativity. It fosters intellectual growth and is a highly valued partner in the teaching and research missions of Yale University and scholarly communities worldwide. A distinctive strength is its rich spectrum of resources, including more than 12.5 million volumes and information in all media, ranging from ancient papyri to early printed books to electronic databases. The Library is engaged in numerous digital initiatives designed to provide access to a full array of scholarly information. Housed in the Sterling Memorial Library and twenty school and departmental libraries, it employs a dynamic, diverse, and innovative staff of over 500 who have the opportunity to work with the highest caliber of faculty and students, participate on committees, and are involved in other areas of staff development. For additional information on the Yale University Library, please visit the Library's web site at

Yale was the first among American colleges and universities to support and encourage the study of Arabic and Islamic literature and culture. The first professor of Arabic, Edward Elbridge Salisbury, was appointed in 1841, the only scholar with this specialty in the United States. In more than 150 years since that appointment, Yale has developed an extensive and internationally regarded collection of materials, including well over 400,000 volumes that support Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies. These works appear in many languages and are housed in several libraries and collections. Volumes in the vernacular languages (especially Arabic, Persian, and Turkish) exceed 150,000. An outstanding collection of more than 6,000 manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish, dealing with various subjects, resides in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The Library receives nearly 1,000 active serials relating to Middle Eastern Studies, plus major American and European scholarly journals in the field. As one of the oldest collections among the major Middle Eastern collections in the United States, it forms a key component of the national resource for the study of the Middle East. The Yale Library is particularly renowned in recent years for ground-breaking work in the digitization and full-text searchability of Arabic scholarly journals and related materials, through its International Digital Projects group. Yale offers Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in disciplines related to the Middle East, and it continues to attract highly qualified graduate students from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Based in Sterling Memorial Library and reporting to the Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Collections and International Programs, the Curator is responsible for the department called the Middle East Collection, encompassing activities from selection to acquisition to copy cataloging to preservation and collection management across various formats and media. Develops a strong research collection of material from the Middle East to meet the information needs of faculty, students, and other scholars in and beyond the Yale community. Liaises with Yale's faculty and students, providing strong teaching and research support. Manages two (2) full-time equivalents (FTEs), plus students, and a substantial acquisitions budget. Works in close cooperation with key departments across the Library, including other area curators, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Preservation, International Digital Projects, and staff in other departmental libraries. Relationships with and services to Yale's students and faculty, as well as outreach and participation in activities beyond the Yale community, including publishers, vendors, and professional groups are key components for success in the position.

Responsible for the development, management, and interpretation of the Middle East Collection. Selects materials for the Collection; develops, manages, and promotes library collections and services across all library formats (books, journals, databases, audio, video, etc.) in vernacular languages, principally Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. Evaluates content and condition of collections, deciding what to add, preserve, replace, and withdraw. Establishes and maintains good relationships with dealers, content providers, exchange partners, libraries, and other institutions connected with Middle East studies. Participates in and contributes specialist knowledge to Yale University Library's and Yale University's digital library projects for Middle East.

Manages a staff of two (2) full-time equivalents (FTEs) plus students, and a budget of over $200,000 for acquisitions. Collaborates with other departments in preservation of and access to Middle East Collections. Communicates with and assists faculty and students in meeting their teaching, learning, and research needs. Provides in-depth reference research, instruction, and consultations. Develops and maintains the Middle East web page, subject guides, and finding aids. Works closely with and serves as a member of the Council on Middle East Studies. Advocates for, publicizes, and exhibits the Library's Middle East activities locally and nationally. Participates in scholarly meetings and conferences related to the Middle East; keeps active in Middle East-related scholarly activities at the local regional national and international level.

Keeps the Associate University Librarian (AUL) informed of important changes in programs affecting collections and services. Works with the AUL and Library Development to identify and develop funding opportunities. Participates in library planning committees and task forces and engages in campus, regional, and national professional organizations and collaborative activities. Expected to be professionally active and represents the Library and the University in the academic, scholarly, and professional community. May be required to assist in disaster recovery efforts. May be assigned to work at West Campus location in West Haven, CT.

Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program for library and information science and a graduate degree in a field relevant to Middle Eastern studies -OR- a graduate degree in a field relevant to Middle Eastern studies and an equivalent combination of relevant library experience. Appointment to the rank of Librarian II requires a minimum of two years of professional experience and demonstrated professional accomplishments appropriate to the rank. Appointment to the Librarian III rank requires at least five years of professional experience and demonstrated professional accomplishments appropriate to the rank. Experience with teaching in a library or academic setting. Experience with the creation and use of digitized content for research and teaching. Experience in creating content for web pages.

Fluency/proficiency in Arabic and ability to work in at least one other Middle Eastern language collected at Yale, as well as excellent communication skills in English. Familiarity with the history of and current trends in scholarly research related to Middle Eastern studies. Familiarity with the major bibliographic tools used for Middle Eastern studies and a knowledge of the current book trade in the major countries of emphasis. Demonstrated ability to succeed in a collaborative, team-based environment. Demonstrated ability to work collegially and cooperatively within and across organizations. Demonstrated initiative and proactive engagement. Knowledge of trends in networked access to information, social networking, citation management, course management systems, digitization, and other technologies used by readers and libraries to facilitate information access and management. Familiarity with the use of archives and practices for archival description.

Preferred: Ability to plan, manage, and coordinate complex projects; demonstrated record of devising and bringing projects to a conclusion in a timely fashion.

We invite you to discover the excitement, diversity, rewards and excellence of a career at Yale University. One of the country's great workplaces, Yale University offers exciting opportunities for meaningful accomplishment and true growth. Our benefits package is among the best anywhere, with extensive recreational facilities, and much more.

Applications consisting of a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three (3) professional references should be sent by creating an account and applying online at for immediate consideration - the STARS req ID for this position is 12886BR. Please be sure to reference #12885BR in your cover letter.

All external candidates for employment will be subject to pre-employment background screening for this position, which may include motor vehicle and credit checks based on the position description and job requirements. Internal candidates may be subject to a motor vehicle or credit check for this position based on the position description and job requirements. All offers are contingent on successful completion of the required background check. Please visit for additional information on the background check requirements and process.

Yale University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Yale values diversity in its faculty, staff, and students and strongly encourages applications from women and members of underrepresented minority groups.