Job Postings

MELA will post position announcements as a service to the profession.

Positions must be related to the field of Middle East Librarianship and will be posted for a maximum length of six months.

To request a posting, please contact

Ohio State University / Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian (posted August 2, 2016)

The Ohio State University Libraries invites applications and nominations for the position of Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian to join a responsive and high impact area studies program which strongly supports research and teaching at the University. The Middle East Studies collection is relevant and distinctive, reflecting the prominence of the University’s Middle East Studies Center and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. The Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian is a critical partner for these dynamic programs and leads the Libraries’ engagement and collection building in these areas to advance discovery and learning in a globalized, information-rich environment.


  • Actively engages and communicates effectively with faculty, students, and staff in assigned areas, developing strong working relationships with and serving as liaison to the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Culture, the Middle East Studies Center, and to a variety of other programs with interest in the languages and culture of these regions.
  • Provides proactive research support and innovative instruction in collaboration with the Libraries’ Teaching and Learning, Research Services and Publishing and Repository Services departments.
  • Analyzes trends in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Culture and the Middle Eastern Studies Center teaching and research programs to stay abreast of scholarship in the disciplines themselves, and use this knowledge to respond to departmental needs.
  • Be knowledgeable about and be able speak to a range of library issues, including scholarly communication, copyright issues, digital initiatives, the development of new online tools, and the integration of information literacy skills into the curriculum.
  • Builds and manages a distinctive, interdisciplinary, responsive research collection in a wide range of languages including primarily Arabic, Turkish, Persian and English in support of distinguished academic and teaching programs.
  • Collaborates and builds partnerships with other subject, area studies and special collections librarians to develop interdisciplinary solutions and create shared practices to integrating distinctive intellectual content and services into the academic environment.
  • Broadens access to unique and important collections through digital project initiatives and actively acquiring and promoting both licensed and freely available digital resources of value to researchers.
  • Actively develops regional, national and international collaborations to advance the strategic directions of the Libraries, representing OSU in forums such as the Middle East Librarians Association (MELA).
  • Participates proactively on library-wide committees, task forces and teams.
  • Contributes to developments in the field of area studies librarianship through active professional engagement and research, presenting and publishing in appropriate venues.

Required qualifications:

  • An ALA-accredited MLS or MLIS degree.
  • Solid command of the history and major trends in research and scholarly publishing in Middle East Studies and the history of the Middle East since the rise of Islam, including digital scholarship and dissemination.
  • Excellent language skills in Arabic and a strong command of one or more relevant languages, including, Persian, and Turkish.
  • Excellent communication skills in English.

Desired qualifications:

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and creatively in a collaborative and complex environment.
  • Advanced degree in relevant field.
  • Evidence of both professional initiative and flexibility.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collegially with a diverse population.
  • Experience in developing and delivering innovative instruction and research support services.
  • Experience in using bibliographic utilities and databases to search non-Roman scripts.
  • Ability to identify and work with materials in other languages relevant to Middle East Studies, such as Ottoman Turkish, Uzbek and other Turkic languages, Urdu, Hindi, Pashto, or Somali.

Randall McKenzie at Please include Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian in the subject field.

Assistant Librarian / Aga Khan University (International) in the UK (posted June 11, 2016)

The Aga Khan University International (AKU-ISMC) together with the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) is looking to appoint an Assistant Librarian for their joint Library in London. The incumbent will be responsible for maintaining the library system and discovery catalogue, provide a high quality professional service to users and take part in generic library support duties. The post holder will also help develop processes for digitalising the library’s rare books and creating metadata records for digital resources.

The institutions (IIS and AKU-ISMC) have a diverse group of students and staff where teaching and research takes place in a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment. The Library represents and supports the intellectual activities of both institutions. It currently holds more than 560 titles in its rare books collection; including a collection of Ottoman books from the late 18th to the early 20th century, as well as items from the personal collection of the late scholar of Persian, Peter Avery, and some items from the Middle Temple Library. The Library is envisioned to become a central hub of the institutions’ future premises at King’s Cross, where it will have a leading role in building and cultivating the academic and research community. This post, therefore, offers the opportunity to enhance the quality and effectiveness of library services, as it enters an exciting phase of its development.

Interested applicants should have library experience within higher education institutions with strong understanding of library systems and cataloguing. Detailed requirements and job description can be downloaded below.

To Apply:

Interested candidates should send their CV and completed application form to Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is 24th June 2016

Note: Due to the large number of applications expected, we will only contact candidates short-listed for interview. If you have not heard from us within four weeks after the closing date, please presume that your application has been unsuccessful.

By submitting an application, you provide your consent to the Institute under the Data Protection Act 1998 to share the contents of your application with relevant colleagues at other locations of the University for the purpose of completing this recruitment exercise.

Click here for job description

Click here for application form

Click here for original job posting

Associate Professional Specialist/Central Asian Numismatic / Princeton University (posted April 20, 2016)

Position Summary: The Princeton University Library and the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at Princeton University announce a one-year position at the rank of associate professional specialist. The successful candidate will be expected to study and provide detailed descriptions of over one thousand pre-Islamic coins of Central Asia in the Library’s Numismatic Collection, including those in the newly-acquired Schaaf Collection of Sasanian coins. This work includes examination of coins, comparison with published descriptions when available, data entry in a specialized database, digital photography, sorting coins into trays and labeling. The position reports to the Library’s Head of Technical Services for Special Collections.

Essential Qualifications: The position requires an advanced degree in a relevant subject area, advanced experience with the Persian language, preferably Middle Persian, and with Pahlavi script, and familiarity with the history and geography of the pre-Islamic Middle East.

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Nominations and applications (cover letter, resume and the names, titles, addresses and phone numbers of three references) will be accepted only from the Jobs at Princeton website: This position is subject to the University’s background check policy.

Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

To view the posting, go to Jobs at Princeton:

Visual Resources Librarian for Islamic Architecture / MIT (posted April 17, 2016)

The MIT Libraries seek a knowledgeable professional with image metadata expertise to join the Aga Khan Documentation Center (AKDC). The Center supports the teaching of, and research on, the history and theory of architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation, as well as the practice of architecture, in Muslim societies, with particular focus on research and teaching activities of the Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture. The Visual Resources Librarian has responsibility for managing and ensuring access to the Center’s materials and collections and will play an important role in supporting digital scholarship at MIT.

Required qualifications for the position include:

  • MLS/MLIS or an advanced degree (Master’s level or higher) in the history of art and architecture related to the study of the Middle East, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Familiarity with architectural description, as well as editing and/or curatorial experience.
  • Expertise in image metadata standards and online data creation tools, including XML, HTML, MARC, Dublin Core, VRA Core, and general open source software.
  • Experience with digital image file management with tools such as FileMaker, Excel, Photoshop, and Archivist Toolkit/Archives Space, and ability to work with image databases.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including demonstrated ability in working successfully within a diverse community.
  • Strong organizational skills with proven ability to manage projects and competing priorities, to adapt to change, and to work successfully in a fast paced, dynamic environment.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills with ability to be flexible, collaborative, and to work across organizational boundaries.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Advanced degree (Master’s or higher) in the history of art and architecture related to the study of the Middle East.
  • Reading knowledge of at least one Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Farsi, Turkish).
  • Working knowledge of one or more western European languages.
  • Knowledge of the contemporary field of Islamic art and architecture historical study and its constituents.
  • Knowledge of other archival collections projects related to visual culture and history of the Middle East.
  • Experience participating in an academic/professional community via a virtual platform.
  • Two or more years of related professional library experience.

Apply online at:   Applications must include cover letter and resume.  Priority will be given to applications received by May 16, 2016; position open until filled. MIT is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community and particularly encourages applications from qualified women and minority candidates.

Middle East and North African Studies Librarian / Northwestern University (posted January 24, 2016)

Northwestern University Library seeks a dynamic, creative, and innovative individual to provide subject expertise and scholarship for the interdisciplinary fields of the Middle East and North Africa and vastly expand our visibility and offerings in these areas.  Northwestern supports undergraduate and graduate level research and teaching on the Middle East and Africa through the Program of African Studies and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) working group.  The librarian will provide instruction and research consultations to students and researchers at all career stages, select resources in all formats, create LibGuides and other instructional materials, and seek opportunities for collaboration within the library and university communities. The Middle East and North African Studies Librarian is part of a team of librarians within the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies.

General Information

Position Title:  Middle East and North African Studies Librarian
Job Title:  Librarian
Supervisor:  Head, Academic Liaison Services
Department:  Distinctive Collections
Unit:  Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies
Percent Full Time:  100%
Status:  Open
Available Positions:  1
Date Posted:  01/15/2016

Job Details


Reporting to the Curator of the Herskovits Library, the Middle East and North African Studies Librarian will contribute to the Library’s strategic goals, supporting a suite of activities which include teaching and instruction, research, digital initiatives, outreach to researchers, and collection development. The successful candidate will: • Serve as a liaison to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) working group and other related programs and disciplines. Stay abreast of current academic programs and anticipated programming across the relevant disciplines. • Provide reference, instruction and scholarly services to faculty and students with an interest in the Middle East and Africa. • 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 MENA community and in which the University Library participates. • Provide guidance on bibliographic control of resources related to the area and work collaboratively with colleagues in technical services on the acquisition, cataloguing and creation of metadata as needed. • Serve on Library or University committees, task forces and working groups, contribute to the intellectual life on campus and within the profession.

Required Qualifications: 

Required: Master’s Degree in library and information science from an accredited institution (or international equivalent) and/or a graduate degree in Middle East Studies or another discipline; relevant research experience or advanced knowledge of the religion, history, literature and culture of the Middle East and Africa. Oral and written Arabic proficiency; ability to work in Arabic using Microsoft applications; Demonstrated experience in effective curriculum development, instruction, and presentation skills; initiative and proactive engagement in a university environment and potential for scholarship in a relevant discipline; excellent oral and written communication skills. The successful candidate will possess organizational skills and enjoy working in a rapidly changing, supportive, and engaged team environment. Preferred: Experience in an academic or other research library; experience managing publisher and vendor relationships with knowledge of the publishing industry in the Middle East and Africa. Experience in collection development or library assessment; an interest in exhibits and publicity. Reading knowledge of another Middle Eastern language, preferably Turkish; or another European language relevant to the Middle East and North Africa; or reading knowledge of an African language.

For more information and instructions to apply, click this link.