DATE ENTERED: July 30, 2018
POSITION: Middle East and North Africa Librarian
LOCATION: George Washington University Libraries and Academic Innovation
APPLY BY: Review of applications will begin August 27, 2018 and continue until the position is filled

The George Washington University Libraries and Academic Innovation (GWLAI) announces a search for a Middle East and North Africa Librarian (Rank I/II).    

POSITION DESCRIPTION:  The George Washington University Libraries and Academic Innovation (GWLAI) seeks candidates for the position of Middle East and North Africa Librarian (MENA Librarian). The successful candidate will have a deep academic interest in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa; bring a flexible, collaborative approach to their work; and have a strong commitment to active engagement, research support, and teaching. The MENA Librarian will join a dynamic institution dedicated to advancing the university’s research and education agenda. The successful candidate will be a member of the Research and User Services unit in GWLAI, providing support for the collections and activities of the Global Resources Center (GRC), a preeminent collection of contemporary area studies resources that serve the needs of researchers in international relations and regional studies.  GRC patrons include not only members of the GW community, but scholars from around the globe who rely on these unique resources for their ground-breaking research. The MENA Librarian is responsible for the informed development of collections in Arabic, English and other languages of the region and purposeful outreach to faculty, students, and colleagues.  The MENA librarian is a strong collaborator and an active participant in teams, projects and other efforts originating across GWLAI.

The MENA librarian is responsible for developing, planning and managing the collections and services of the MENA Research Center, including the coordination of the acquisition and processing of content to ensure timely access and discoverability. The Center was established in 2010 as part of the GRC and is one of five specialized GRC research centers that support area-focused research at GW.   
The University is located in the heart of Washington, DC, and has strong synergistic relationships with its globally focused neighbors. This juxtaposition has informed the university’s distinctive approach to global studies, which blends policy-oriented and professional education with a strong academic foundation culled from disciplines across the social sciences and humanities. As with all GRC research centers, MENA services and collections mirror the university’s globally focused profile, and support GW’s unique approach to the study of non-Western parts of the globe. Resources are selected with a special emphasis on political, cultural, and social events and trends as they emerge over time; the way these events and trends are interwoven into, impact, and are impacted by society, government, and culture among other guiding influences; and as framed within their historical context.  Building the collection is a dynamic and ongoing effort requiring close monitoring of real-time events; analysis of underlying social, cultural, economic and political currents; and active analysis of potential future directions.
MENA-related services include classroom instruction, individual research support, the development of workshops, participation in broader organizational events, and engagement in a variety of outreach and networking efforts to connect with students and faculty distributed across the University. Through this work, the MENA librarian effectively supports the research, teaching, and learning objectives of the university and also acquires direct insight into GW’s evolving approach to the study of the Middle East and North Africa so that collections and services are responsive to current needs.  

Other responsibilities include serving on library or university committees and contributing to the profession through publications, talks, or other scholarly/creative endeavors, or through service to appropriate professional organizations.

The MENA librarian position is funded through a generous endowment established by the Government of Kuwait.


  • Graduate degree in a social science or humanities discipline, with an emphasis on Middle East/North African Studies.
  • Demonstrate advanced proficiency in reading and writing Arabic.


  • Master’s degree in library or information science from an ALA-accredited institution.
  • PhD in a social sciences or humanities discipline, with an emphasis on the Middle East/North African Studies.  
  • Experience providing research support in a college, university or other research setting.
  • Experience living, studying, and/or working in the Middle East or North Africa.
  • Creative programming (donor events, exhibit openings, etc.) experience.
  • Demonstrated potential to conduct instruction.
  • Experience identifying, collecting and making available academically relevant content.
  • Demonstrated success in developing outreach initiatives.
  • Excellent oral and written English-language skills.
  • Reading knowledge of Persian, Turkish or other languages relevant to the study of the contemporary Middle East or North Africa.
  • Demonstrated potential to cultivate meaningful relationships with colleagues, faculty, students, donors and other stakeholders.

APPOINTMENT RANK & SALARY:  Librarian Rank I/II, full-time appointment. Rank and salary are commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits package includes 22 days/year paid annual leave plus 12 days per year paid sick leave; medical; TIAA/CREF; tuition assistance (  

Only complete applications will be considered. To be considered, please complete an online application at and upload a curriculum vitae and cover letter that includes an assessment of skills related to basic qualifications. Review of applications will begin August 27, 2018 and continue until the position is filled. Employment offers are contingent on the satisfactory outcome of reference checks and a standard background screening.

The University and department have a strong commitment to achieving diversity among librarians and staff.  We are particularly interested in receiving applications from members of underrepresented groups and strongly encourage women and persons of color to apply for this position.

The university is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that does not unlawfully discriminate in any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

The George Washington University is the largest research university in the nation’s capital, located blocks from the White House, the State Department, the Federal Reserve, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. GW currently enrolls approximately 25,000 students in ten colleges and schools, including the top-ranked Elliott School of International Affairs, at three campuses in the District of Columbia and Virginia.  Over the past twenty years, the university has made remarkable strides, including consolidation of the main campus at Foggy Bottom; the establishment of a wide variety of new degree programs, both on-campus and off; the construction of a Northern Virginia campus devoted to graduate study and research in science and technology; and the acquisition of the beautiful Mount Vernon Campus in Georgetown with a focus on specialized undergraduate programs. Thanks to these developments, GW has attracted an increasingly high caliber of faculty and students. With faculty at the top of their fields, and partnerships with organizations locally and around the globe, GW remains a first-choice among students of political science, public policy, international relations, public health, and other disciplines.   
Globally focused curricula are spread throughout the university’s schools, departments and programs.  The University has been rapidly expanding its support for the study of the Middle East and North Africa, adding several new faculty positions and establishing the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) in 2007. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education designated IMES a Title VI National Resource Center, a designation renewed in 2014.

As a rising institution of higher education in this country, GWU has two obligations: to collect and create knowledge and make it available to the world, and to produce a steady stream of critical thinkers who know how to utilize knowledge to become leaders in whatever field they enter. These two obligations merge in the GW Libraries & Academic Innovation (GWLAI).  GWLAI enriches the academic experience of scholars and students and spurs innovation at GW. Our resources and services advance research and teaching through access to the latest scholarship as well as rich specialized collections and archival sources; tailored support for researchers at all levels; guidance for faculty who want to explore new methods and technologies in the classroom; and robust support for online education. GWLAI fosters deeper collaboration between previously separate areas to forward the strategic goal of generating, making accessible, and preserving new knowledge.

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