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African and African American Studies Librarian

African and African American Studies Librarian - University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

  • African and African American Studies Librarian
  • Hiring Range: Associate Librarian to Librarian
  • $58,400 - $84,930 per annum, based upon qualifications
  • This is a full-time appointment available starting May 2017.

The University of California, Berkeley seeks a collaborative and service-oriented librarian to join a team of specialists supporting world-class research and teaching through active engagement with interdisciplinary collection development; data and information literacy initiatives; course-based instruction; individual research assistance; and outreach to students, faculty, and the broader academic community.

The Environment

The UC Berkeley Library is an internationally renowned research and teaching facility at one of the nation's premier public universities. A highly diverse and intellectually rich environment, Berkeley serves a campus community of 25,500 undergraduate students, 10,300 graduate students, and 1,500 faculty. With a collection of more than 11 million volumes and a collections budget of over $15 million, the Library offers extensive collections in all formats and robust services to connect users with those collections and build their related research skills.

The Library’s Social Sciences Division consists of five library locations – the Anthropology Library, Business Library, Data Lab, Environmental Design Library, and Social Research Library – and collections and services located in Doe Library/Gardner MAIN Stacks. Collectively, the staff – 12 librarians, 12 library staff, and over 50 student library employees – support the research, teaching, and study needs of a diverse clientele. These libraries are primary service points and provide research-level print and digital collections in several languages to support the research and teaching programs of several academic programs and centers, professional schools, research units, and the general public. Visit for more information about the UC Berkeley Library.


Reporting to the Head of the Library’s Social Sciences Division, this position works closely with the Center for African Studies, comprised of 80 faculty members from 30+ departments, to develop a broad range of scholarly resources supporting multidisciplinary research on sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the position serves as the subject librarian for the African American & African Diaspora Studies department focusing on the history, life, culture, and social organization of persons of African descent.

Liaisons at Berkeley are expected to establish strong relationships with the faculty and students of their departments, and to actively participate in the Library’s reference, outreach, and instructional services. This includes providing virtual reference, individual research consultations, promotion of library resources and services, in-person classes, and the development of online subject guides and instructional material.

The librarian will also be responsible for curating the scholarly resources associated with these subject areas. Collection development/management includes responsibility for selection, acquisition, access, assessment, and disposition of wide-ranging resources in all formats and languages that are appropriate to the research and teaching needs of the UC Berkeley campus. Through skilled management of collections budgets, including endowments and collaborative purchases, the incumbent guides the development of the core collections and special collections related to African American Studies and sub-Saharan Africa.

In order to effectively support multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, the incumbent will collaborate with Berkeley librarians in related disciplines such as anthropology, linguistics, history, literature and music; as well as UC System colleagues specializing in social sciences, humanities, area studies and international documents. The librarian broadens access to our unique and important collections through participation in digital projects, contributions to collaborative collection initiatives, and representation in forums such as the Africana Librarians Council.

Additionally, the librarian will assume division-wide leadership responsibility for an initiative such as, but not limited to, collections assessment, data management, instruction, scholarly communications, or outreach; and will take on other selector/liaison responsibilities as needed.

UC Berkeley librarians and academic staff are expected to participate in library-wide planning and governance, and work effectively in a shared decision-making environment. Advancement is partially based upon professional contributions beyond the primary assignment; the successful candidate will show evidence or promise of such contributions to the Library, campus, UC System, and profession.


Minimum Basic Qualification(s) at time of application:

  • Master’s degree from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited program or equivalent degree

Additional Required Qualifications by start date in position:

  • Additional college coursework or degree in areas related to African Studies and/or African American Studies
  • Reading knowledge of French, Spanish, Portuguese and/or German.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the information needs of researchers, and familiarity with new research methods and scholarship in the social sciences and area studies
  • Demonstrated ability to provide highly responsive public service and to work effectively with diverse staff and campus user communities
  • Experience providing reference and/or instructional services related to humanities, social sciences, and/or area studies in an academic or research library environment
  • Experience with collection development in an academic or research library, including familiarity with core print and e-resources relevant to studies of Africa, Africans, and African Americans
  • Knowledge of initiatives and trends related to research in international and area studies fields and to the evolving scholarly communication landscape, including knowledge of the publishing industry in the regions relevant to studies of various African countries
  • Demonstrated analytical, organizational, problem solving, interpersonal, and communication skills in English

Additional Preferred Qualifications:

  • Additional advanced degree in a field related to the scope of responsibilities
  • Proficiency with one or more African languages such as Chichewa, Kiswahili, or Afrikaans
  • Experience using libraries or archives in the regions relevant to African Studies
  • Demonstrated success developing innovative services to enhance research and/or teaching
  • Demonstrated contributions to collaborative projects at the local, regional, national, and/or international level
  • Knowledge of and experience resolving cataloging and access issues for non-English language materials
  • Experience with digitization, data sciences, and/or digital humanities projects
  • Experience with collection assessment
  • Experience with grant writing and fundraising

The UC Berkeley Library is committed to supporting and encouraging a multicultural environment and seeks candidates who can make positive and imaginative contributions in a context of ethnic and cultural diversity.

UC professional librarians are academic appointees and are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, University Council – American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT). This position is in the bargaining unit.

Librarians are entitled to appropriate professional development leave, vacation leave, sick leave, and all other benefits granted non-faculty academic personnel. The University has an excellent retirement system and sponsors a variety of group health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans in addition to other benefits.

This recruitment will remain open until filled.

Submit applications online at Applications must include a cover letter detailing a statement of qualifications, curriculum vitae noting degrees and relevant work experience, and the names and contact information of three references who are knowledgeable about the applicant's qualifications for this position. References will only be contacted for individuals under serious consideration.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Send inquiries to:

Susan E. Wong
Director, Library Human Resources
Library Human Resources Department
Phone: (510) 642-3778