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Humanities and Social Science Librarian

American University Library invites applications from innovative, energetic, and service-oriented librarians to fill a library continuing appointment faculty position for the College of Arts and Sciences [CAS], beginning Spring 2024, subject to budgetary approval. Rank will be dependent upon experience and stature in the field at either assistant or associate level.

Responsibilities: The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian will be the point person for research assistance, information literacy instruction, and collection development in support of the following departments within the College of Arts and Sciences [CAS]: Anthropology; Critical Race, Gender and Culture Studies; History; Jewish Studies; Literature; Philosophy and Religion; Sociology; World Languages and Culture. (The specific departments supported may change as a result of changes in the College of Arts and Sciences). The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian will work closely with the faculty and administration of the CAS departments to ensure that the University Library is able to meet their research and pedagogical needs and to increase awareness of library resources and services. In collection development, the Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian reviews and selects research materials to support faculty and student research in Anthropology; Critical Race, Gender and Culture Studies; History; Literature; Philosophy and Religion; Sociology; World Languages and Culture, and actively engages with vendors. This position provides high-level subject-specific research assistance to CAS faculty and students, as well as basic research assistance to all students and faculty. The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian teaches subject-specific instruction sessions and participates in baseline information literacy instruction for all students. The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian creates appropriate online tools to support CAS students and faculty and supports interdisciplinary initiatives across academic units, for example, research centers, that require expertise in humanities and social sciences librarianship. This position serves on library cross-functional teams and participates in decisions that affect the overall research materials collection. The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian assists all relevant entities in self-studies and reaccreditation.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian is the coordinator for library services for American University’s Honors program, including the Frederick Douglas Distinguished Scholars Program. As such, the Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian serves on appropriate university committees.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian is a member of Research, Teaching, and Learning (RTL) and reports to the Associate Director of RTL. As a member of RTL, the Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian also participates in broader initiatives as part of the library.

Library faculty members participate in university governance activities. The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian also consult regularly with CAS teaching faculty and administrators. The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian actively supports DEI initiatives within the University Library and within CAS. Continuing Appointment library faculty members are expected to contribute to the profession of librarianship and to participate in campus-wide and library-wide activities.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities (80%):

Provide Information Literacy Instruction:
  • Support CAS by teaching integrated information literacy sessions for undergraduate and graduate classes within the supported CAS departments.
  • Work with CAS faculty in supported departments to develop instructional materials for information literacy,e.g. tutorials, course LibGuides, and rubrics.
  • As a liaison to Anthropology; Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies; History; Jewish Studies; Literature; Philosophy and Religion; Sociology; World Languages and Culture, work with appropriate committees, administrators, and faculty to incorporate information literacy learning objectives and intervention appropriately into the curriculum.
  • Teach baseline information literacy skills to Writing Studies classes.
  • Participate in departmental information literacy initiatives as a member of RTL, e.g. walk-in workshops, assessment and analysis projects, and pedagogical explorations, other instruction as needed.
Provide Research Support and Outreach Services to the CAS and Social Sciences Community:
  • Partner with the CAS Humanities and Social Sciences community to discover information resources and data through consulting with students and faculty on research projects, providing research assistance, facilitating access to online resources, and finding information resources through individual consultations (in person and online) and through email.
  • Support any student or faculty member, regardless of departmental affiliation, with consultations concerning advanced subject-specific research requiring humanities or social sciences information resources.
  • Provide consultations on best practices and resources to accomplish research activities.
  • Work with appropriate stakeholders to develop new library programs to best serve the research needs of CAS Humanities and Social Sciences faculty and students, such as services that support digital scholarship.
  • Participate in department-wide services to the broader AU community and public with basic research assistance.
  • Participate in outreach programs in person and online. Provide support and outreach to research centers.
Curate the Humanities and Social Sciences Collection
  • Purchase materials required to support the curriculum of the Anthropology; Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies; History; Jewish Studies; Literature; Philosophy and Religion; Sociology; World Languages and Culture departments, the research of the faculty, and the long-term research needs of the university as related to resources related to humanities and social sciences.
  • Appropriately de-select or cease subscriptions to information resources due to the budget, the curriculum, the research needs of the faculty, long-term commitments to the regional and national intellectual record, and trends in publishing.
  • Participate in decisions affecting the overall university library collections, except special collections and archives.
Develop and Manage Web Based Resources
  • DevelopandmaintainwebpagesrelatedtoHumanitiesandSocialSciencesinformation
  • Consult with stakeholders on any changes to the enterprise systems that impact access to Humanities and Social Sciences information resources.
Other Duties
  • Potential supervisory responsibilities
  • The Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian may be asked to perform other duties as operational needs arise.
Service to the Profession (10%):

Participate in advancing the profession of Librarianship or an academic field within the Humanities and Social Sciences through original research, relevant service to professional and scholarly societies, publications, or impactful presentations in professional or scholarly venues.

Service to the University (10%):

Participate in the shared governance of American University and American University Library through active participation on university and library committees and engagement in work that meaningfully furthers the university and library outside of the primary duties of the position.

An ALA-accredited M.L.S and professional experience in an academic or research institution are highly preferred. Deep knowledge of current and emerging ideas, practices, trends, and technologies that support Humanities and Social Science librarianship. Ability to understand, anticipate, and respond to priorities and trends in the library, university, and academia regarding humanities and social science librarianship. Must be able to work independently and collaboratively. Other essential qualifications include demonstrated research assistance experience or training; evidence of potential for professional contributions and ongoing professional development; outstanding interpersonal and communication skills; strong public service ethic; and collaborative skills. To be successful in the position, candidates will possess the ability to shift priorities in a rapidly changing environment; to work across a broad-based constituency; to communicate a positive library image; and to have an awareness of current concerns and developments in librarianship.

Salary: $70,000- $75,000

Position available: Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


The American University Library serves the AU community through a collection of more than 1,700,000 print and electronic book titles and 180,000 media and sound recordings. Notable collections include a branch music library, a strong visual media collection, special collections and university archives, a K-12 curriculum materials center, and partner collections across campus including the Career Center, the Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and Research, and the Visual Resource Center. AU Library has affiliate collections at the Washington College of Law and at the Wesley Theological Seminary. The AU Library collection totals over 184,000 journal subscriptions in all subjects. The Library has 20 library faculty, 88 full-time staff and other professionals, and about 125 student assistants. The library's budget is about $17 million. The American University Library is an active member of the Washington Research Library Consortium, and it holds membership in LOCKSS, SPARC, the Patriot League Libraries Group and the University Libraries Group.

American University Library is a Founding Member of the Diversity Alliance for Academic Libraries.


American University values open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. American University envisions a thriving community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. AU’s plan for Inclusive Excellence, adopted in January 2018, reflects the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion—the cornerstone for achieving institutional and educational excellence. To learn more about how AU is infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion at a strategic, tactical, and operational level, please visit:

AU Library Diversity Statement

The AU Library is committed to diversity and inclusion by providing an inclusive, welcoming, and adaptable environment for the community. The Library recognizes that this is an ongoing process and aims to engage in diversity and inclusion as more than just numeric representation. The Library will continue to work on intentionally diversifying its services and collections in meaningful ways and to provide an inclusive environment for personnel.

Apply Now

This institution is using Interfolio’s ByCommittee to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

For help in signing up, accessing your account, or submitting your application please check out our help and support section or get in touch via email at or phone at (877) 997-8807.

Should you have any questions please reach out to the Search Chair, Melissa Becher ( ). Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Hiring offers for this position are contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

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