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Posting Details

Posting Details

Reference Number 50-27293
School Name University Library
Org South Asia Library
Posted to the Web 11/14/2017
Posted Job/Salary Grade 027
Employment Type Exempt
Hours N/A
Position Type Full Time
Position Schedule 9-5
Months 12
Position Length Ongoing
Position End Date
University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

School/Center Overview

The Penn Libraries serve the world-class faculty and students of Penn’s 12 schools. The Libraries’ collections comprise more than 7 million volumes, over 100,000 journals, some 2 million digitized images, and extraordinary rare and unique materials that document the intellectual and cultural experience of ancient and modern civilizations. Through our collaborative relationships, we supplement Penn’s great local collections with physical access to the Center for Research Libraries (approximately 5 million items), the combined holdings of the Ivies (more than 70 million volumes), and exclusive electronic access to some 2 million public domain titles in the HathiTrust. Today, the Libraries play an instrumental role in developing new technologies for information discovery and dissemination and are noted for groundbreaking work in digital library design. To learn more about the Penn Libraries, visit


Reporting to the Coordinator, Area Studies Collections, the South Asia Studies Librarian selects and acquires scholarly resources from and about the region of South Asia, in a wide range of subjects in both South Asian and European languages. The incumbent supervises the technical processing of materials acquired from vendors in South Asia. The incumbent will also perform original cataloging of acquired materials in conjunction with other library staff. They provide specialized reference services, instruction, and consultations with scholars and students from the Penn community and beyond, as well as maintaining a seminar room with its own reference collection and teaching facilities. The South Asia Studies Librarian will have knowledge of changing patterns of scholarship and publishing in relevant fields of study and will be committed to the international and interdisciplinary strengths of Penn’s academic programs.
Overall responsibilities:
* Overseeing a budget of about $140,000, develops and manages the South Asia collection from and about the geographic region, which includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sikkim, and Sri Lanka, with some coverage of Tibet. Also acquires materials from and about the diasporic community of South Asians in the US, UK, and elsewhere in the world outside of South Asia proper. The primary languages covered include most notably Sanskrit (Vedic and Classical), Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, and Telugu, as well as English, French and German to support research in South Asia Studies.
* Provides specialized reference, instruction, and academic liaison services primarily to faculty and graduate students with research interests in South Asia Studies. Works closely with the faculty and students, especially graduate students, from several other departments and schools where South Asia is included as a topic of study within more general coursework.
* Manages, coordinates, and participates in the process of acquisition and bibliographic control of all types of resources in the languages of the region, using an integrated library system and the OCLC bibliographic utility. Performs original and complex copy cataloging for resources in the vernacular and provides appropriate classification and subject analysis according to national and local standards often in conjunction with other library specialists. Serves as a resource person, both within the South Asia Unit and throughout the Libraries, on matters pertaining to the bibliographic control of resources from the region as well as the maintenance of the integrity of the online South Asia catalog data.
* Develops and maintains the South Asia Collection website,
* Participates in the larger field of South Asia librarianship on the national and international levels with a particular emphasis on fostering meaningful collaboration.
* Promotes effective relationships with colleagues, especially those in other Area Studies Units and other humanities bibliographers, their respective campus constituencies, and donors. Stewards endowments and participates in development activities related to the South Asia Collection and the Area Studies collections more broadly.
* Supervises and trains one full-time library specialist and one part-time technical services assistant.
* Contingent on training and experience, may have additional assignments in teaching courses related to South Asia Studies.


An accredited Master’s degree in library or information science or the equivalent in education and training. A minimum of three years of relevant professional experience in an academic research library, or comparable experience. Advanced knowledge of South Asian history, literature, and culture with a graduate degree in South Asia Studies strongly preferred. Knowledge of the publishing industry in the South Asia and trends in scholarship. Fluent written and spoken command of one or more South Asian languages, as well as excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Ability to work independently and collegially with professional colleagues and scholars at all levels.

Affirmative Action Statement

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.
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Posting Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you hear about this employment opportunity?
    • Jobs@Penn
    • Contacted by a Penn Recruiter
    • Referred by a Penn Employee
    • Referred by a friend or family member
    • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC)
    • Inside Higher Ed
    • Other Internet Advertisement
    • Linkedin
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    • Other Social Media Site
    • Professional Affiliation/Trade Website
    • Diversity Association/Publication Website
    • Heard about it at a conference or career fair
    • Apple One
    • Recruitment and/or staffing agency
  2. * What is your highest level of education completed?
    • Less than high school education
    • High School Diploma or GED
    • Vocational or Technical School
    • Associate's Degree or Two Year College
    • Bachelor's Degree
    • Master's Degree
    • PHD/MD/JD or equivalent doctoral degree
  3. * How many years of experience do you have related to this position?
    • 0 to 1 Year
    • 1 to 2 Years
    • 2 to 3 Years
    • 3 to 5 Years
    • 5 to 7 Years
    • 7 to 10 Years
    • Over 10 Years
  4. * Do you have fluent written and spoken command of one or more South Asian languages?
    • Yes
    • No
  5. * Do you have advanced knowledge of South Asian history, literature and culture?
    • Yes
    • No

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Resume
Optional Documents
  1. Cover Letter