The African and Middle Eastern Division is recognized as a major resource center for Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Our Middle East program has custody of materials in over 70 languages, the division’s largest collections being Arabic, followed by our Persian, Turkish, Armenian and Georgian language collections. Additional collections and linguistic groupings include Caucasian, and Central Asian. The division also serves as the Library’s primary access point for reference and research activities related to the Ancient Near East, pre-Islamic Egypt, Biblical Studies, Jewish Studies, and ancient and modern Israel, with custody of materials in a variety of formats in Hebrew and its cognates, including Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian, as well as Amharic, Coptic, and Syriac. The division is also the focal point of the Library’s reference and bibliographic activities on sub-Saharan Africa and the Library’s collection of Africana, including sources in every major field of study in the social sciences and in the humanities. Language coverage includes English, French, German, Portuguese, and many African vernaculars.

This is a senior executive position at the Library of Congress, responsible for bringing vision, leadership, and innovation to the role. The Chief is the Library’s principal expert/specialist in matters dealing with the countries, languages and regions covered by that division. The Chief has full professional responsibility for coordinating activities of the Library related to that geographic area, and for directing the development and maintenance of the Library’s collections pertaining to these regions, including the integration of digital technology, and facilitating the effective use of these collections by scholars, researchers, and others worldwide. The Chief formulates the vision, establishes the mission and goals, determines objectives, directs the staff and resources, and evaluates overall performance of the division. He/she sets policies for, administers, and supervises division staff, programs, services, and activities. The Chief is responsible for cultivating relations with potential donors, securing funds for new initiatives, acquiring new collections, and establishing new services. The Chief provides national leadership in the fields of knowledge and information as they relate to the division’s geographic responsibility and represents the library at national and international meetings, events and programs, especially those related to the division’s regions and countries.

Has overall responsibility for the oversight and administration of an entire department or a highly complex program within the department or agency, including responsibility for collections and research at the highest national level.

Plans, leads, and manages the division’s collections, resources, services, and programs to assure that the division is a major contributor to national information, knowledge, and understanding of the relevant countries and regions in all of their variety and diversity. Provides direction and leadership for the Library in response to the rapid changes in foreign societies, in information flows from and about the regions covered by the division, and in emerging research agendas related to the division’s area of responsibility. Maintains a comprehensive knowledge of these countries and regions and of the scholarly resources and collections necessary for the study of the region, with in-depth knowledge in at least one related discipline/area.

Constantly evaluates the Library’s holdings in this area and seeks to acquire new collections as they become available. Identifies sources for new collections and information resources, secures outside funding, cultivates relationships with potential donors, and continuously seeks to improve the quality of the Library’s collections and access to information in the division’s area of responsibility.

Maintains personal authority and credibility in research/library communities based on a solid record of publications and professional accomplishments. Provides national and international leadership in accomplishing the division’s mission, which includes leadership within the Library and among research libraries in the U.S. and abroad.

Applies cross-disciplinary approach to achieve integrated solutions applicable across the foreign area divisions for the Library’s long-term digital content life cycle management. Ensures smooth, rational, and appropriate relationships between print and digital collections under the custody of the division.

Recommends strategies for integrating digital content, preservation and services into the Library’s existing policy, procedures, work flow, and organizational framework for print collections. Assures implementation of collection development policies and procedures for traditional print collections and for digital content resources, working toward the integration of all collections and services. Develops digital collections and digital access approaches, often in collaboration with colleagues inside and outside the institution. Manages custodial responsibilities for print and digital collections, including balancing systematic analysis, evaluation, and direction with operational requirements and work flow considerations.

Develops policies for the acquisition of important collections to ensure that the Library’s collections meet the needs of scholars, researchers and all other patrons. Policies involve matters relating to the conduct of initial solicitations and negotiations with prospective donors, appraisal of collections, conversion of materials on deposit to gifts, restrictions on use, conditions of use, and security of the collections.

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