Position Opening for International Reference Librarian at the University of Illinois

Note: This position was formerly the Slavic Reference Service (SRS) Manager position and will work closely with REEEC. Please circulate widely.


International Reference Librarian

Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor, University Library

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Position Available: The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. This is a 100%, twelve-month, tenure-system appointment.

The International and Area Studies library seeks a dynamic individual to expand its renowned Slavic Reference Service (see http://www.library.illinois.edu/spx/srs.html) into other regions of the world. Under the direction of the Head of the International and Area Studies Library, the successful candidate will serve as manager of the Slavic Reference Service, and build international connections through national libraries and other organizations. Additionally, the successful candidate will cultivate local expertise to initiate and develop an International Reference Service focused on providing students, scholars, private and public sector organizations, and the general public with increased access to global and regional knowledge, including the Library’s foreign language collections.

Responsibilities: The International Reference Librarian job responsibilities include:

· Providing reference service;

· Conducting oversight and quality control on the Slavic and International Research Services, including supervision of professional staff and graduate assistants;

· Collaborating with subject and language specialists to develop online guides to research materials, and innovative digital tools to enhance discovery of and access to foreign language collections;

· Organizing and expanding the IAS library’s Summer Research Lab in collaboration with partnering area studies centers and campus units;

· Identifying and securing grants and other funding to build the International Reference Service;

· Providing instruction to students and faculty, and professional development to colleagues throughout the library;

· Serving on Library- and Campus-wide committees, task forces, and working groups;

· The International Reference Librarian will be expected to conduct scholarly research and producing publications related to disciplines concerning the provision of international reference services and/or the refinement of professional theories, policy frameworks, and practices concerning disciplines related to the provision of international reference services. The International Reference Librarian will also be expected to provide Library, University, or public service (for example as a contributor to regional, national, or international initiatives related to the position’s professional responsibilities).

Environment: The University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign is one of the preeminent research libraries in the world. With more than 13 million volumes and significant digital resources, it ranks second in size among academic research libraries in the United States and first among public university libraries in the world. As the intellectual heart of the campus, the Library is committed to maintaining the strongest possible collections and services and engaging in research and development activities in pursuit of the University’s mission of teaching, scholarship, and public service. The Library currently employs approximately 90 faculty and 300 academic professionals, staff, and graduate assistants. For more detailed information, please visit http://www.library.illinois.edu/.

The Library consists of multiple departmental libraries located across campus, as well as an array of central public, technical, and administrative service units. The Library also encompasses a variety of virtual service points and “embedded librarian” programs. The International and Area Studies Library is the campus’ gateway to information and scholarship related to area, international, and global studies, connecting students and scholars to the knowledge crucial to developing global competencies through the study of distinct nations and regions, as well as transnational issues and global concerns. The IAS Library enhances opportunities for collaboration and coordination among the Library’s area and international studies specialists and provides a single, physical service point and Web presence for Library users whose needs span multiple regions of the world. Established in 2011, this new unit brings together the library’s strong area collections on Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Slavic & East Europe with thematic collections focused on Global Studies and European Union Studies in order to support area studies research and foster opportunities for cross-regional and interdisciplinary research. In total, the collection consists of nearly 2 million volumes in over 150 languages.

Qualifications: Required: MLS from an ALA-accredited school or equivalent; demonstrated fluency in written and spoken Russian; experience providing multimodal reference services (in person, email, and online/chat) in an Academic Library; demonstrated experience designing online guides and tutorials; evidence of success leading group/collaborative projects in a professional setting; excellent communication skills; Preferred: 2-plus years of post-MLS experience in an Academic library; strong record of research and publication; second Masters or PhD in a field related to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian studies; written and spoken language skills in additional languages; experience working, living, or conducting field work abroad; successful grant-writing experience; supervisory experience.

Salary and Rank: Salary commensurate with credentials and experience. Librarians have faculty rank, and must demonstrate excellence in librarianship, research, and university/professional/community service in order to meet university standards for tenure and promotion. For more information, see http://www.library.illinois.edu/committee/promo/pta.html.

Terms of Appointment: Twelve-month appointment; 24 annual vacation days; 11 annual paid holidays; 12 annual sick-leave days (cumulative), plus an additional 13 sick-leave days (non-cumulative) available, if needed, each year; health insurance requiring a small co-payment is provided to employee (with the option to purchase coverage for spouse and dependents); required participation in State Universities Retirement System (SURS) (8% of annual salary is withheld and is refundable upon termination), with several options for participation in additional retirement plans; newly-hired employees are covered by the Medicare portion of Social Security and are subject to its deduction.

Campus and Community: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a comprehensive and major public land-grant university (Doctoral/Research University-Extensive) that is ranked among the best in the world. Chartered in 1867, it provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study, conducts theoretical and applied research, and provides public service to the state and the nation. It employs 3,000 faculty members who serve 31,000 undergraduates and 12,000 graduate and professional students; approximately 25% of faculty receives campus-wide recognition each year for excellence in teaching. More information about the campus is available at www.illinois.edu.

The University is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, which have a combined population of 100,000 and are situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 120 miles west of Indianapolis, and 170 northeast of St. Louis. The University and its surrounding communities offer a cultural and recreational environment ideally suited to the work of a major research institution. For more information about the community, visit: http://illinois.edu/about/community/community.html or http://www.ccchamber.org/.

To Apply: To ensure full consideration, please complete your candidate profile at https://jobs.illinois.edu and upload a letter of interest, resume, and contact information including email addresses for three professional references. Only applications submitted through this website will be considered For questions, please call: 217-333-8169.

Deadline: In order to ensure full consideration we urge candidates to submit application materials on or before February 7, 2014.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity.


Bosnian President Talks Politics, European Union Membership at University

This is a re-posting of an article from The Daily Illini. To view the original article, please click on the following link: http://www.dailyillini.com/news/campus/article_6a090d00-2b01-11e3-9138-001a4bcf6878.html


In an address at the University on Tuesday afternoon, the head of state of Bosnia-Herzegovina outlined the politics of his country and its pursuit of joining the European Union.

Bosnia-Herzegovina President Zeljko Komsic spoke of the political state of his country at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science on Tuesday. Negotiations regarding the Balkan state’s membership to the European Union are still ongoing.

Bosnia-Herzegovina President Zeljko Komsic spoke of the political state of his country at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science on Tuesday. Negotiations regarding the Balkan state’s membership to the European Union are still ongoing.

Chairman of the three-member Bosnian presidency Zeljko Komsic spoke at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science during a day-long stop in Champaign-Urbana. His remarks preceded a roundtable discussion, “Bosnians in the U.S.: Communities, Connections, and Homelands,” which was led by faculty and staff across several departments that study Bosnian culture and politics.

Sponsors included the Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Center; the European Union Center; the University library; and the Slavic languages and literatures department.

Komsic was at the U.N. General Assembly last week in New York, and he remained in the U.S. to travel to St. Louis, Chicago and other cities with large Bosnian communities. He stopped in Champaign-Urbana on his way from St. Louis to Chicago, where he will speak with the Bosnian community there.

His remarks coincide with a developing partnership between the University and BosTel, a Chicago-based Bosnian television station, said Judith Pintar, a visiting assistant professor of Slavic languages and literatures.

She said the partnership will lead to a Bosnian media archive in the International and Area Studies Library at the University. Because Chicago maintains a large Bosnian population, the University’s Slavic languages and literatures department hopes to build a relationship with the community there, she said.

Negotiations to admit the Balkan country into the European Union are at a stalemate because Bosnia-Herzegovina has not met certain political and economic conditions set by the union. According to a European Court of Human Rights ruling, the current constitution discriminates against minorities.

“There is no one way for Bosnia and Herzegovina to enter the European Union,” Komsic said through a translator.

He said the ethnic divides within the country present numerous challenges for governance, which is why Bosnia has not acceded to the European Union.

The three major ethnic groups of Bosnia — the Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats — remain segregated, which is why the presidency of the country includes one elected official from each group. The last census in the country took place over a decade ago, so the exact ethic composition of the country is not available.

In 1995, the country emerged from a three-year civil war, which began when Bosnia-Herzegovina declared independence in 1992 after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. The armed conflict, which crossed ethnic lines, ended after peace negotiations held in Dayton, Ohio.

Press Release – University of Illinois to Host Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Champaign, Ill.  September 26, 2013 – His Excellency Mr. Zeljko Komsic, Chairman of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, will visit the University of Illinois on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 and deliver a presidential address at noon in room 126 of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 501 E. Daniel St., Champaign.

Later in the afternoon, a roundtable discussion, “Bosnians in the U.S.: Communities, Connections, and Homelands,” will take place at 3 pm, also in 126 GSLIS. The roundtable will feature University faculty and alumni. His Excellency Mr. Komsic will provide remarks at the roundtable, as well.

The day’s events will end with a public reception at 5 pm in the International & Area Studies Library, Main Library room 321, 1408 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, and will celebrate the University Library’s Bosnian collections and relationship with the Midwest Bosnian community through work with Mr. Nihad Mihanovic, Director of BosTel, a Bosnian TV station based in Chicago. Balkanalia, the University’s Balkan music ensemble, will perform.

Komsic received degrees from the Law School at the University in Sarajevo and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Komsic is the Croat member of the three-person Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was first elected in 2006 and reelected in 2010, and he currently serves as Chairman of the three-person Presidency. More information can be found at http://www.predsjednistvobih.ba/biogr/?cid=8148,1,1.

REEEC Associate Joe Lenkart Wins Prestigious Academic Professional’s Award

REEEC congratulates Joe Lenkart on winning the Outstanding Academic Professional’s Award for the University of Illinois Library System.  Mr. Lenkart holds an MA in Russian and East European Studies and an MS in Library and Information Science. He has been Research Associate and Reference Specialist at the Slavic Reference Service (SRS) since 2009. From the four Slavic research librarians, Lenkart is the only full-time staff member at SRS, where he assists numerous students, faculty, and other scholars with research queries day-to-day. Above all, he admits that it is a particular “joy to work with students, a motivation for all the staff” at SRS.

Joe Lenkart at the "Issyk Kul 2011. Libraries and the Democratization of Society"  International Conference in the Kyrgyz Republic

Joe Lenkart (center) at the “Issyk Kul 2011. Libraries and the Democratization of Society” International Conference in the Kyrgyz Republic

Mr. Lenkart was one of ten award recipients among hundreds of staff working in the approximately 20 libraries at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After being nominated by Mara Thacker of the International and Area Studies Library and SRS interim manager Kit Condill, Lenkart received his award this August at a ceremony for library faculty and academic professionals.  Though this distinction earned him a monetary prize, Lenkart emphasized that what gave him the most happiness and pride was the recognition SRS received. According to Lenkart, SRS handled over 2,600 questions in July 1, 2012 – May 30, 2013. “We take on a lot of work for faculty and students, not only on campus, but from all over” and “SRS needs all the support we can get,” he added. With the incredible amount of resources available online, SRS expands its reach worldwide. “No one has as large and generous a collection as us,” Joe observed. “We’re one of the few places with lengthy inter-library loan periods.” Receiving the award was a real help to SRS, both within the library and within the University at large. For forty years, SRS has been “reliable, efficient,and reassuring,” prioritizing its many patrons and their needs. Lenkart hopes that the greater recognition will lead to more demand for SRS. “The more questions, the better,” he underscored. Lenkart acknowledged the tremendous support from University faculty, particularly those affiliated with REEEC. Always humble, he stressed that he is indebted to the other staff members at SRS. “We’ve always been a team. Day in and day out, we’re a team,” he added.

Joe has worked with REEEC’s Summer Research Laboratory (SRL), which celebrated its 40th anniversary this summer. The group of researchers that came was the largest ever. Joe noted that they were surprised by the small size of the SRS staff, expecting a much larger organization befitting the stellar reputation and intensive query load of the service. He hopes that the increased visibility and recognition of SRS will contribute to more support from the University.