American University

Job Title

Graduate Political Science & International Studies Librarian


Bender Library


Opening Date: 03/13/2023
Closing Date:  08/31/2023

Job Description

American University Library invites applications from innovative, energetic, and service-oriented librarians to fill a library continuing appointment faculty position for the School of Public Affairs (SPA) and the School of International Service (SIS), beginning Summer 2023, subject to budgetary approval. Rank will be dependent upon experience and stature in the field at either assistant or associate level.

Responsibilities: The Graduate Political Science and International Studies Librarian will be the point person for research assistance and information literacy instruction in the graduate curriculum in SPA and SIS and will work in partnership with the International Studies Librarian and the Public Affairs Librarian to support faculty research in SPA and SIS. The Graduate Political Science and International Studies Librarian will work closely with the faculty and administration of SPA and SIS to ensure that the University Library is able to meet the research and pedagogical needs of their graduate programs and to increase awareness of library resources and services. This position provides high-level subject specific research assistance to SPA and SIS graduate students and faculty and participates in the baseline information literacy instruction for all students. The Graduate Political Science and International Studies Librarian creates appropriate online tools to support SPA and SIS graduate students. This position serves on library cross-functional teams and participates in decisions that affect the overall research materials collection. The Graduate Political Science and International Studies Librarian assists all relevant entities in self-studies and reaccreditation. The Graduate Political Science and International Studies Librarian consults regularly with SPA and SIS teaching faculty and administrators.

The Graduate Political Science and International Studies Librarian is a member of Research, Teaching and Learning (RTL) and reports to the Associate Director of RTL. As a member of RTL, the Graduate Political Science and International Studies Librarian also participates in broader initiatives as part of the library.

Library faculty members participate in university governance activities. The Graduate Political Science and International Studies Librarian actively supports DEI initiatives within the University Library and within SPA and SIS. Continuing Appointment library faculty members are expected to contribute to the profession of librarianship, and to participate in campus-wide and library-wide activities.

Job Duties

Primary Duties and Responsibilities (80%)

Provide Information Literacy Instruction:

  • Support SPA and SIS by teaching integrated information literacy sessions for graduate classes within SPA and SIS.
  • Support the online graduate programs in SPA and SIS.
  • Work with SPA and SIS Faculty to develop instructional materials for information literacy, e.g. tutorials, course LibGuides, and rubrics. 
  • As a liaison to the graduate programs in SPA and SIS, work with appropriate committees, administrators and faculty to incorporate information literacy learning objectives and intervention appropriately into the graduate 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 SPA and SIS Community:

  • Partner with the SPA and SIS to discover information resources and data through consulting with graduate 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.
  • 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 SPA and SIS graduate students and faculty, 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.

Develop and Manage Web Based Resources:

  • Develop and maintain web pages and other resources to support the online graduate programs in SPA and SIS, including materials on the LibGuides platform.
  • Consult with stakeholders on any changes to the enterprise systems that impact access to the online graduate programs in SPA and SIS.

Other Duties:

  • Potential supervisory responsibilities
  • The Graduate Political Science and International Studies 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 the academic fields in Political Science or International Studies 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 is highly preferred. 

Deep knowledge of current and emerging ideas, practices, trends, and technologies that support Political Science and International Studies librarianship. Ability to understand, anticipate, and respond to priorities and trends in the library, university and academia regarding international science and political 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. 

Competency in languages in addition to English is preferred. 

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 have an awareness of current concerns and developments in librarianship. 

Supplemental Information


The School of Public Affairs (SPA) at American University has been a hub for policy-related research and teaching for 85 years. Rated #10 in Best Public Affairs programs by U.S. News and World Report, SPA is home to leading scholars in the fields of American politics, comparative politics, public administration, public policy, justice law and criminology, data science, and terrorism and homeland security. SPA offers 6 undergraduate and 11 on-campus and online graduate degrees, as well as executive degrees for mid-career professionals and undergraduate, graduate, and executive certificates.  Its 1,900 students tackle complex issues with thoughtful research that educates, informs, and promotes change across a multitude of fields.


American University’s School of International Service (SIS) is a top-10 school of international affairs as ranked by Foreign Policy. Its world-renowned faculty — leading political scientists, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, demographers, geographers, and historians— produce transformational research and prepare more than 3,000 graduate and undergraduate students for global careers in government, nonprofits, and business. SIS offers nearly 20 degree programs, including an undergraduate degree in international studies, on-campus and online master’s degrees, an executive degree for mid-career professionals, and an interdisciplinary doctoral program. Students graduate prepared to combine knowledge and practice to serve the global community.


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 personnel, services, and collections in meaningful ways.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not  discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively “Protected Bases”) in its programs and activities.

American University is a tobacco and smoke free campus.  To ensure the health and safety of our community, American University requires that all faculty and staff are vaccinated for Covid-19.  To learn more about American University's health and safety directives please click here. 

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

American University is required to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). In accordance with the Clery Act, each year American University prepares an Annual Security Report. This report contains campus crime statistics as well as descriptions of Public Safety's services. It is available to all applicants upon request by calling the Department of Public Safety at 202-885-2537 or the Annual Security Report is also available online.

How to Apply

Please visit

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 [email protected] or phone at (877) 997-8807.

Should you have any questions please reach out to the Search Chair, Melissa Becher ([email protected]). Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Send a letter of application, resume, names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references to: Michele Mikkelsen, Director, Administrative Services, American University Library, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20016-8046  [email protected].