2 Jobs: Patron Services Librarian & Reference Librarian

2/18/15 –  Patron Services Librarian & Reference Librarian
Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan

Sarah P’s comments:  These two positions are posted on ILFAjobs.  I also received an e-mail from Jennifer Rumpel, Patron Services Manager, asking if I would post the positions which I am glad to do.  As I commented in an earlier post NU is a fairly new university and I first saw an advert posted for librarians in 2011.  At that time I spoke with Library Director Jim Agee (he has recently left this position) and he informed me that that the pay is low but the opportunity a good way for young librarians to gain international work experience helping to develop a new academic library.

NU has now been around long enough to garner some reviews:
Academic Job in Kazakhstan?
Glassdoor Reviews
Pol Sci Rumors  (some comments are culturally insensitive)


Nazarbayev University is a new, research-driven institution located in Astana, the exciting young capital of Kazakhstan. NU offers undergraduate, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in fields including Science and Technology, Engineering, Business, Public Policy, Social Sciences and Humanities, Medicine, and more. Nazarbayev University Library, currently one of the most progressive and dynamic libraries in Kazakhstan, is looking for energetic, creative, and service-oriented Librarians to join our team. Apply now for a chance at the unforgettable experience of living and working in fascinating Central Asia.

Minimum Educational Requirements: ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science.

Desired Educational Background: We welcome applicants from a variety of academic backgrounds; however, applicants with an undergraduate degree in the Sciences or Engineering will be given preference.

Desired professional experience: Relevant experience in a Western academic library; instructional experience.

Desired professional knowledge and personal qualities:

  •  Demonstrated expertise in using databases, electronic, and print resources;
  •  Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills;
  •  Effective instructional skills in group and individual settings;
  •  Strong planning, organization, and analytical skills;
  •  Teaching or supervisory experience;
  •  Ability to work flexibly in a team or independently;
  •  Experience with work, study, or instruction abroad.

Proficiency in languages: Excellent proficiency in English is required. Knowledge of Kazakh, Russian, or other major languages is advantageous.

Computer skills:

  • Advanced computer use in Windows, MS Office, and Internet;
  • Experience using integrated library systems and library catalogs;
  • Knowledge of electronic databases and advanced search techniques.

Final date of application submission: Open until filled.

Please send, in English, your resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references to Library Director Aliya Sarsembinova (asarsembinova@nu.edu.kz) as soon as possible.

Patron Services Librarian Key Responsibilities:

  • Provide subject specialist expertise for patrons in an assigned area;
  • Act as library liaison to university faculty and staff in an assigned area;
  • Organize events and exhibits to encourage patron use of library services;
  • Develop new methods of patron service using technology, Western methods, or library  experience;
  • Assist with other library work areas or committees as needed;
  • Work at circulation desk in accordance with library schedules (note that evening and weekend hours are included).

Reference Librarian Key Responsibilities:

·        Conduct reference interviews to provide targeted research advice and resources;
·         Assist and instruct patrons to locate and use library materials;
·         Assist and instruct patrons in the use of electronic resources for research;
·         Provide subject specialist expertise for patrons in an area of strength (e.g. chemistry);
·         Supervise student assistants;
·         Develop training materials for reference;
·         Develop and give seminars on database use, information literacy, and research;
·         Organize events and exhibits to encourage patron use of reference services;
·         Develop new methods of reference service using western technology and library experience;
·         Develop the reference collection in print and electronic formats;
·         Research patron needs and analyze effectiveness of subject specific reference collections;
·         Assist with other library work areas or committees as needed;
·         Work at reference desk in accordance with library schedules (note that evening and weekend hours are included).


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