A dynamic organization devoted to library services for the East Asian studies communities in North America since 1958.

East Asian Library University of Pittsburgh: Head


The University of Pittsburgh Library System (ULS) is seeking a dynamic librarian and Chinese specialist to head its East Asian Library (EAL) and to promote the services and unique materials that support teaching and research at the University of Pittsburgh. Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Archives & Special Collections, this position provides strategic leadership in research support, collection building, and innovative, technology-enhanced library services and programming within the EAL. Additionally, the position focuses on primarily supporting Chinese language librarianship in a regional and global context.

The ULS maintains one of the nation’s major East Asian collections with nearly half a million volumes in Chinese, Japanese and Korean studies and over 8,000 electronic resources. While the largest part of the collection is made up by Chinese materials, the growth of the Korean and Japanese areas in recent years has been robust. There are notable strengths in classics, literature, archeology, Ming-Qing and modern history, art history, politics, economic history, linguistics and pedagogy, contemporary religious studies, film studies, medical history, and Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e). The EAL is also particularly known for innovative digital humanities projects, such as the CR/10 Project which comprises over 100 interviews of Chinese men and women who shared their memories of the decade-long Cultural Revolution. EAL subsequently created a feature-length film on the project. Additionally, as the holder of the largest collection of Chinese village gazetteers in North America, the EAL created an innovative database that provides access to detailed economic, historical, and socio-political data extracted from the gazetteers.


The incumbent is responsible for the overall administration of the personnel, collection, services, and activities of the East Asian Library, comprised of one other faculty librarian, 0.5 FTE staff member, and several student workers. In addition to carrying out administrative duties, the position requires the incumbent to serve as a Chinese specialist with knowledge of librarianship practices, resources, and networks in the CJK domain.

The incumbent performs a range of strategic, managerial, and supervisory duties that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Oversee and maintain collection development for Chinese materials and provide regular and in-depth reference and information services to Pitt faculty, students, and regional library patrons.
  • Oversee efforts to discover unique and valuable Chinese and other East Asian materials and bring them to the attention of the ULS Associate University Librarian of Archives & Special Collections for acquisition.
  • Serve as the central liaison for Chinese studies with other ULS departments and with faculty, visiting scholars, and students from departments and centers at Pitt.
  • Serve as the central liaison with the University of Pittsburgh’s Asian Studies Center (ASC) and a member of its Advisory Board.
  • Initiate and develop digital humanities projects focused on Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language materials to support teaching and research. Work with other ULS departments to process and promote digital projects.
  • Seek and secure appropriate grant funding opportunities to help further the work of the East Asian Library’s special projects.
  • Hire, train and supervise undergraduate and graduate students working on special and experiential-learning projects in the East Asian Library.
  • Oversee East Asian Library’s daily operation, including working with ULS Assessment and Quality Assurance on annual statistics, including developing, maintaining, and implementing policies, procedures, rules, and regulations regarding all materials in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages, including acquisition, reference service, training, and instruction.

Librarians at the University of Pittsburgh are members of the faculty and are expected to demonstrate continuous professional development in addition to performing their specific responsibilities. This expectation includes such activities as participating in and contributing to departmental, library and campus-wide committees or working groups as well as to the profession at a regional, national, and /or international level, maintaining a broad awareness of current and emerging issues that affect their particular areas of expertise, participating in relevant publishing and presentation opportunities, and pursuing knowledge of professional trends and developments that can be applied to evolving research, services and collections. Approximately 10% of the librarian’s time should be directed toward such activities, which will be included as part of the annual evaluation.

Specifically, the incumbent in this position is expected to:

  • Keep abreast of and contribute as appropriate to current developments in the profession, especially as they relate to Asian studies and international studies librarianship.
  • Contribute to the profession through publications, presentations, teaching, and other professional activities.
  • Seek out appropriate roles in professional associations, research and/or publication on the regional, national, and international level.
  • Participate actively in ULS and campus-wide working groups and committees, as appropriate.

The incumbent is also expected to contribute to the University community or the local community through service that utilizes his/her professional expertise.



  • An accredited Master’s degree in Library or Information Science with two years’ relevant professional experience; or the equivalent in education and training (e.g., an advanced degree in Chinese studies and relevant experience in libraries, other kinds of collections, or research services).
  • Proficiency in Chinese, as well as excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Knowledge of the publishing industry in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
  • Commitment to the international and interdisciplinary strengths of Pitt’s academic programs.
  • Ability to work independently and collegially with librarians and users.


  • Advanced knowledge of Chinese history, literature, and culture.
  • Familiarity of other languages of the East Asian region
  • A critical understanding of current and developing patterns of scholarship and publishing in Chinese studies, including publications and research in non-Chinese languages of China and in Sinitic-language communities around the world.
  • A graduate degree in Chinese Studies.
  • Experience using bibliographic utilities for searching and cataloging in non-Roman scripts.
  • Experience working directly with vendors, publishers, and creators in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
  • Possess technical skills or knowledge to create digital humanities projects that focus on East Asian resources.

The University of Pittsburgh Library System

The University of Pittsburgh’s University Library System (https://www.library.pitt.edu/) is a member of the Association of Research Libraries and contains over 4.7 million print and electronic volumes, including access to over 300,000 journals and 570 databases. The University Library System (ULS) consists of 10 libraries and employs 63 faculty librarians and 84 staff. In addition to the ULS, the University of Pittsburgh includes libraries for the health sciences and law school.

The ULS stands at the center of intellectual life at the University of Pittsburgh, fostering connections and knowledge creation and dissemination that help faculty, students, and researchers from around the world to excel in research, scholarship, and creative expression. It supports and enhances faculty and student productivity through its extensive collections, innovative Open Access publishing, and user-centered focus.

The ULS is currently aggressively hiring in many areas of strategic priority, including research support, digital scholarship and creation, entrepreneurship, and innovation.  We are repositioning our services to respond to and anticipate changes in research, teaching, and learning. We are also amid a top-to-bottom renovation of Hillman Library, the central library of the University of Pittsburgh campus.  The reinvented Hillman (http://library.pitt.edu/hillmanreinvention) will be a light-filled home to spaces, from vibrant to serene, for digital making and exploration, showcasing unique collections, advancing academic study, and fostering energetic, collaborative exchange.

This is an exciting time to join the Pitt library system and contribute to envisioning the library of the future.

The University of Pittsburgh

Founded in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh (http://www.pitt.edu/) is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States. Today Pitt is an internationally recognized center of learning and research, strong in the arts and sciences and the professions. Pitt serves approximately 32,000 students, including more than 9,000 graduate students, in the 16 schools at the Pittsburgh campus and the four regional campuses. Pitt attracts, on average, more than $700 million in research funding every year. Pitt is ranked No. 23 on the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 list of Top Public Schools in the nation. In 2021, the Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education College Rankings again named the Pittsburgh campus as the No. 1 public university in the Northeastern United States. For the ninth time in 10 years, Pitt in 2019 was named one of the nation’s top institutions for producing Fulbright students by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The City of Pittsburgh

The city of Pittsburgh is in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  Consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the United States, Pittsburgh is recognized for its natural beauty and unique blend of cultural, education, and technological resources.  Additional information on the city of Pittsburgh can be found at: https://www.visitpittsburgh.com/

Salary:  Commensurate with experience.  Comprehensive benefits package including one-month vacation per year; excellent benefit plans; TIAA/ Vanguard; and tuition assistance.

Please apply through the University of Pittsburgh’s Talent Center, requisition number #22008518. In addition to creating a Talent Center account, please upload/attach a cover letter, CV, and three professional references with contact information.  Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to Sharon McMasters (sam989@pitt.edu).

Visa sponsorship is not offered with this position.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled; primary consideration will be given to those received by November 28, 2022.  

The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and diversity. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled.