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

University of Pennsylvania: Chinese Studies Librarian

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America’s Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn’s vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title

Chinese Studies Librarian

Job Profile Title

Librarian C

Job Description Summary

Reporting to the Director of the Center for Global Collections, the Chinese Studies Librarian is responsible for collection development, research support, and library services for all aspects of Chinese Studies at the Penn Libraries. This librarian will sustain Penn’s existing strengths in Chinese librarianship while identifying and pursuing future directions in collections and research. As a member of the Center for Global Collections, the Chinese Studies Librarian will contribute their expertise and insight to the collective work of the Center.

Job Description

Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Collection Development. The Chinese Studies Librarian selects and stewards scholarly resources in Chinese and about all aspects of Chinese studies, in a wide range of subjects and formats, in support of Penn’s current and anticipated academic programs and in consultation with faculty members. The Penn Chinese Collection treats Chinese as a truly global language, collecting resources from émigré and diaspora communities in addition to materials from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The Chinese Studies Librarian also collects languages of China other than Chinese, with particular emphasis on Penn’s growing collections in Mongolian and other minority languages of the PRC. The selection of resources in Western languages (e.g., English, French, and German) is an essential component of the job.
  • Reference, instruction, and liaison services. The Chinese Studies Librarian provides specialized reference, instruction, and academic liaison services to Penn faculty and students, both undergraduate and graduate, with research interests in Chinese Studies in all departments and schools where they are included as topics of study. The Librarian maintains the Chinese Collection websites as well as the East Asian Seminar Room, with its own reference collection and teaching facility, in cooperation with the Japanese Studies Librarian.
  • Collaboration. The Chinese Studies Librarian works collaboratively with colleagues across the whole of the Penn Libraries, especially those in the Center for Global Collections, and with campus constituencies and donors related to the Chinese collection. The Librarian is also expected to participate in the larger field of East Asian librarianship on the national and international levels with particular emphasis on fostering collaboration.
  • Acquisitions and cataloging. The Chinese Studies Librarian, working closely with the Chinese Library Specialist, participates in the process of acquisition and bibliographic control of all types of resources in Chinese. The incumbent may perform original cataloging and complex copy cataloging while also providing appropriate classification and subject analysis according to national and local standards.
  • Perform additional duties as assigned.



  • An accredited Master’s degree in library or information science with relevant professional experience; or the equivalent in education and training, for example, a PhD 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 China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
  • Commitment to the international and interdisciplinary strengths of Penn’s academic programs.
  • Ability to work independently and collegially with librarians and users.


  • Advanced knowledge of Chinese history, literature, and culture.
  • 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 China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
  • Knowledge of Japanese-language sinology.

Application Requirement:
A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed.

Budgeted Pay Range:
$70,000 – $80,000 commensurate with education and experience

Job Location – City, State

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School

University Library

Pay Range

$51,824.00 – $78,096.00

Salary offers are made based on the candidate’s qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts : Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family’s health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition : Take advantage of Penn’s exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn’s Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you’re newly hired, you won’t have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources : Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That’s why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University’s libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There’s always something going on at Penn, whether it’s a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you’re right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services : From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you’ll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.hr.upenn.edu/PennHR/benefits-pay