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Latin American and Caribbean Studies Librarian Position Request


Proposing Division, Unit, Group or Individual

Area Studies Division

Proposed Title


Latin American and Caribbean Studies Librarian

Faculty Rank


Tenured or Tenured-Track Assistant Professor or above

Estimated Salary


$60,000+ or appropriate to experience and rank

Potential sources of funding for position


Vacancy anticipated upon the retirement of current Latin American and Caribbean Studies Librarian, Nelly S. Gonzalez, as of August 30, 2008.


Reports to


University Librarian

Recommended time frame for filling (immediate need, 6 months, 1 year, etc.) and explanation 

Recommended filling in Fall 2008.  A search would need to start immediately in order to have the position filled in time.  


Position Need & Rationale: explain how this position contributes to the Library’s strategic goals

The Latin American and Caribbean Studies Library (LACS) serves as a vital resource for students, faculty, and scholars from across the country. In 2008 the Center will celebrate the 100th year of teaching Latin American history on this campus. In particular, the LACS supports instructional and research needs of faculty and students served by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, one of 23 National Resource Centers for Latin American Studies that has received Title VI federal support since 1965. The UIUC Center is jointly funded as a National Resource Center with the University of Chicago Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, and as such provides one
of the richest concentrations of resources in the world that focus on the area.

The strategic goals of the UIUC campus and the Library to which this position responds are:

  • To provide leadership in managing and servicing Latin American and Caribbean collections on this campus within evolving technological and cooperative strategies for continued development of the collections.  Active participation by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Librarian in the annual meetings and activities of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) and in other international library organizations and activities is key to this leadership.
  • To maintain internationally renowned collections in the area that are required to maintain the rich research and scholarly environment required to attract highly qualified area studies students and faculty. Building upon post World War II national Farmington Plan
    commitments for Brazil, Mexico and Ecuador, evolving coverage of these broadly based collections include, but is not limited to Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, and the Andean region. Such coverage requires monitoring and maintaining up-to-date and current country based acquisition profiles. Acquiring materials on the area published anywhere in the world, within financial limitations, is a  
    responsibility of the LACS Library.
  • To provide guidance and leadership in digitizing and producing metadata to make the Latin American and Caribbean collections more accessible to UIUC users and researchers around the world.
  • To contribute to Library and campus efforts to meet the needs of a diverse user community.
  • To collaborate in delivering outreach programs in collaboration with other University units that extends beyond the campus.    

Brief position description and job duties



























The Latin American & Caribbean Studies (LACS) Librarian provides a full array of services relating to Latin American & Caribbean studies to the campus community and beyond.  The duties and responsibilities of the Librarian include:

·       proactively maintaining regular contact with faculty and students to ascertain their information and research needs and to keep them aware of the development of the LACS collections and services;

·       serving as the subject specialist and the liaison to the Latin American Studies and Caribbean Studies academic programs;

·       serving as liaison to the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, an interdisciplinary unit within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and collaborating with Library liaisons to other academic departments and programs to design and deliver services and collections supporting all aspects of teaching, research, and service activities in Latin American & Caribbean studies;

  • continuing to build and manage relevant collections in all formats, promoting significant new resources, selecting electronic resources and digital collections, and participating in gift and preservation efforts.
  • providing reference services as a subject specialist for Latin American and Caribbean Studies;
  • teaching subject-based information literacy skills to students in courses related to subject areas by developing instructional materials, delivering course-related instruction, and providing individual and group training for faculty and students.

·       developing subject-specific content for the Library Web site or for delivery through other systems (e.g., courseware);

·       working with the Library’s Digital Content Creation (DCC) and Content Access Management (CAM) units to identify materials for digitization and to provide metadata, cataloging, and other access mechanisms to unique or infrequently available materials in all formats;

·       collaborating with the Library’s Acquisitions unit to oversee acquisition of relevant materials through all available channels, including discovering a more automated means to acquire, process and make accessible in as effective a manner as possible;

·       contributing to Library and campus efforts to meet the needs of a diverse user community;

·       developing and delivering outreach programs, in collaboration with other departmental libraries, University units, and local, state, national, and international organizations to extend its presence beyond the campus;

·       providing bibliographic access to the LACS collection, one of the 10 largest in  the country;

·       providing expertise and language assistance to Technical Services staff and performing original and metadata creation of Latin American and Caribbean material;

·       preparing grant proposals that promote
collection development, preservation activities, digitization, and other enhancements of the LACS collections; and

·       participating in national and international library activities that are devoted to Latin American and Caribbean area studies.

How might this position evolve to meet continuing Library needs in 5-10 years?

There will be a continuing need for a Latin American and Caribbean Studies Specialist with appropriate language skills to support teaching activity now in its 100th year as well as continually evolving research and outreach programs. The LACS librarian will be playing an increasingly more important role in identifying, evaluating, and recommending print, non-print and electronic information crucial to the research needs of a well established and growing program particularly in a climate of changing financial realities for competing library needs. The LACS Library must stand ready to change and respond to different and new Center and campus priorities when they occur.