Assistant Librarian – Cataloguing

We offer a part-time (3 days per week) permanent contract for a cataloguer with experience working with modern materials from the Middle East and South Asia.

SALARY – Salary c. £15,500


This job will support the collection development at the Aga Khan Library. As a Library with a complex history, and a continuously growing number of fonds, there is a constant flow of materials to be integrated into the library collection. Incorporating these materials is fundamental for our community of users, and the Assistant Librarian – Cataloguing will take a vital role in facilitating access to them.

Additionally, to support new research lines in our parent institutions, the Aga Khan Library will be purchasing more materials on South Asia and the Indian Ocean while continuing its Middle Eastern and Central Asian collections development. As a library that strives to present a plurality of views on different topics and promote overlooked scholarship, collecting materials in vernacular languages is essential for our work. We expect the Assistant Librarian – Cataloguing to play a vital role in developing these specialised collections.

The key accountabilities of the post holder will be:

  • Cataloguing of backlog and new acquisitions.
  • Copy cataloguing and original cataloguing in RDA, adding original script and transliteration to the records.
  • Technical processing of backlog and new arrivals.
  • Quality check, update, and integration of bibliographical records provided by vendors.
  • Support the Collection Development Librarian to expand the collections of South Asia and Indian Ocean materials.
  • Collaborate with the Reference Librarian in the preparation of subject and research guides.
  • Administrative support for the acquisition process.
  • Technical and cataloguing support for other colleagues as needed.


Previous experience working as a cataloguer in academic or special library or information services.

This position doesn’t require any specific academic degree, however, candidates holding or currently working towards a degree in the fields of Islamic or Middle Eastern studies, Library and Information Science, or Modern Languages would have an advantage.

ESSENTIAL criteria

  • Good understanding of written Arabic, Persian, Urdu, or Bengali.
  • Experience working in academic or special libraries.
  • Experience cataloguing various material formats, including books, journals, grey literature, digital content, and audio-visual media.
  • Experience using current library metadata standards to update and create bibliographical records.

DESIRABLE criteria

  • Experience cataloguing manuscripts and rare books.
  • Knowledge of languages relevant to the Islamic studies field.
  • Experience working with archive materials.
  • Good understanding of Library of Congress Classification and Library of Congress Subject Headings.


  • Can do careful, detailed work and carry tasks through completion.
  • Ability to prioritise tasks, multi-task and manage time effectively and efficiently.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English; able to communicate with a variety of individuals at all levels.
  • Capacity to work in a multicultural environment.

APPLICATION – Open until 10th April 2022 – This application is now closed

The application is managed by the Human Resources department at the Institute of Ismaili Studies.

Interested candidates should apply on the IIS platform with their CV and a covering letter.