Vacant Position: Head Librarian – Library of the Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Prague, Czech Republic
Deadline: 8th Nov 2020

The Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences is seeking an experienced and motivated individual to serve as Head Librarian of its library based in Prague, Czech Republic as it undergoes the beginning phases of a planned transition to a new site. The qualified individual’s primary duties will be to oversee day-to-day operations of the library, supervise cataloguing and retro-cataloguing of the library holdings, monitor new acquisitions, and identify and manage special collections. The position is ideal for a self-motivated and self-directed individual who loves books and wishes to implement an exciting and dynamic vision for a 300,000+ volume library housed in one of Europe’s oldest institutes for Oriental Studies. The Head Librarian will supervise the library staff and report directly to the Director of the Oriental Institute.


Minimum B.A. degree, background or experience in library sciences strongly preferred

Fluency or near-native fluency in written and spoken English

Knowledge of library systems and cataloguing

Ability to manage a team of librarians and external interns

Ability to communicate clearly with co-workers, researchers, and library patrons

Knowledge of one or more of the languages, cultures, and histories related to the Oriental Institute’s sub-fields (Middle East, South Asia, East and Southeast Asia, Central Asia) preferred


Manage day-to-day operations of library and oversee activities of library staff

Identify and manage special collections (including possible digitalization)

Support Oriental Institute researchers in utilizing and accessing library materials

Pursue grants and other sources of external funding for retro-cataloguing of the library holdings, public exhibitions, and new acquisitions

Formulate a new vision for the library as it undergoes a phased transition

Salary and Benefits

1300-1700 EUR/month depending on experience. Full health benefits, 5-weeks annual vacation, travel and research stipends, and support for professional development and further study.

To Apply

Please send a statement of interest (no more than 2 pages), C.V., and the names of 2 references to Jakub Hruby ( Any inquiries related to the position may also be directed to Dr. Hruby. Deadline: November 8, 2020

About the Library

The Oriental Institute Library (est. 1929) holds around 300,000 books, periodicals, and manuscripts related to the fields of Middle East, South Asian, Central Asian, and East Asian Studies. In addition to the general collection, the library is home to several rare collections: the 70,000 item Lu Xun library containing Chinese sources, a 3,500 item Korean library, which includes rare items from North Korea, the Tibetan Library, which houses the Tibetan Buddhist canon and other unique materials, Coptic and Arabic papyri collection, and a soon-to-be acquired collection on colonial Manchuria funded by the Japan Foundation and Czech Academy of Sciences, among others.

About the Oriental Institute

The Oriental Institute ( is a public non-university research institution. The Institute currently employs approximately 30 researchers from across the Czech Republic, Europe, Asia, and the United States. Formally established in 1922, the Oriental Institute is one of the oldest institutions dedicated to the study of Oriental cultures in Central and Eastern Europe. Since 1993, it has fallen administratively under the auspices of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS), an umbrella research institution similar in function to its counterparts in continental Europe, such as the CNRS in France. The CAS was established in 1992 as the Czech successor to the former Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. It is set up as a complex of 54 public research institutions. The primary mission of the CAS and its institutes is to conduct basic 1 in a broad spectrum of the natural, technical and social sciences and the humanities. This research, whether highly specialized or interdisciplinary in nature, aims to advance developments in scientific knowledge at the international level, while also taking into account the specific needs of both Czech society and national culture. In a country such as the Czech Republic, where university departments dealing with Oriental studies tend to be small and understaffed, the structure of non-university research bodies with permanent research positions brings numerous benefits. Among other things, scholars are enabled to pursue their specializations according to the needs of relevant fields of study, aiming correspondingly at the highest levels of research quality. The framework of the Institute allows for a flexible and open-ended approach to research initiatives in Asia-related topics, creating, in effect, an ideal environment for interdisciplinary research. The research quality is guaranteed by the Council of the Institute, composed of both internal and external members, and regular – both Czech and international – peer-review evaluations. Currently, the work of our researchers is mainly focused on the Arab world, Iran, Israel, Turkey, India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, China, Tibet, Japan, and the ancient Near East.