Native American and Indigenous Studies Librarian

Apply now Job no: 521481
Work type: Faculty Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Lib - Res & Learning Services
Pay Grade: 01
Categories: Library, Librarians

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region. 


Job Summary

The Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) Librarian, in consultation with Indigenous communities in the region, provides culturally appropriate, innovative, and high-quality programming and services for students, faculty, staff, and the community at UMass Amherst and in the Five College Consortium’s Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) certificate program. The NAIS Librarian builds relationships with Indigenous communities and explores partnerships with Indigenous organizations. As a member of the Academic Engagement department at UMass Amherst Libraries, the NAIS Librarian incorporates Indigenous teaching methods and information sharing to build partnerships and promote library services with assigned liaison areas, provide research assistance, design and implement information literacy instruction and programming for Indigenous and non-Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students, and create and participate in outreach opportunities. The position is responsible for supporting activities in partnership with colleagues in the department as well as across the Libraries, campus, and broader community. Academic Engagement liaisons actively collaborate with faculty and students in meeting both the teaching and research aims of the University and the NAIS Librarian serves a vital role in ensuring the Libraries are poised to meet the goals outlined in the University's strategic plan. The role has the potential for growth in areas such as community engagement and other areas based upon the candidate’s strengths and interests.


Essential Functions

  • Serve as the Libraries’ liaison to the UMass Native Studies faculty, Five College Consortium’s Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) certificate program, the Josephine White Eagle Cultural Center, UMass Native Advisory Council, UMass Repatriation Advisory and Oversight Committee, and the newly formed NSF Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledges and Science (CBIKS) at UMass Amherst, fostering collaborative relationships and partnerships with the University’s faculty and certificate students.
  • Promote a comprehensive and considerate appreciation of Indigenous peoples' cultures, histories, political structures, artistic expressions, intellectual legacies, and research approaches.
  • Cultivate cross-disciplinary support and programming related to Indigenous pedagogy, methodologies, and epistemologies as they pertain to the ways that Indigenous communities produce and share knowledge.
  • Maintain knowledge of and support for key issues and trends in research methodologies, such as best practices in the co-creation of research, ethical community relationships, the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance, Traditional Knowledge and Biocultural Labels, and the ways they intersect with Indigenous ways of knowing and sharing.
  • Partner with faculty to integrate into the curriculum Indigenous ways of knowing with prevalent information literacy and research skills. Examples may include developing course-related information literacy sessions, library learning objects for use in course management systems and/or for distance learning, workshops for undergraduate and graduate students, and/or credit-bearing courses in a classroom or online environment.
  • Work with the Content & Discovery division, the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center, and the other liaisons to assess and establish collection priorities for Native American and Indigenous studies, recommend or purchase specific resources, promote newly acquired resources, or work with colleagues on reparative metadata projects.
  • Provide research assistance to library users by email, by phone, by LibAnswers and by in-person and virtual consultations.
  • Align planning, priorities, goals, and services with the strategic initiatives of the Libraries and the University.
  • Represent the Libraries to promote library services at library or university events, such as student-focused events, orientations, end of semester support activities for students, etc.


Other Functions

  • Represent the Libraries to promote library services at library or university events, such as student-focused events, orientations, end of semester support activities for students, etc.
  • Serve on internal committees as assigned; may be asked to represent the Libraries on campus committees, Five College Committees, and Boston Library Consortium Committees, and/or at other selected professional meetings and conferences.
  • Participate in professional development and continuing education activities, including service in professional and scholarly associations, presenting and publishing.
  • Work a flexible schedule, which may include some evening, weekend, and holiday hours.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned or required to meet the goals of the department, Libraries, and University.


Organizational Values

  • Commitment to support justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within libraries and institution.
  • Ability to build and sustain effective working relationships and work collaboratively in a diverse and fast-paced environment. 
  • Purposefully promote a One Library environment for all that encourages inclusion, personal growth, respect, self-reflection, curiosity, and continuous learning.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Graduate degree in librarianship (from a program accredited by the American Library Association or its appropriate equivalent in librarianship from another country), or related field, or combination of an advanced degree in a relevant subject area and experience in libraries, archives, museums, or similar institutions.
  • Experience collaborating with Indigenous organizations and/or experience working in libraries, archives, museums, or similar cultural institutions. 
  • Demonstrated interest in knowledge co-production with Indigenous peoples and communities, including teaching methods or community programming.
  • Evidence of understanding the academic library's role in research, teaching, and learning.
  • Evidence of commitment to user-centered service to students, faculty, and community members.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and problem solve.
  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusion, service, innovation, or creativity.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and sustain effective working relationships and work collaboratively in a diverse organization.
  • Strong organizational, project, and time management skills to lead or coordinate multiple projects and work with minimal supervision.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Experience building community relationships and community engagement programming.
  • Experience providing instruction in a library setting.
  • Experience co-producing knowledge with Indigenous peoples and communities.
  • Knowledge of or experience using Native American and Indigenous cataloging and resource description schema, thesauruses, and similar.
  • Evidence of professional development and continuing education activities, such as participation in professional and scholarly associations, presenting, or publishing.


Work Schedule

  • The regular working schedule for this position is Monday - Friday, day hours.
  • The incumbent of the position is expected to work on a flexible schedule, which includes some evening, weekend, and holiday hours.


Salary Information

  • Librarian I
  • Librarian I salary floor: $55,000.
  • Salary commensurate with experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information of three (3) professional references.

UMass Amherst welcomes candidates who meet the minimum requirements to apply and will support their professional development to grow in this position. In addition to working with their supervisor, the successful candidate will receive formal mentorship from a librarian with experience in Native American and Indigenous Studies.

Massachusetts is home to a vibrant community of Indigenous peoples, including local Indigenous peoples and members of Indigenous communities of Latin America and other parts of the world. Home to the Tribal Nations of Mashpee, Aquinnah, and Stockbridge Munsee, the greater region has many active Indigenous organizations, such as the Native-American Tribal Council of Western Massachusetts, the Nolumbeka Project, the Ohketeau Cultural Center, and the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project

Representatives of the Mashpee, Aquinnah, and Stockbridge Munsee Tribal Nations collaborated with UMass Amherst to create the UMass Amherst Land Acknowledgement, which begins: “The University of Massachusetts Amherst acknowledges that it was founded and built on the unceded homelands of the Pocumtuc Nation on the land of the Norrwutuck community. We begin with gratitude for nearby waters and lands, including the Kwinitekw -- the southern portion of what’s now called the Connecticut River. We recognize these lands and waters as important Relations with which we are all interconnected and depend on to sustain life and wellbeing.” Please read the full Land Acknowledgement:


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.