Librarian (Cataloguing and Collections Development)

Job Description

Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a world leading independent policy institute based in London. As a global think tank, our mission is to help build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.

The Library and Information Service at Chatham House is 100 years old and holds an internationally important collection and archive which draws scholars from around the world. Our main work is serving both staff and members of the Institute.

The Library is staffed by a team of three professional librarians, with the emphasis on team working and delivering an accessible and user-friendly service. We make heavy use of automation to improve efficiency and the library catalogue now acts as the repository for the Institute’s output, with the library being included as part of the Publications Team’s workflow.

We are looking for a librarian who would like to play a key part in decolonising our collection and lead on updating our thesaurus, cataloguing and classification. Given the varying cataloguing standards that have been applied over the years, this will be a substantial piece of work and an exciting opportunity for the right candidate. Somebody who enjoys engaging with library users, shaping the library to meet their needs, and contributing to discussion and decision-making within the team would be very welcome.

The nature of the Library means that the post holder will be expected to participate in a full range of library duties including, but not limited to, opening and closing the Library, staffing the Enquiry Desk, and document supply. It will also be important for the person appointed to attend occasional out of hours events to represent the library.

We are an equal opportunity employer, we value diversity and do not discriminate on the basis of protected characteristics. We encourage applications from all backgrounds. If you require assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please contact us on

Principal Responsibilities:

Reporting to the Head of Library and Information Services and working alongside the Librarian (Digital Resources and Systems), key responsibilities will include:

  • Maintenance and development of our thesaurus and classification
  • Cataloguing and classification
  • Management of all aspects of book acquisition (digital and print)
  • General reference and research information work
  • Liaison with research programmes and departments
  • Promotion of Library services and resources
  • Supervision of temporary staff, when necessary
  • Share of general library administration
  • Checking budget lines for books, refunds and inter-library loans


(E = Essential ; D = Desirable)

  • Professional qualification in librarianship (E)
  • Experience and knowledge of cataloguing and classification (E)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, approachable and a good communicator (E)
  • A strong dedication to the highest standards of service provision (E)
  • Experience of answering research enquiries using online and hard-copy sources (E)
  • Experience in a research or academic library or similar working environment (D)
  • Experience of purchasing, processing and ordering material (D)
  • An interest in and/or knowledge of international relations (D)
  • Familiarity with copyright law (D)
  • Experience of Soutron (D)


Benefits include approximately 37 days annual leave (inclusive of public holidays and Chatham House closure days), enhanced pension scheme, employee assistance programme, life assurance, enhanced Maternity and Paternity and other benefits designed to suit your own personal lifestyle. All of this, in a professional, engaging and intellectually stimulating environment.

Existing and unrestricted right to work in the UK is a requirement. Please note that we are unable to offer visa sponsorship for this role.

Salary: £33,001 to £39,000 per annum (dependent on skills and experience)

Contract: Full time (35 hours per week), Permanent.

Location: Office – some working from home possible.

Flexibility: Flexible working available.

Application process: Please submit your CV and a cover letter detailing your motivation, skills and experience relevant to the role and complete the application form.

Closing Date: Monday 6 June 2022 at 10:00 (BST). You will be notified on the status of your application within 4 weeks of the closing date.

Please click on the Apply button to view the job ad and to apply.