Consultant-Preservation for Mousl Library


Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Nineveh

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : 5 months

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 28.02.2024


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




The Mosul University library was extensively damaged during the conflict with ISIL/Da’esh. The space once housed more than one million books, periodicals, manuscripts, and government publications from as early as the 1920s. As a house of learning and knowledge at the center of the University, the Library was among the first institutions targeted by ISIL/Da’esh after their occupation of Mosul in 2014. The Library was deliberately set on fire, almost all of its collection was destroyed, and its building was severely damaged. In the absence of the central library, more than 60,000 students, university lecturers, and staff did not have easy access to the required literature for their research and academic projects. UNESCO aims to build resilience and promote rapid recovery and transition in Mosul. Education provides physical, psychosocial, and cognitive protection that can sustain and save lives during a crisis. Education remains a fundamental human right, and quality learning opportunities should be available for all ages. The Mosul University library plays an important role in realizing this objective by supporting the revival of the spirit of Moslawi youth, ensuring access to a safe learning environment, especially for young girls, and fostering peaceful coexistence among the youth of Mosul. The physical infrastructure rehabilitation of the Central Library was completed in February 2022, but the operationalization of the library requires urgent support to put in place the necessary measures for designing library functionalities and providing the modern tools and instruments necessary to effectively perform those functionalities from acquisition to archiving and digitization of the existing old and new library materials and holdings. Additionally, technical and professional capacity strengthening of the library staff through tailored practical training programs is essential. Currently, the gaps within institutional and professional capacities of the Central Library undermine the wider investment and prospects of the university in offering a holistic approach to learning and research.

Long Description

Project Objectives, Results and key Activities


With the overall objective of making the Mosul University Library fully functional and ensuring that it is perceived as an essential knowledge resource and a cultural connecting place, UNESCO will implement the following activities:
1- Capacity-building: Develop and implement a training program for more than 87 Library staff in various areas such as access to services, acquisitions, cataloging, archive management, conservation, digitization, repository management, reference services, Koha LIS (Library Information System) use and communication. Training will be followed by practical application throughout the project duration. 

2- Application of the LIS: Selection, customization and deployment of an enterprise software solution, covering the Library local functions and remote e-services, including acquisition, warehousing, interchange and virtual integration with other libraries’ content and catalogues, cataloging, classification, collection management, local and remote access and circulation/borrowing/reading/interlibrary loan, reference services, research and instruction, patron and subscriber relation management, management of scanned materials, periodicals, ebooks, rare materials and manuscripts.  The selected LIS to be applied in the library is Koha. The procurement of the system in in progress and expected to be in place by April 2024. 

3- Conservation, restoration, digitization, and indexing/cataloguing: Restoration, preservation, conservation, digitization and bookbinding of rare and other endangered library materials including manuscripts and historical documents, through the establishment of an on-site laboratory with modern chemical and mechanical technologies. 
4- Partnerships: Establishment of partnerships with relevant institutions across the world, thereby reinforcing sustainability of the library’s functions and operations. These partnerships shall, in particular, facilitate the provision of international expert advice and support to capacity building as well as result in agreements on acquisitions of relevant up-to-date knowledge material.

The Preservation Consultant will be in charge of the achievement of the 3rd output of the project on Restoration, Preservation and Digitization, and Indexing/Cataloguing of rare books, manuscripts and other materials. He/ She will be working collaboratively with the University of Mosul, and UNESCO team. 

Long Description

Duties and Responsibilities of Consultant


Under the overall authority of the Director and UNESCO Representative to Iraq and direct guidance and supervision of the Chief of Education and the Project Officer, UNESCO Iraq Office, the Consultant shall be responsible for leading the materials restoration, conservation and digitization component of the project, through the achievement of the following objectives and tasks: 


Objectives to be achieved by the consultant:

  • Establish books and manuscript preservation center of excellence.  
  • Undertake the needed capacity building for the relevant library staff. 
  • Support and oversee the process of restoring, conserving and digitalizing the library materials. 
  • Monitor, Evaluate and Report the achievements, challenges and lessons learned. 


Main Tasks and responsibilities of the consultant:

  • Design and implement a restoration, conservation and digitization plan, including an assessment of equipment requirements for procurement for the unit establishment, digitization standards, and metadata protocols. 
  • Train the library staff on the use of the unit, including materials restoration and bindery and digitization, archiving and cataloging techniques and workflow management. 
  • Oversee the process and provide on-site mentorship to the relevant library staff.  
  • Establish a digital archive system for efficient storage, retrieval, and maintenance of digitized materials that aligns with Koha library information system.  
  • Oversee the implementation of book bindery procedures, ensuring the use of appropriate materials and methods. 
  • Support UNESCO in implementing an advocacy campaign for collecting the manuscripts from the local owners, for preservation.  
  • Implement preservation techniques to safeguard the physical condition of books, manuscripts and other materials. 
  • Monitor, Evaluate, and Report the achievements, challenges and lessons learned. 


Long Description

Consultancy Deliverables: Monthly payment will be dependent on the achievement of each deliverable within the project timeframe below.


Deliverable 1: Detailed restoration, conservation and digitization workplan, including assessment of needed items (with detailed specifications) for the establishment of the unit in addition to the training of the staff and the implementation of the holistic preservation process (The Consultant will need to support UNESCO through the procurement process). Furthermore, the plan should outline the recommended practices and procedures for maintaining physical materials, by 31.03.2024.

Deliverable 2: Development of a hands-on training program on restoration, conservation, digitalization of the rare books, manuscripts and materials and indexing/ cataloguing them using the Koha LIS, by 30.04.2024.

Deliverable 3: Delivery of the on-site training program for the relevant library staff (Training report to be submitted by the deadline), Plan and conduct advocacy campaign for collecting the manuscripts from the local owners, by 31.05.2024.

Deliverable 4: On-site supervision and mentoring of the relevant staff, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of challenges, needs and opportunities, by 30.06.2024.

Deliverable 5: Submit a Draft final report on the preservation unit, including evaluation of the performance, challenges, areas of improvement and recommendations for the sustainability of the work, by 31.07.2024.

Deliverable 6: Finalizing the final report integrating feedback from the project stakeholders, by 10.08.2024. 


The consultant should work together with UNESCO team and the library administration, on following up, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of preservation activities. Remuneration is according to UNESCO rules and regulations based on qualifications and experience. Payment of remuneration will be linked to acceptance of the deliverables as per the agreed work plan.


COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.

Required Qualifications


Academic Qualifications

Advanced University degree in Library and Information Science, Archival Studies or relevant fields. 

Work Experience

  • Proven experience, for at least 5 years, in library materials restoration, conservation and digitization projects. 
  • Proven expertise in data migration, with a focus on transitioning physical collections to digital formats while maintaining data integrity within the Koha LIS environment. 
  • Expertise in developing and implementing preservation plans for historical collections. 
  • Demonstrated ability to train and transfer knowledge to library staff. 
  • Ability to adapt to evolving technologies in library digitization and preservation. 
  • Proven track record of successfully leading and managing similar projects, especially those involving rare manuscripts or special collections.  
  • Familiarity with specialized equipment used in digitization.   


• Very good knowledge of English (written and spoken)

Desirable Qualifications


Academic & Work Experience Qualifications

•    Background knowledge of the Iraqi and Moslawi context and the related UNESCO educational interventions.
•    7 years of experience with INGOs, and United Nations entities within the MENA region.
•    Experience with academia and universities in the Middle East region specifically in Iraq.


• Good Knowledge of Arabic (written and spoken)

Application Process


Interested candidates should click on “Apply Now”, then download and complete the Employment History form (Word file). At the end of the Word file, insert extra pages with the following required information in English:
* Upon completing the Word file with all the requested information above, upload the file at the “My Employment History Form / My Documents” section of the online application form. Only applications with the below requested information will be considered.
1- A Technical Written proposal (2-3 Pages Maximum) consisting of:
•    Comments on the Terms of Reference, if any (in brief);
•    An up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV), and a statement indicating how your qualifications and experience make you suitable for the assignment.
•    A description of your proposed approach and methodology for undertaking the assignment.
•    A work plan with detailed milestones and key deliverables/activities as per the terms of reference.
•    List of work assignments and/or THREE (03) contacts as references – to be filled and returned to UNESCO as part of the submission.

2-A Financial proposal in US dollars. Any travel and subsistence requirements should be indicated separately. Please design the payment scheme against a clear and specific set of deliverables and milestones as reflected in the work plan.

Selection and Recruitment Process


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.