Share this Job

Head of Unit (Library Services)


Post Number : 1ITSC0818TP

Grade : P-3

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Trieste

Job Family: Documentation and Library

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 14-SEPT-2020


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



Founded in 1964 by the late Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam and located in Trieste (Italy), the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) seeks to accomplish its mandate by providing scientists from developing countries with the continuing education and skills that they need to enjoy long and productive careers. The Marie Curie Library provides information services through its bibliographic resources in all formats (borrowing, reference services, document delivery services and user training) to ICTP researchers, course participants and visitors. The Library preserves/archives documentation on the institutional history of the Centre and runs programmes aimed at the dissemination of scientific literature in least developed countries.

Under the supervision of the Director of the Research Division, the incumbent is responsible for the planning and management of the Library and its services, in line with the ICTP mission and in support of its research and training programmes. In particular, s/he will perform the following duties:

  • Stay abreast on the latest developments in the field of library management pertaining to information discovery and access, data management, research dissemination, copyright, and all emerging topics of interest including Open Science, Open Educational Resources, and the evolving scholarly communication models. In consultation with the ICTP management and Library Committee, propose and implement new work processes and tools for the provision of state-of-the-art library services to the ICTP scientific community in line with the institutional mission, including the revised collection development policy to include print and digital media.
  • Supervise the work of the Library staff, prioritize, assign tasks and objectives, train and identify learning and development opportunities, review performance.
  • Be responsible for the Library budget planning and administration. Analyse and evaluate usage of collections and resources to advise the ICTP Administration in negotiating cost-effective contracts with vendors, including special conditions to provide access to ICTP off-campus activities and/or affiliated scientists in less developed countries.
  •  In collaboration with the Management, oversee the preservation and archiving of documentation relevant to the institutional history, including managing access to the Abdus Salam Archive.
  •  Liaise with libraries at local, national, international and UN level, to share knowledge and best practices. Participate and contribute to institutional committees as appropriate.


COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.


  • Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in the field of Library or information science.

Work Experience

  • At least four (4) years of experience in library work in an international environment, of which preferably 2 years in a supervisory position.

Skills & Competencies

  • Knowledge of, and experience with contemporary library theory, practices, methods, trends.
  • Strong background in library technology, hardware and software.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both oral and in writing).
  • Ability to collaborate effectively within a multicultural environment.


  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English. 



Skills & Competencies

  • Good knowledge of the principles and practices of human resources and financial management.


  • Good working knowledge of Italian or of another official UNESCO language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish).



UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.


For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


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 applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain 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. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) 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.