job available at ucla: librarian for advanced research and engagement

UCLAPosition: Librarian for Advanced Research & Engagement
Institution:
UCLA
Posted:
April 21, 2011
Location:
California (UCLA Campus in Westwood Village, Los Angeles)
Employment Level:
Non tenure track
Website:
http://www.ucla.edu
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Category: Librarians/ library administration
Employment Status: Full-time
Rank and Salary: $56,496 to $88,488 USD
Salary and appointment level based on experience and qualifications.
Associate Librarian IV – VII ($56,496 – $68,892)
Librarian Rank I – IV ($68,892 – $88,488)
Department:
Collections, Research & Instructional Services (CRIS)
Position Availability: Immediately

Based in UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library, the CRIS department is composed of area and subject specialists who are responsible for building, managing, and providing access to the research collections in all formats in support of humanities and social sciences research and teaching. CRIS librarians serve the faculty and students in these disciplines by providing high-level reference and research services in person, via telephone, and electronically (i.e., e-mail and chat). The department is responsible for staffing the Research Library reference desk. CRIS librarians actively participate in UCLA’s Information Literacy Program, taking the lead in the design and delivery of specialized instruction sessions for upper division and graduate level courses. Subject specialist librarians in CRIS work closely together and in cooperation with librarians from other UCLA Library units to meet faculty and student needs. They serve as liaisons to academic departments and research units in their areas of responsibility.

Position Duties


Reporting to the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Team Leader in CRIS, the Librarian for Advanced Research & Engagement (LARE) serves as an ambassador for the Library, promoting library spaces, expertise, and services to advanced scholars in the social sciences and humanities. Using the recent renovation of the Research Library as an opportunity to rethink the role of the library on campus, this individual will create programming, staffing, and services to foster an intellectually stimulating environment that nurtures and invigorates the research life cycle. Broadly speaking, the LARE conceptualizes, implements, and promotes projects, programs, and events with faculty and students; develops and coordinates associated library services; and provides strategic leadership in the area of research and consultation services.

More specifically, the LARE plays a central role in developing research services and scholarly programming both for the newly renovated Research Library spaces particularly in the Research Commons and Reading Rooms and throughout the UCLA Library enterprise-wide. The Librarian also plays a central role in highlighting the collections of the UCLA Library and launches programming such as physical and virtual exhibitions, films, seminars, workshops, lectures, and discussion groups to highlight and promote use of existing print and digital collections as well as scholarly tools at UCLA. The LARE works closely with social sciences and humanities faculty and students to address their research and teaching needs, and develop new research projects. In collaboration with subject specialist librarians, the LARE acts as a key Library liaison to the numerous Organized Research Units (ORU) on campus, including the Ethnic Studies research centers, the Center for the Study of Women, the International Institute, and others, working with them on research projects, programming, and exhibitions. The LARE leads outreach efforts to other campus groups that work with graduate students and faculty — such as the Graduate Writing Center, Academic Technology Services, the Center for Digital Humanities, and the dozens of research centers on North Campus — to coordinate their services with those of the Research Library. The incumbent will also be responsible for keeping abreast of new modes of research in the humanities and social sciences, and consequently develop ad hoc methods of engagement that highlight the Library’s role in promoting and furthering this research.

The LARE works with the Head of CRIS and with the SSH Team Leader, as well as with the AUL for Academic Services, the AUL for Collection Management and Scholarly Communication, and the AUL for Digital Initiatives and Information Technology on long-range strategic planning for new initiatives, projects, programming, exhibitions, events, and grants. The incumbent also works closely with the Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship, the Director of Teaching and Learning Services and Head of the College Library, the Director of Library Communications, the Director of Library Development, the Director of Access Services, the Director of Library Special Collections, and others as needed, to provide ways for scholars to engage with library resources and promote resources, services and programming. The LARE develops capacity and expertise among the librarians and staff within CRIS and other Library departments and units to support work in advanced scholarship through instruction, training, demonstrations, lectures, and workshops. The LARE partners with other campus stakeholders to position the Library as a bridge between researchers in different fields, facilitating interdisciplinary scholarship. The LARE will also develop a for-credit course on advanced research to be taught in the Department of Information Studies or as an undergraduate seminar class and design a research program that will bring social sciences and humanities scholars into the UCLA Library to maximize use of the campus’s research collections.

In the LARE’s capacity as Research and Engagement coordinator, the incumbent will provide vision and strategic leadership as well as coordination of services for the Research Library’s scholarly services. Duties also include developing and implementing, in collaboration with the CRIS Department Leadership Team, a research support service model that will maximize subject specialists’ expertise. The incumbent identifies and implements suitable assessment tools to capture the full breadth of qualitative and quantitative data related to scholarly services; works with other departments within the UCLA Library organization to provide assistance to scholars across a broad range of expertise, in a variety of library settings; and partners with other coordinators within the UCLA Library to develop, manage, and deliver a unified scholarly services profile. As Research and Engagement Coordinator, he or she will oversee activities, services, and staffing in the Research Commons and Reading Room, according to the model established. These duties may include hiring, training, and supervising student Reference Desk Assistants to provide research services. The incumbent may also oversee a training program for research service providers, including librarians and staff.

The incumbent is responsible for the following duties:

  • Leadership of Enterprise-Wide Scholarly Outreach and Collaboration
  • Plays a central role in creating research services and scholarly programming for the newly renovated Research Library spaces–particularly in the Research Commons and Reading Room–and throughout the UCLA Library enterprise-wide.
  • Launches programming– such as physical and virtual exhibitions, films, seminars, workshops, lectures and discussion groups–to highlight and promote use of existing print and digital collections as well as scholarly tools at UCLA. Publicizes research output on campus.
  • Works closely with Social Sciences and Humanities faculty and students to identify and address their research needs, and to develop new research projects. In collaboration with subject specialist librarians, acts as a key Library liaison to the numerous Organized Research Units (ORU) on campus, including the Ethnic Studies research centers, the Center for the Study of Women, and the International Institute. Works with ORUs on research projects, programming, and exhibitions.
  • Leads outreach efforts to other campus groups that work with graduate students and faculty — such as the Graduate Writing Center, Academic Technology Services, the Center for Digital Humanities, and the dozens of research centers on North Campus — to coordinate their services with those of the Research Library.
  • Keeps abreast of new modes of research in the Humanities and Social Sciences and develops ad hoc methods of engagement that highlight the Library’s role in promoting and furthering this research, including demonstrations of emerging scholarly resources and technologies to interested faculty, students, staff, librarians, the research community, and library supporters.
  • Works with the Head of CRIS, the SSH Team Leader, the AUL for Academic Services, the AUL for Collections Management and Scholarly Communication, and the AUL for Digital Initiatives and Information Technology on long-range strategic planning for new initiatives, projects, exhibits, events, and grants.
  • Within the Research Library, works closely with the Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship, the Director of Teaching and Learning Services and Head of the College Library, the Director of Library Communications, the Director of Library Development, the Director of Access Services, the Director of Library Special Collections, and others as needed, in providing ways for scholars to engage with Library resources and in promoting Library resources, services and programming.
  • Develops additional capacity and expertise among the CRIS librarians and staff and librarians and staff in other Library departments and units to support advanced scholarship through instruction, training, demonstrations, lectures, and workshops
  • Partners with other campus stakeholders to position the Library as a bridge between researchers in different fields to facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship.
  • Develops and teaches a for-credit course on advanced research, in collaboration with the Department of Information Studies or the Fiat Lux undergraduate seminar program.
  • Designs and launches a research program that will bring Social Sciences and Humanities scholars into the UCLA Library to maximize use of the campus’s research collections.

Research Library Academic Research and Engagement Coordination

  • Provides vision and strategic leadership as well as coordination of the Research Library’s scholarly services.
  • In collaboration with the CRIS Department Leadership Team, develops and implements a research support service model that will maximize subject specialists’ expertise.
  • Identifies and implements suitable assessment tools to capture the full breadth of qualitative and quantitative data related to scholarly services.
  • Works with other departments and coordinators within the UCLA Library organization to provide assistance to scholars across a broad range of expertise, in a variety of library settings, and to develop, manage, and deliver a unified scholarly services profile.
  • Hires, trains, and supervises student Reference Desk Assistants to provide research services in the Research Commons and Reading Room.
  • Oversees training program for research service providers including librarians and staff.

Candidates applying by May 31, 2011 will be given first consideration.

For the complete job posting, please visit: http://www2.library.ucla.edu/about/employment.cfm.

how not to read targum neofiti

Again, I shake my head, but stay with me on this one: Mark Driscoll has successfully butchered Neofiti.

Apparently, as a part of an indoctrination informative series of mini-sermons on ‘What Christians Should Believe,’ pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle attempted to expound on Targum Neofiti. In particular, he attempted to use Neofiti as part of an apologetic defense for evidence of the Christian concept of the Trinity in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.

Watch the video here first:

I’m not sure where to begin, but please allow me to make a few friendly correctives.

First, one would think that a basic seminary training would have taught Pastor Mark some elementary Hebrew. אלה’ם (“Elohim“) is plural in form, but can be plural or singular in meaning, depending upon whether it is used in reference to the central figure of the Hebrew Bible, YHWH (God). (See Mark Smith’s Early History of God for more info.) If (“Elohim“) does preserve an early plurality, it is from Canaan’s polytheistic past, and not due to any notion of a Trinity, which was a theological construct hypothesized in the first few centuries of Christianity to deal with the Arian-Nicene controversy. The inscription discovered at Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, which offers an 8th century blessing reading “may you be blessed by YHWH of Samaria and his Asherah” (Cf. William Dever’s book, Did God Have a Wife?, or watch the NOVA special here), provides evidence that Israelites all the way down into the 8th Century (that is, long past David and Solomon) and well beyond still worshiped other gods besides YHWH. (Cf. the first 2 of the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:3-6, and just about every prophet’s complaint about the ongoing problem of the polytheistic worship.)

Another elementary seminary lesson teaches that רוח אלה’ם (“ruah Elohim” or “spirit of God”) and the simple אלה’ם (“Elohim” or “God”) are interchangeable references to the same person depending on the author. A freshman level understanding of Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis (and its descendants) reveals that some authors of the Bible favored a distant God who used messengers (like angels) or referred to God as the “spirit of God” when referring to him making personal appearances, while other authors viewed God in a more anthropomorphic sense, and referred to God simply as YHWH or “God.” Trinitarian apologists have looked to the OT for Trinitarian “evidence” for millennia, and pointing to Genesis 1 for evidence of the Trinity is easily refuted.

Another tactic used by Trinitarian apologists is claiming that the ‘us’ in Gen 1:26 (“let us create man in our image) can only be explained by the Trinity. This view is either ignorant or dismissive of the more widely accepted scholarly interpretation of this verse as employing the “royal we,” that is, God speaking to his royal court of angels, etc. (think book of Job). Of course, this too may also be a holdover from Israel’s polytheistic past (as persistently criticized by Hebrew prophets), where the story dates to a time of polytheism, and was so ingrained in the oral tradition and the minds of Israelites, that they preserved the polytheistic form of the verb and its derivative pronouns, and yet understood it as a singular. To claim that this passage can only refer to the Trinity is either simple ignorance or an unwillingness to consider any explanation other than what Driscoll has already decided. Making up one’s mind regarding what to believe and then scouring the text for evidence is called eisegesis, and is a common tactic among fundamentalists.

A side-by-side comparison of the Hebrew Bible, Targums Onkelos, Neofiti, and Pseudo-Jonathan, and the NIV (English).

A side-by-side comparison of the Hebrew Bible, Targums Onkelos (Aramaic and English), Neofiti, and Pseudo-Jonathan, and the NIV (English). translation of Genesis 1:1. The red arrow points to the word בחכמה “b’hakmah” (Aramaic: “in/with wisdom”) in Neofiti’s Aramaic translation of Gen 1:1.

Perhaps the most egregious of Driscoll’s exegetical errors comes when he attempts to invoke the Aramaic Targums to defend his argument that there is explicit evidence for the Trinity in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.

First, Driscoll claims that Neofiti was written 200 years before Christ, and not 200 CE, which is the scholarly consensus. Neofiti was written long after Jesus had come and gone. This may be a simple mistake during note taking on Driscoll’s part, but it becomes a huge problem when Driscoll attempts to use this misinformation to turn Neofiti into a prophecy, rather than what it is: an attempt to reconcile two contradicting passages.

Second, and perhaps the most blatant of Driscoll’s errors is his complete misreading of Neofiti’s translation of Genesis 1:1. Anyone who has studied Aramaic targums knows that there is no such thing as translation without interpretation. Neofiti tends to interpret as it translates, which adds language to the original Hebrew text, but was considered permissible since those listening to a targum read aloud were most likely doing so because they couldn’t understand Hebrew. Thus, the targums would interpret and explain while they translated. The practice is not unlike writing a commentary on a passage that integrates the interpretation into the text itself.

With regard to Neofiti’s treatment of Genesis 1:1, the text was concerned with explaining away a problematic contradiction within the Hebrew Bible. (See the critique made by Dr. Christian Brady, Dean and Aramaic targum scholar at Penn State here, and Scott Bailey’s treatment of Driscoll’s errors here.) Dr. Brady points out that Driscoll completely misreads Neofiti’s translation of Gen. 1:1, and mistakes the Aramaic words ‏ מלקדמין בחכמה ברא {ד}ייי (“At the beginning, with wisdom, God created…”) with “at the beginning, by the firstborn, God created.” This is not even close! In fact, Dr. Brady and I are hard-pressed to find any possible way the Aramaic word בחכמה “b’hakmah” (meaning “in/with wisdom”, similar to the Hebrew חכמה “hokmah” – see the red arrow in the graphic above) can be misread to derive at “firstborn.” Driscoll simply misreads (if he read it at all) the Aramaic and invents something that fits his theological argument.

So what then is Targum Neofiti doing here by adding this word בחכמה “b’hakmah” (“in/with wisdom”)? Answer: it is attempting to harmonize the claim in Genesis 1:1 that says בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ (“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”) with Proverbs 8:22, where in a tribute to wisdom, the Bible claims that God created wisdom first, before the rest of creation (“The LORD created me [wisdom, cf. Prov. 8:22] at the beginning of His course, as the first of His works of old”). Targum Neofiti is attempting to reconcile the natural question of precisely what was actually created first: wisdom (Prov. 8), or the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1)? The answer offered by the authors of Neofiti was quite clever: God created the heavens and the earth in/with wisdom. The authors of Neofiti simply added the Aramaic word בחכמה (“in/with wisdom”), to their translation of the Hebrew text of Gen 1:1, which they felt solved their problem of which came first. God created the heavens and the earth “with wisdom.” Problem solved. The translators added to the Hebrew text, which was actually very common at the time. This practice of adding to the text and harmonizing passages while translating explains why there are so many textual variants of the Hebrew Bible, and is we love to study the targums: they teach about the diversity of thought at the time.

Unfortunately, in the end, Driscoll’s so-called mis-“reading” of Targum Neofiti is a mere fabrication – a complete misreading of the text, which he uses as evidence for something that isn’t there (evidence of the Trinity in the OT). It’s almost as egregious of a fabricated defense of the Trinity as the Johannine Comma, in which a medieval publisher (Erasmus) intentionally inserted text (under pressure from others) in 1 John 5:7-8 in an attempt to provide some explicit Biblical evidence for the Trinity (because there was/is none).

And that is how not to use the targums. How do you mislead your congregation into believing something that you believe, but that the Bible doesn’t mention? You just make something up.

As I said before, “I shake my head.”

It’s actually embarrassing that this video is still up there on the web. The entire sermon is built upon a fabrication of evidence. How long until he pulls it or offers an apology?

a lesser-known (but better) model of social justice

Social JusticeI’d like to present the following text and ask that you consider it as a model for social justice.

When I passed through the city gates, To take my seat in the square,
Young men saw me and hid, Elders rose and stood;
Nobles held back their words; They clapped their hands to their mouths.
The voices of princes were hushed; Their tongues stuck to their palates.
The ear that heard me acclaimed me; The eye that saw, commended me.
For I saved the poor man who cried out, The orphan who had none to help him.
I received the blessing of the lost; I gladdened the heart of the widow.
I clothed myself in righteousness and it robed me; Justice was my cloak and turban.
I was eyes to the blind And feet to the lame.
I was a father to the needy, And I looked into the case of the stranger.
I broke the jaws of the wrongdoer, And I wrested prey from his teeth.
I thought I would end my days with my family, And be as long-lived as the phoenix (alt: sand),
My roots reaching water, And dew lying on my branches;
My vigor refreshed, My bow ever new in my hand.
Men would listen to me expectantly, And wait for my counsel.
After I spoke they had nothing to say; My words were as drops [of dew] upon them.
They waited for me as for rain, For the late rain, their mouths open wide.
When I smiled at them, they would not believe it; They never expected a sign of my favor.
I decided their course and presided over them; I lived like a king among his troops, Like one who consoles mourners.

The above lament from Job 29 (JPS) serves as a wise model for social justice. It is powerful because it demonstrates a proper balance between service to and defense of the poor, the marginalized, and the victims of those who would seek to do them harm. It avoids the common debate that pits non-violent advocacy against a justified use of force, and balances the often conflicting concepts of mercy and justice. In this model, it is just as important to provide for the needy as it is to defend them physically and be willing to risk bodily injury to do so.

This model of social justice is markedly different from many modern concepts of social justice that often avoid physical conflict at all costs often in exchange for an arguably naïve, and at times, inefficient service to others. Many pacifist notions of social justice regularly struggle with issues of treating the symptoms of social issues without addressing the underlying problems. What good is it to continually give money to the poor if it is regularly and immediately taken away by the pimp, the boss, or the shark? Treating symptoms without addressing the root of the social problem both allows the problem to persist and increases the potential for still others to be harmed. The socially just advocate should not only serve the poor, but defend them as well, and should be willing to risk physical and professional harm to do so.

Job’s description of his former life effectively balances service to the needy (the poor, the orphan, the lost, the widow, the blind, the lame, the needy, and the stranger) with a firm concept of justice (“I broke the jaws of the wrong does, And I wrested prey from his teeth”). This is not unlike Jesus’ use of force in John 2:15, when he made a whip of cords and used it do drive out of the Temple moneychangers, who were taking advantage of those coming to worship. In the end, Job’s concept of social justice is willing to both be a service to victims and to pursue vigorously their persecutors.

Job 29 is also a good wisdom text, as it paints a beautiful picture of the expected and deserved rewards that await those who defend the poor and the marginalized. The socially just not only experience praise and respect from the elders of the city and the children alike, but also come to be regarded for their wise counsel in other matters, demonstrating that those who are willing to walk the talk are more likely to have their “talk” considered as wise counsel over time. And this is as it should be; the words of those who have done will always trump the words of whose who have only said.

In the end, while we should not seek conflict, we also must not stand idly by and hold the coats of those who would do others harm. Despite the fact that it is easier to turn the other cheek and wait for a bully to become bored with his victim and move on, and despite the fact that involvement in a conflict may cause the aggressor to turn and pursue you for a while, the socially just advocate must be willing to draw fire from an aggressor’s victims and do what he or she can do to stop the aggression, even if it causes him or her harm. The socially just advocate must pursue justice even in the difficult times, even if it potentially involves conflict, ridicule, harassment, exhaustion, and even physical harm. But, if it is done properly, the socially just advocate will not only have helped his neighbor, but will enjoy the thanks and respect of those who witnessed the struggle.

the dude abides: on the new coen brothers movie and cathleen falsani book

Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey Lebowski (aka "The Dude") in The Big Lebowski

Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey Lebowski (aka "The Dude") in The Big Lebowski

during my excavation at omrit, israel in 2004, dig directors j. andrew overman and dan schowalter began calling me ‘the dude’ because of my long curly hair, my penchant for wearing pajama bottoms outdoors on the kibbutz at night, and because i was living and working in malibu, ca at the time. apparently, i resembled jeffrey lebowski (aka ‘the dude’) played by jeff bridges in the movie ‘the big lebowski.’ i had never seen the movie, but after watching it in a makeshift kibbutz theater comprised of a bed sheet, digital projector, a laptop computer, and some kibbutz lawn chairs, i was sold. it was the funniest (albeit the cussiest) movie i had ever seen, especially for those moments in life where you’re exhausted and bickering among friends become sheer comedic gold. (the gold star helped.)

now, there is a new book atop my most wanted list: the dude abides: the gospel according to the coen brothers by cathleen falsani. regarding the book:

Join award-winning author and columnist Cathleen Falsani as she explores the serious existential questions raised in the movies of the wildly popular and always irreverent Coen brothers. Coen fans and film lovers will appreciate Falsani’s unique blend of contemporary insight and spiritual discernment that is both entertaining and illuminating.

the book comes at about the same time as the newest coen brothers movie: a serious man. in an interview with the book’s author entitled, ‘the coen brothers on judaism, and job,’ about the coen brothers movie, we learn from michael paulson of the boston globe that:

The film is being compared to Job because it centers on a seemingly decent man for whom everything suddenly goes wrong, without explanation, and his efforts to seek help from God are as unsuccessful as they are persistent. The film opens in Boston Friday; I thought it was stunning — mesmerizing, witty, bleak, honest.

i loved the big lebowski. i love the book of job. and i love the entire corpus of coen brothers movies. i shall buy the book and watch the movie when it is released.

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