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Internship at UNCCD Library, Bonn, Germany


The secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) library has acquired a new cataloguing system- Adlib Library Software in 2012.

The library collection amounts more than 20,000 units which include books, reports, studies, periodicals, newsletters, official documents as well as audio-visual and electronic materials. In order to make the collection usable and searchable online, the library needs external assistance in cataloguing in order to launch an online public access catalogue (OPAC).

Students who have the passion to work in a library environment and in an exciting international organization, which turns 20 this year, young people with library sciences knowledge who love organizing special and unique collections by looking for the best way of making them available on-line, are strongly encouraged to apply.


In order to respond to its mandate, the secretariat of the Convention needs to be equipped with a Knowledge Management System that can improve internal content management and collaborations. Furthermore, the UNCCD needs an effective external platform to gather and share relevant scientific information and expertise, and to transform the acquired knowledge into a format that is useful for informing political decision-making and research. One application that this environment must integrate is a Library Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC).

UNCCD secretariat is the repository of a rich documentary fund positioned as a global reference in the areas of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought. The secretariat has a specialized collection of more than 20,000 library items apart from the electronic collection: e- books, the official documents, articles, etc. For researchers, policy makers, and practitioners alike, it is a source of knowledge that has few if any equivalent in the world.

Access to UNCCD library is opened to the external public in response to the UN mandate and UNCCD objectives to make such knowledge widely accessible and used. Until recently the UNCCD library lacked a proper cataloguing system that would make internal management of the documentary fund more efficient and that would facilitate remote consultations and enable greater leverage.

The selection of an online cataloguing system by UNCCD –Adlib Library- and the upcoming roll out of UNCCD KMS are two projects that will reinforce each other in order to offer staff and external partners an enhanced awareness of and increased access to DLDD related information resources and knowledge. Accordingly, with the acquisition of Adlib Library Software now, there is a need of proper cataloging with external help in order to have more records within the next months, fully searchable online.


The cataloguing intern will work closely with and under the direct supervision of the UNCCD librarian. The intern will assist in assessing the value of the available material, getting rid of all damaged, invalid or obsolete material library materials by accomplishing the following tasks:

  • Cataloguing of documents/ books, serials, reports, articles, audio-visual materials according to the established UNCCD Classification Categories.
  • Select and extract keywords based on UNBIS Subject Headings, UNCCD Classification Categories and UNCCD Thesaurus.
  • Create and assign call numbers, prepare, print and assign labels.
  • Organize the catalogued publications and information materials within the sections, shelves and boxes.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Enrollment in a graduate-level degree programme in Library and Information Sciences (LIS)
  • Strong interest and/or experience with library environment, library cataloguing practices, metadata standards and formats (MARK 21), library software packages and modules.
  • Knowledge and/or experience with any of the following library software – Adlib, Voyager, Aleph, STAR.
  • Knowledge and experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.)
  • Interest in environmental issues, sustainable development, land degradation, desertification, sustainable land management
  • Excellent English skills for the creation of abstracts and analytical cataloguing. Knowledge of other UN languages is an asset.
  • Candidates must show initiative, flexibility and ability to work in a team based environment
  • Good organizational and planning skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong work ethic and commitment; Organized and resourceful;
  • A desire to work with and gain the confidence and respect of people with different language, national and cultural backgrounds;

Timeframe – Expected Duration: 3 to 6 months

Submission of applications

Applications and Curriculum Vitae should be submitted by e-mail to, specifying in the subject line: Internship at UNCCD Library. Completed internship application form could be found at:

The deadline for the applications is 29 August 2014. Only applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. No telephone calls will be returned. Please address your application as indicated above and please do not address or copy your application to an individual at the Secretariat.

Interns are not financially remunerated by the UNCCD. Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of the intern or his/her sponsoring institution.

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