Aliya Sarsembinova was appointed Director of Nazarbayev University Library in June 2010. She started her career at Eastern Kazakhstan Regional Library in Oskemen in 1985, where she began as a PR coordinator and advanced to the position of Head of the Information Technology Department. In 2005, she joined the National Academic Library team in Astana, Kazakhstan, controlling electronic resources provision, supervising the creation and development of an electronic repository, and managing the acquisition process for the new library as Director of the Informational Resources Department and later as a Deputy Director General on Information Technology and E-resources.
In her current position as Director of the University Library she is responsible for library management issues: building the library collections (print and e-version), organizing the library IT system, e-library conception and development, staff development, administrative work, budget planning, and strategy development.
Aliya Sarsembinova received her specialization in Library Science and Bibliography from Altay State Institute of Culture (Barnaul, Russia) and later spent a year in Library and Information Science at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (Illinois, USA) as a Muskie scholar (Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program). In 2002, she was recognized as “The Muskie of the Year” by the US state government.
She is an active participant in professional organizations, serving as a University Libraries Association of the Republic of Kazakhstan Board member. For her contribution to the development of Library Science in Kazakhstan, she has been awarded multiple certificates, diplomas and honors, as well as a medal on the occasion of 10 years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan.