New York, NY: Specialist II – Manuscripts, Archives & Rare Books, New York Public Library

Job Opening Title: Specialist II, Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books

Employer Name: The New York Public Library

Job Location: New York, New York

Application Deadline: N/A

Salary Range: $60,574

Link to job posting:

Years of experience required: 1-3

Job Description (if URL to posting not available). Please include instructions for how to apply.: Specialist II – Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Overview: With a collection that exceeds 46 million items, and a mission to advance knowledge and inspire lifelong learning, the New York Public Library stands as one of the world’s great public research libraries. The Library’s Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books divisions, situated in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, hold over 30,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives in over 5,700 collections, as well as more than 350,000 rare books and 20,000 broadsides. The collections contain some of the Library’s greatest treasures, ranging from cuneiform tablets, incunabula, and illuminated manuscripts to founding documents of the United States.

The collection is particularly strong in books printed in the Americas prior to 1801 and the history of the New York region. Collecting areas of focus include the American Revolution, U.S. Civil War, 19th-century U.S. literature, colonial Latin America, New York City social history, the history of publishing and journalism, and LGBTQ+ history. The Division also oversees the Library’s institutional archives and records.

The Specialist II position will play a key role in supporting research in the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books divisions, which welcomes thousands of special collections patrons each year. The Specialist II will provide excellent public service via reference work, collection description and writing, program and outreach, and instruction. The optimal candidate will be collaborative, service oriented, and committed to equitable access to collections for all researchers.

Reporting to the Manager of Public Services, the Specialist II will:
• Provide research and reference assistance to scholarly and general users, in the reading room and remotely
• Assess and process collection requests and coordinate communications with researchers prior to their arrival at the Library
• Develop and maintain content for research guides and blogs, and serve as point person for divisional social media accounts
• Participate in programming and instruction activities
• Assist the Manager of Public Services in outreach initiatives
• Facilitate new scholarship drawing on the division’s collections, and track outcomes of this research, including articles, books, dissertations, and other digital projects
• Support internal use of divisional holdings in programs, exhibitions, curricula, and other initiatives
• Help prepare collections for transfer between Digital Imaging Services, Special Collections Processing, Registrar, ReCAP, and other units
• Retrieve and shelve collection material as needed
• Perform other related duties as required

Decision-Making Responsibilities:
1. What is the best way to respond to an unsatisfied researcher?
2. What collections or research support does this patron need to access to successfully meet their research goals?
3. What is the best way to ensure the preservation of a special collections item while still meeting the researcher’s needs?

Department: Collections
Employment Type: Full Time
Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Workplace type: Onsite
Compensation: $60,574 / year
Reporting To: Michelle Mccarthy-Behler

Required Education, Experience & Skills

Required Education & Certifications:
• ALA accredited Master’s degree in Library and Information Science
• Undergraduate degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences
• 1-3 years of research library experience

Required Skills
• Commitment to public service and a thorough understanding of the role of special collections within a public library system
• Ability to work with a broad range of humanities scholars, students, and independent researchers with varying levels of experience
• Demonstrated commitment to promoting the use of special collections among diverse audiences and learners
• Ability to work well in a fast-paced environment, and to work as part of a team
• Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to deal effectively and tactfully with patrons and staff
• Ability to communicate clearly and confidently both in writing and in person
• Current understanding of themes, debates, and trends in the field of special collections, especially archives, manuscripts, and rare books
• Strong organization, time management, and planning skills, including the ability to perform multiple projects or tasks simultaneously

Managerial/Supervisory Responsibilities: No direct reports

Preferred Qualifications
• Knowledge of American history
• Experience developing and conducting a variety of research focused classes and programs
• Experience with library-based digital outreach, including blog posts and social media
• Experience with library-based instruction

Please Note: Effective August 2, 2021, absent a qualifying exception for medical or religious reasons, newly hired employees of the New York Public Library must present proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination and may not begin employment at the Library until 14 days after their receipt of their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 14 days after their first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Newly hired employees who need additional time to receive their vaccination prior to their start date may request an adjournment of their start date with their hiring manager. The Library will consider such requests on a case by case basis, depending upon the Library’s operational needs, among other factors. The Library will further consider exemptions for prospective employees who cannot become vaccinated due to a qualifying medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief or practice. Candidates who receive a conditional offer of employment and who seek a medical or religious exemption to the Library’s vaccination policy will be provided with additional instructions at the time of the conditional offer.

Core Values:
All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values:
• Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues
• Be Resourceful in solving problems
• Be Curious in all aspects of your work
• Be Welcoming and Inclusive

Work Environment: Research Library setting
Physical Duties: Light lifting up to 15lbs required; Sitting and standing for periods of time; Daily use of a computer
• Pre-Placement Physical Required? No

Union: Local 1930

FLSA Status: Exempt

Schedule: 35 hours per week to be scheduled during regular building hours. Division is open Tuesday through Saturday, typically 11 AM to 5 PM.

About The New York Public Library:
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at

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