Collection Manager, Library Services Center
New York Public Library Job Location: New York Date Created: 05-23-2022
The New York Public Library's (NYPL) collections are among the most important, unique, and comprehensive ever assembled for the free use of the public. The Research Library’s collections are wide-ranging, including archives, rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, prints, drawings, artwork, and audio and moving image recordings. The Library is committed to employing expert staff to formulate and implement responsible collection management and preservation plans covering the lifecycle of research collection materials.
The special collections of NYPL’s three research centers–the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Library for the Performing Arts–are shipped to the Library Services Center (LSC) in Long Island City as they are acquired, processed, prepared for exhibition and outgoing loan, undergo conservation treatment, and are digitized. Within Preservation and Collections Processing, the Collection Manager, LSC, oversees acquisition logistics, working with donors, vendors, and shippers; receives, accessions, and physically manages collection materials in storage, preparing them for processing by Archival Processing or Special Collections Cataloging; oversees transfer of materials between processing, digitization, and conservation programs; prepares shipments of materials to research centers and offsite facilities (coordinating with Registrar Services), manages acquisition documentation; and oversees preventive conservation activities associated with all spaces.
Working primarily with archives, rare books, and audio and moving image materials, the CM is fluent in logistics, stewardship, and professional standards within archives, libraries, and/or museums, while enacting a portfolio of institutional and vendor relationships to achieve success. The CM demonstrates extensive knowledge of a wide range of special collections formats and their related preservation issues, including appropriate packing, handling, shipping, documentation, and storage. They communicate the implications of these issues to a diverse peer group at NYPL, including directors, curators, special collections processing and cataloging staff, facilities managers, and others. Using this expertise, the CM manages one staff member and coordinates with colleagues to coordinate efficient and appropriate transport, custody transfer, and intake of materials while assessing and managing the risk associated with these activities, including weighing cost implications and project impacts. The CM acts as a public face of the Library during interactions with donors and negotiates with appropriate vendors to foster positive and beneficial external relationships.
Key Responsibilities Reporting to the Associate Director, Collection Management, the Collection Manager, LSC will:
- Manage all special collections materials entering LSC, including receiving, stacks/storeroom management, location tracking, and assessment of storage needs for collection materials while onsite at LSC
- Accession new special collections acquisitions, including inventory, preservation assessment, labeling, rehousing, and other activities as necessary
- Oversee special collections acquisition logistics, coordinating efficient and appropriate packing, transport, and custody transfer with internal and external partners while assessing and managing the risk associated with these activities
- Coordinate transport of collections to permanent storage locations with Registrar Services and fine arts shippers
- Effectively manage collection documentation completion, quality control, and physical organization, at the time of acquisition
- Coordinate site visits with appropriate NYPL staff to physically evaluate and document potential acquisitions
- Coordinate the safe movement of special collection materials within LSC and shipments to/from Research Centers, RECAP, and other external storage locations.
- Liaise with Facilities, Security, and Capital Planning staff around preventive conservation and building management issues for LSC storerooms to maintain an appropriate environment for special collections, identify issues, and collaborate to seek solutions
- Collaborate with stakeholders such as Registrar Services, Center Collection Management programs, Special Collections Processing, Conservation, and Digital Research at LSC to communicate collection management goals and standards
- Coordinate emergency preparedness activities for PCP at LSC, serve on the REACT collection emergency response team and lead REACT when required, providing emergency support in other NYPL centers when required
- Occasionally courier collection materials on loan to other museums and libraries within NYC and beyond.
Required Education, Experience & Skills
Required Education & Experience
- Masters degree in Library or Archival Science, Museum Studies, Arts Administration or equivalent experience, with a experience in collection management and/or registration required
- Strong interest in archives and special collections
- Broad humanities knowledge as demonstrated through academic degrees or an equivalent combination of training and experience
- Five or more years experience in registration, acquisitions management, and/or managing collections required
- Familiarity with professional standards and best practices in archives and special collections and/or cultural heritage collection management and registration, including legal and ethical issues surrounding acquisitions required, with the ability to communicate implications around decision-making to a range of NYPL partners, including directors, curators, senior managers, facilities staff, and others
- Demonstrated knowledge of a wide range of special collections formats, including archives and rare books, and their related preservation issues, including appropriate packing, handling, shipping, and storage
- Knowledge of packing methods and materials and associated vendors required. Must be able to assess and articulate risks associated with different methods
- Demonstrated record of designing and managing projects and bringing them to a conclusion in a timely fashion
- Experience working collaboratively and independently with varied groups within a complex organization and rapidly changing team environment
- Experience working with fine arts shippers required, including a working knowledge about customs requirements, long-distance shipping, custody transfer, and insurance
- Demonstrated familiarity with collection storeroom and/or stacks management and preventive conservation required
- Attention to detail and excellent customer service required
- Excellent verbal and written communications
- Experience with procedures and systems for accessioning manuscript and archival materials preferred
- Experience processing archival collections or cataloging rare materials preferred
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
- Must travel to four research library sites and to donor homes and warehouses in the NYC metropolitan area. These areas may include basements, attics, outbuildings, and spaces that may be dusty, dirty, or difficult to access. Some additional travel outside the NYC area may be required.
- Position involves reasonable exposure to dust
- Ability to lift up to 30 pounds (record cartons filled with paper and other material) repeatedly from floor to shelf/cart and climb ladders simultaneously as well as stand for long periods of time required.
Physical Required? No Union/Non Union Non Union FLSA Status Exempt Schedule
- 35 hours per week
- Office setting
- Storage area setting
- Offsite, including donor’s homes, basements, attics, storage facilities, warehouses
- Public library setting
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 www.nypl.org.