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Brooke Russell Astor Director for Collections

Brooke Russell Astor Director for Collections

The New York Public Library Job Location: New York Date Created: 03-20-2015


Built by generations of curators and librarians for over 160 years, The New York Public Library’s collections are among the most important, unique, and comprehensive ever assembled for the free use of the public.  From objects and artifacts of global significance to distinctive archives of individuals and organizations to books, journals, and newspapers in more than 380 languages to premium content databases, the Library’s collections provide endlessly rich materials for scholars, writers, entrepreneurs, artists, educators, and students -- and are a source of inspiration for the intellectually curious.  


Building on this strong foundation, the Brooke Russell Astor Director of Collections will formulate a clear, comprehensive strategy for the lifecycle of print and digital collections for the Library, collaborating effectively with partner organizations and positioning the Library as a vital resource to support learning, creativity, scholarship, and enterprise.



Reporting to the Andrew W. Mellon Director, the Brooke Russell Astor Director for Collections:

  • Responsible for the development and management of the New York Public Library’s research collections, including acquisitions, processing, preservation, and registrar services

  • Develops and upholds the Library’s standards of excellence and innovation in collecting, preserving, and making materials accessible to scholars, creative professionals, students, and the general public

  • Provides overall leadership of the Library’s digital collections strategy and digital preservation, working closely with curators, IT, and NYPL Labs on execution of that strategy

  • Provides administrative oversight of the Library’s collection-related policies to ensure the broadest access possible to collections and oversees further development of the Library’s role in informing public policies that impact libraries and archives

  • Engages with current issues and trends regarding all aspects of scholarly communication, including advising on publishing and research trends, open access initiatives, copyright, and information technologies that affect access and preservation of scholarly information

  • Communicates regularly and substantively with Library administrators, curators, librarians, researchers, and user groups aboutshaping the Library’s collections

  • Recruits, motivates, mentors, and retains a highly-skilled professional staff

  • Engages in fundraising and external relations efforts with community, government, and philanthropic leaders, in coordination with NYPL departments

Key Competencies:
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Accountability
  • Digital Literacy
  • Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited program
  • Seven or more years of research library experience with increasing responsibilities in one or more areas related to collection development and management
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex budgets and an understanding of evolving business models for acquisitions
  • Knowledge of current and evolving collection development and management strategies, including resource selection and working with vendors and publishers
  • Deep understanding of and commitment to the mission of a public library and the particular role that a research collection plays in service of that public mission
  • Demonstrated ability to engage curators, librarians, staff, and external constituencies in the collaborative planning, coordination, and execution of collection strategies
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain close and productive working relationships with colleagues and constituents in an environment where consultation, flexibility, collaboration, and cooperation are essential
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills
  • Knowledge of current trends and issues in scholarly communication, including copyright, open access, digital acquisitions, and data sharing
  • Strong record of scholarly engagement and professional service, including peer-reviewed publications and/or presentations at national conferences, and service on regional and/or national-level organizations
  • Experience with vendor and publisher negotiations, consortial collaborations, and license agreements
  • Proven experience with or a desire to engage in development, fundraising, and public relations activities
Work Environment:
  • Office environment
Evenings and weekends as required
Schedule subject to change
Union / Non Union:
Non Union

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