The Library for the Performing Arts has one of the world’s most significant collections of research materials about music, dance, theatre, and recorded sound. A large part of this collection falls under the umbrella of “special collections,” which includes rare and fragile
materials such as archival collections, loose sheet music, photographs, programs, clippings, scrapbooks, manuscripts, fine art, and rare books. All these materials are used in the Katharine Cornell-Guthrie McClintic Special Collections Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the library.
The Special Collections Reading Room assistants have primary responsibility for providing excellent public service and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Reading Room. This includes registering and giving orientations to a wide range of researchers, monitoring the proper use of collections, and effectively communicating library policies and guidelines about collections handling, reproductions, access to restricted collections, and other library services. Assistants will also oversee the management and circulation of materials in the Reading Room, including assisting with materials paging and providing reference referrals. Assistants will also assist all research divisions with projects related to managing Special Collections materials as needed.
Under the general supervision of the Assistant Curator of Music:
- Provides high-quality public service to all researchers using materials in the Special Collections Reading Room. This includes opening and closing the room each day, registering researchers, coordinating paging requests with the Print Delivery staff, circulating materials, supervising proper handling and security of all materials, communicating library policies, and providing reference referrals.
- Retrieves and shelves materials, as needed, for patrons and Library staff.
- Coordinates with curatorial divisions all patron applications for the use of restricted collections, including ordering of materials from off-site locations, and monitoring the use of that material in the Reading Room.
- Assists with the identification of collection materials for preservation or conservation treatment.
- Provides administrative support for the Reading Room, including monitoring supplies and re-ordering, and to other professional staff as needed.
- As part of a team, assists with planning for—and implementation of—special projects, such as collection management activities, digitization initiatives, the movement of collection materials, and bibliographic control projects.
- Liaises with other units within the Library, including the Registrar’s Office, Conservation Lab, Special Formats Processing, Digital Imaging Unit, and Photographic Services & Permissions, among others.
- Facilitates scanning and photo requests for patrons and staff.
- Aids in the collection of statistical information for the production of departmental management reports.
- Performs other duties as required.
- Bachelor’s degree and/or substantial experience working in a special collections, archives, or museum setting.
- Demonstrated familiarity with best practices in special collections collection handling, security, and preservation.
- Excellent organizational skills and ability to show attention to detail.
- Excellent judgment and problem-solving skills, and ability to work well under pressure and in a busy environment.
- Successfully demonstrated public service experience, excellent customer service skills, and ability to communicate effectively with library patrons and staff.
- Reliability and flexibility, as well as an ability to work well independently.
- Strong computer skills, including familiarity with Google docs.
- Ability to lift up to 35 pounds.
- Familiarity with the performing arts: dance, music, recorded sound and/or theatre.
- An understanding of bibliographic control issues within a large library environment.
- Knowledge of library computer systems and special collections catalog records and finding aids.
Public service research library
Daily use of a computer
Pushing/pulling fully loaded book carts
Bending and stooping
Lifting items weighing up to 35 lbs.
Minimum Salary (with 2 years of NYPL service):
Union / Non Union: