Rare Materials Cataloger (Librarian III/Specialist III) – The New York Public Library

Please visit the link below to apply on our website:

Special Collections Processing (SCP) is the department within NYPL’s Preservation and Collections Processing that promotes access to the Library’s most distinctive collections by describing rare and unique materials and preparing them for preservation and use. SCP supports collections in all of the Research Libraries, including the curatorial divisions at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Library for the Performing Arts, and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Within SCP, the Special Collections Cataloging unit supports the discovery of distinctive collections by cataloging the wide range of materials held in NYPL’s Research Libraries, including rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and sound and moving image recordings. Staff also contribute to the ongoing enhancement and maintenance of descriptive metadata, as well as collection management and preservation projects.

The Rare Materials Cataloger’s primary responsibility is to catalog items held in the Research Libraries according to national and local cataloging standards and procedures. The position will also develop project workflows and assist in training other catalogers within the unit.

Key Responsibilities

  • Reporting to the Manager of Special Collections Cataloging, the Rare Materials Cataloger will:
    Perform original and copy cataloging for a wide range of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, ephemera, periodicals, graphics, realia, and related items according to national and local cataloging standards and procedures
  • Enhance records for previously cataloged items
  • Contribute to the ongoing maintenance and development of cataloging data in the NYPL ILS and the shared collections database
  • Develop project workflows and assess day-to-day project outcomes
    Train and/or manage staff and work with team members (individual catalogers and technical assistants) to achieve project goals
  • Assist with the processing, preservation, storage, and shifting of materials (including barcoding projects for retrospective collections)
  • Contribute to organizational and logistical tasks related to the receipt and accessioning of current acquisitions
  • Consult, as needed, with appropriate NYPL curatorial, conservation, and collection management staff
  • Perform related duties as required

Required Education, Experience & Skills

  • ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies
  • Successfully demonstrated professional experience required for the Librarian III level
  • Minimum of two years experience cataloging rare materials in a research or academic library or other setting
  • Strong original cataloging skills, especially those needed to describe rare books and manuscripts
  • Demonstrated knowledge of rare book and special collections cataloging standards, including DCRM and the RBMS Controlled Vocabularies, RDA, BIBCO, NACO, etc.
  • Knowledge and awareness of emerging trends in cataloging and metadata
  • Experience working in a shared cataloging environment (e.g. OCLC) and/or a local cataloging database (a proprietary or open source ILS)
  • Working knowledge of one or more languages in addition to English (e.g., Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Japanese, Spanish, etc.)
  • Proven research, analytical, organizational, planning, and time-management skills
  • Demonstrated initiative, attention to detail, judgment, and ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team environment
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including demonstrated ability to communicate with a diverse community
  • Strong service orientation and knowledge of user needs

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated interest in and engagement with: the history of books and printing; bibliography; the study of the humanities (literature, language, art, music, etc.); special collections librarianship; the preservation of books and works on paper; and/or the history of publishing and book collecting
  • Training or experience in preservation and collections documentation
  • Experience in planning related to inventorying and moving collections

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

Physical Duties

  • Ability to move book trucks and handle materials that may weigh up to 40 lbs.
  • May require travel within NYC

Physical Required?
Union/Non Union
Local 1930
FLSA Status
35 hours/week, M-F, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Please visit the link below to apply on our website:

About Melody Rood

Student Success & Open Education Librarian / Assistant Professor at UNC-Greensboro