Reference Librarian – New York Historical Society – NY, NY

JOB TITLE: Reference Librarian


REPORTS TO: Director of Library Operations

New-York Historical Society, a preeminent educational and research institution, is home to both New York City’s oldest museum and to one of the nation’s most distinguished independent research libraries. N-YHS is dedicated to presenting exhibitions and public programs and fostering research that reveals the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, its holdings cover four centuries of American history and include one of the world’s greatest collections of books, manuscripts, graphic materials, historical artifacts, and American art documenting the history of the United States as seen through the prism of New York.

The Patricia D. Klingenstein Library at the New-York Historical Society is one of the oldest independent research libraries in the United States. Its extensive collections, dating from the sixteenth century to the present, offer unique insights into the history of New York and the nation.  Researchers access the Library’s manuscripts and archival collections; books, newspapers, maps, and broadsides; prints, photographs, and architectural drawings, onsite and remotely.


Working in a collaborative, team environment, the Reference Librarian coordinates group visits to the Library, collaborates with New-York Historical’s Education Department on library-based initiatives, and presents to a portion of the visiting groups. The Reference Librarian also responds to email queries; conducts virtual reference interviews while setting up research appointments; retrieves, tracks, and reshelves collections; describes and promotes the Library collections through blog posts, social media, and displays in the reading room; helps build and increase access to the Library’s collections; and contributes to library and institutional initiatives. This is a full time position under the collective bargaining agreement with UAW, Local 2110 union position; candidates must belong to union or be willing to join.


Coordinates group visits and presents to a portion of groups;
Collaborates with New-York Historical’s Education Department on library-based initiatives;
Provides in-depth research assistance on-site and remotely;
Conducts reference interviews and sets up research appointments;
Retrieves, tracks, and reshelves collections;
Describes and promotes collections through blog posts, social media, and small displays in the reading room;
Helps to build and increase access to the Library’s collections;
Contributes to library and institutional initiatives and projects;
Other duties as assigned.

M.L.S. from an A.L.A.-accredited program required; B.A. in the humanities preferred;
At least two years working in a busy reference setting with multiple responsibilities;
Ability to gracefully adapt and be flexible in a rapidly changing, service-oriented environment;
Commitment to library public service, including a keen interest in promoting the use and appreciation of special collections;
Enthusiastic embrace of presenting to groups;
Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively on projects and initiatives;
Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills;
Knowledge of emerging technologies and other trends in the field;
Experience working with Atlas System’s Aeon or similar collections tracking software preferred;
Basic knowledge of New York and American history preferred;
Previous work in a special collections library preferred.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee with or without accommodation, to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

The employee will retrieve, transport, and re-shelve library collections of varying size and weight, alone and in conjunction with co-workers. Library carts and special carriers are used to transport all collections except for small and lightweight items which are carried by hand.  The employee will walk and climbs steps throughout the day.

COMPENSATION: $55,260 (Annual) plus benefits; Pay and benefits for this position are governed by the collective bargaining agreement between New-York Historical and UAW, Local 2110.

COVID-19 VACCINATION POLICY: To ensure the overall health and safety of the New-York Historical Society community and in accordance with New York City requirements, all newly hired employees of the New-York Historical Society are required to be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions for medical, religious, or other reasons in accordance with all applicable laws.

TO APPLY: Please follow this link to submit your application:

The New-York Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.