New York Public Library Reviews

Updated April 8, 2015
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  1. Helpful (6)

    Work Here At Your Peril

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Librarian in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Librarian in New York, NY

    I have been working at New York Public Library full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The library had to have earned its once respectable reputation somehow. Our collections are exceptional - those in the research libraries that are curated and are allowed to flourish and are in no danger of being auctioned off. Our circulating collections are typical and essentially cookie cutter. We have the full range of popular materials you'd expect from a major urban library, shaped by a largely floating collection, which has all the benefits and drawbacks commonly experienced by libraries that float.

    We have over 90 locations, spread throughout the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Some might argue that we've spread ourselves too thin when there are branches within just a couple of blocks from each other, but in a city where there is a Subway or McDonald's on every other block, it doesn't hurt to have a library within almost the same range.

    Cons

    This institution has truly become a rudderless boat, caught in a violent storm of its own design. I hear coworkers that have been here longer than I have talk about how things used to be - the "good old days," and while I envy their memory, I can't imagine a culture that wasn't so bloated by incompetent management and misdirection, so bogged down by the weight of its own self-importance, so seemingly focused on going nowhere in particular.

    We have a strategy division that seems to make things up as they go. Efforts on multiple initiatives have failed and have even been shameful in some cases.

    Our technology staff is strong at its roots, but its leadership has been traditionally poor. Consistently, they work as if they have something to prove. They rarely succeed and they alienate and upset more staff than they win over. After the way we have seen them treat some of their own staff, we can't trust them.

    Advice to Management

    There are a few strong leaders, but it's like they're afraid to step out and do anything that might get them noticed. This is not the culture where you want to be noticed, as being noticed puts your career in jeopardy. Better to collect your paycheck, hope you don't offend anyone too much and hope you make it long enough to collect your 20 years, unlike some of your colleagues.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Great Entry Level and Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Library Technical Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Library Technical Assistant in New York, NY

    I have been working at New York Public Library full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The New York Public Library offers great experience in a wide variety of fields. Its not just library science. In my ten years at the library I have gained expert experience audio/visual equipment, customer service and management.

    Cons

    Some of the challenges working at the library one must remember it is a non-profit institution that relies on outside sources for funding. Budgets are tight as are salaries.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Library Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at New York Public Library part-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people I worked with with were great, friendly environment and lots of activities. The work was repetitive but that was to be expected. Overall though, I had a decent experience!

    Cons

    The worst part was the pay and little room for promotion. It seems like everyone was resigned to make a minimal salary and had no expectation for that to change.

    Advice to Management

    They need to show appreciation to their staff! I know NYPL has limited funding but that doesn't mean you can't do something to boast morale and give some kind of reward for a job well done. Their is a lot of discontent in the branch libraries with the downtown management, and that shouldn't be the case.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Excellent Literary Programming

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in New York, NY

    I have been working at New York Public Library part-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    great supervisor; organized program; great colleagues.
    the work was about the children, in that factor it was GREAT.
    Wonderful boss who knew how to balance her role with the staff.
    part time benefits were good

    Cons

    seasonal position, not many hours for part time staff; 2-4 weeks off between sessions created issues for returning staff. it was unexpected and not communicated during interview process; lots of office politics.

    Advice to Management

    Consider adding this as a permanent part time role for seasoned assistants to support the program. Make it possible for part time staff to be promoted within the organization.

  6. Helpful (1)

    A good place to learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at New York Public Library

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There are many opportunities to learn and grow.

    Cons

    As with most Non-Profits, pay level is lower than average.

  7. Helpful (2)

    It is what it is.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Library Page in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Library Page in New York, NY

    I have been working at New York Public Library part-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It is a relatively easy job. You also have a lot of room to work around a school schedule. It is possible to pick up a useful skill set.

    Cons

    High amounts of nepotism. So there is no room for advancement. No incentive system within the Library Page position. Maximum of 19 hours per week with no chance of overtime pay.

    Advice to Management

    The pages are the backbone of NYPL circulation. They should be treated a lot better.

  8. Helpful (2)

    Great for High Schoolers...that's it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Library Information Assistant in Bronx, NY
    Former Employee - Library Information Assistant in Bronx, NY

    I worked at New York Public Library part-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good place to gain your first job experience and to practice interpersonal skills.
    Helps employees become more organized.
    Teaches how to be a team player.

    Cons

    Low pay.
    Not challenging.
    No guidance/mentoring.

    Advice to Management

    Give employees their just deserts.
    Appreciate your employees more.

  9. Helpful (2)

    Organized, fair, and secure.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Library Information Assistant in Bronx, NY
    Former Employee - Library Information Assistant in Bronx, NY

    I worked at New York Public Library part-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Working at the NYPL feels secure and like a network of people is behind you. Good benefits, lots of lateral and upward moving potential.

    Cons

    Layoffs are threatened every year with the new budget. It makes the staff hustle for signatures for the annual advocacy campaign, but the pay was already not great to begin with.

  10. Helpful (9)

    A Profoundly Frustrating Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technology Division in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Technology Division in New York, NY

    I worked at New York Public Library full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There are, it would seem, a lot of different divisions to explore just how you might want to fit in and build professional experience in a library environment, beyond traditional public service, but if you are a current staff member looking to move ahead in your career, look elsewhere. Here, it really just depends on who you know.

    Cons

    Horrible managers. A witch is a witch, no matter if her accessories include a broomstick and flying monkeys or a sensible pantsuit. In one particular division, it's not at all uncommon to see only women hired for positions of any significance, so you're out of luck if you were born with an Adam's Apple and like technology.

    Advice to Management

    That's funny. As if they're going to listen?

  11. Helpful (6)

    Very Low pay, disorganized, disgruntled employees and patrons

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Librarian in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Librarian in New York, NY

    I worked at New York Public Library full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Not much room for advancement. Job is some what secure, but if you're close to retirement there's a good chance they'll lay you off before you hit that pension level you worked so long to get to, happened to several co-workers, feel so bad for them getting screwed after giving their whole life to NYPL, we're all expendable here, and not appreciated. Horrible pension if you're not in upper management.

    Cons

    Listed in the pros. And the computer system is a devastating disaster.

    Advice to Management

    Poor, slow moves, low pay, good luck, apply somewhere else and quick!

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