New York Public Library Reviews

Updated April 8, 2015
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  1. Helpful (7)

    Undervalued by everyone

    • 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 part-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    The best reasons to work here are the amount of vacation and sick days that are available and camaraderie with coworkers although it's based on complaints.

    Cons

    So many. Working with the public is exhausting. They hire information assistants to do librarians' work for half the pay.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more librarians. Test new catalogs and software before launching them. Provide tuition assistance for those working part time.

  2. Helpful (11)

    Like Working on the Titanic

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

    I have been working at New York Public Library full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    If you enjoy working with the public, you will have every opportunity to serve all ages, races and backgrounds. You are, after all, in New York City, so you owe nothing to this institution for that, other than its location. You can just as easily work in in the Brooklyn Public Library or the Queens Public Library. There are however decent opportunities for professional development, not salaries, or career advancement, mind you, but ways to learn internally and move on to another job outside of the library.

    Cons

    Imagine working onboard the Titanic. The ship is a marvel to behold. Majestic architecture. The envy of many a more superficial eye. Yet, with a closer look, you begin to see the cracks in the steel. The many rats scurrying about beneath the floorboards. That's very much like working at NYPL. More to the point, imagining tragically hitting that iceberg, or not only hitting it, but backing up, and hitting it again. And again. And again. Public libraries are at a point in their history where they have to challenge themselves to adapt to the changing needs of their users. As more and more customers become self sufficient, what's the role of the information professional in today's world? In the mind of NYPL senior management, that role seems to be expendable. Degreed professionals are an increasing rarity in the branches. Staff who have been with the system long enough to have witnessed new management make the same mistakes previous management did are being let go left and right, and the knowledge gap is not being filled. And the library's leadership continues to position itself with a posture of arrogance and certainty that is entirely undeserved and unbecoming.

    Advice to Management

    They need to be held accountable. While they can casually make decisions that negatively impact the lives of hardworking staff without batting an eyelash, no one seems to be evaluating their performance on the level that it needs to be. The NYPL is truly a sinking ship.

  3. Helpful (6)

    Accounting department is a joke

    • 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

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits; work-life balance; very flexible in terms of time off.

    Cons

    Accounting department is a big joke; a lot of hypocrisy and drama. Immature employees - can be pretty malicious. Some not qualified for their jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Care more about employees.

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  5. Helpful (4)

    Great for those fresh out of College

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

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, 3 weeks paid vacation, 10 holidays, 10 sick days, great medical insurance.

    Cons

    The salary is a bit too low compared to the amount of work that I needed to put in on a daily basis. Depending on what department you work for, the job can be very easy or very stressful/demanding.

    Advice to Management

    Create more opportunities for growth. Promotions are extremely rare and while the library does go out of its way to commend you on your hard work, action speaks louder than words.

  6. Helpful (5)

    Opportunity to work on excellent projects but positive impact can be diminished by non-comprehending managers

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

    I worked at New York Public Library full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Colleagues who are willing to share their expertise and consider new approaches when communication is well-done. Opportunity to work with employees from many different functions and levels.

    Cons

    Employees are rewarded for performance in their narrow functions and not for collaboration - therefore, cross-functional teams take a while to establish traction for achieving organizational goals. Supervisors need training in how to supervise to get the best from their employees.

    Advice to Management

    Do not use lay-offs as the major way to respond to a budget problem - a lot of historical knowledge is lost when employees are laid off just before they reach a pension plateau. When appropriate, give supervisors training in supervision. Use communication to improve employee engagement.

  7. Great opportunity to work with a staff of dedicated and smart individuals.

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

    I worked at New York Public Library as an intern (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    My supervisor was spectacular. She was very much interested in how I wanted to grow there and introduced me to relevant figures within the organization.

    Cons

    Honestly, it was one of my most pleasurable internship experiences. There are no cons that immediately come to mind.

  8. Great Environment and Nice group of people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Student Page in Poughkeepsie, NY
    Former Employee - Student Page in Poughkeepsie, 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

    Quiet and Great place to work! If you get your work done efficiently, they will definitely enjoy you and your work ethic.

    Cons

    Some patrons can be a little unruly, so just keep to yourself and you will be fine.

  9. Helpful (1)

    Cold and lonely occasionally, but surrounded by great books!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Special Formats Processing in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Special Formats Processing in New York, NY

    I worked at New York Public Library as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The knowledge that you're working for an iconic cultural and educational institution in NYC, with an incredible collection you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. I was able to attend meetings and presentations to learn about the latest developments in technical services. NYPL is great about allowing you time off for professional development.

    Cons

    Position was rather lonely--people in my department didn't seem to interact much throughout the day. Building was super-cold. Supervisor sometimes lacking in guidance and oversight for my work.

  10. Helpful (4)

    Great job for students, good pay (at least for student workers), good supervisors, upper management is another story.

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

    Pros

    good pay, flexible hours, reasonable expectations.

    Cons

    No chance for growth, low morale amongst staff, hazy long term goals, no transparency or input from staff into management decisions, low pay considering location.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to your staff's input and promote based on merit, and make decisions that are good for the library as a whole. The central library plan is a DISASTER that was undertaken with little consultation.

  11. A great place to work,

    • 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 part-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A great place to work and improve customer service skills within a non-sales role.

    Cons

    Can be a bit slow-paced. Depending on the environment and location, you might have to deal with a few sketchy patrons.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your employees more and become more vocal and active in local communities about all the values of public libraries as a social good.

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