New York Public Library Reviews | Glassdoor

New York Public Library Reviews

Updated December 4, 2016
23 reviews

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New York Public Library President Anthony Marx
Anthony Marx
6 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Low pay and the only thing that grows in that place is impatience (in 14 reviews)

  • No room for advancement, could be boring for some (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Avoid education department at all costs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at New York Public Library part-time

    Pros

    The thing is NYPL is a great place to work, but not the department that runs educational programs. I guess the only positive thing I can say is that the hours are not early in the morning and there is some opportunity for advancement.

    Cons

    Funding is always an issue, you never know if you will have your job from year to year. Runs on a different budget than the library. Too many managers that all say different things, micromanagement is also an issue. Formerly full-time positions have been turned into part-time, but responsibilities remain the same. Management tells you to get work done during your "office time" and not during programming so that you are available to "supervise." The thing is, there aren't nearly enough office hours, so that is a total joke. They then tell you that you once in a while you might have to work outside of your hours, which is ILLEGAL if you are an hourly employee. If I still worked there, I might consider filing a complaint with the department of labor for all the times I worked outside of my hours without getting paid. So I left and found a full time job instead.

    Advice to Management

    If certain positions can't be restored back to full-time, more hours should be given. But that will never happen because if you go over 20 hours they need to pay you benefits. Someone also needs to supervise these managers that tell you to work outside of your hours without compensation, or someone is going to file a complaint with the department of labor someday.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Overworked and underpaid"

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits are good. Decent professional development opportunities

    Cons

    Senior staff do not support branch staff; prioritize their media image over what the library can actually provide to community

    Advice to Management

    Either staff the branches adequately or stop requiring advanced degrees just to work a circulation desk.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technology in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Technology in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Working at the Library gives you a good feeling of helping people (the community). Majority of the staff are pleasant to work with

    Cons

    No clear direction of what the Library wants to do. The Library wants to do everything.

    Advice to Management

    Not all management are bad but there are those who really have no clue how to manage. In this place, it is who you know and not what you know in this place.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Great Mission, some great people, horrible leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You can't beat the mission, and the work they do in the branches. There's a dedicated staff that are genuinely concerned with issues of literacy, learning, and the digital divide.

    Great benefits-

    Cons

    Total lack of leadership from the top down- I've never worked for more self-centered, egocentric, indecisive, clueless executives in my life. No support or trust in staff. No skill whatsoever in developing an executable strategic plan. Top executives EXCEL at passing the buck and not taking responsibility for their actions. There is a stunning lack of innovation and creative thinking in the Library. Silos abound, all because the leadership lets it thrive.

    Advice to Management

    Step down. The executive offices need an overhaul.


  6. "Is a cool job for a young person with no bills and major responsibilities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Library Page in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Library Page in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I worked as a Page for 5 years and overall it's an easy job. Not a lot to do but put books away. The scheduling is pretty fair.

    Cons

    Pay is very low. You get no benefits. You get no raise. You don't get enough hours and since your a page the workers really don't take you seriously.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Disapointing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    NYPL is an amazing cultural institution, with a rich history. The current leadership seems to understand the need to simultaneously preserve that history, while also adapting to shifting needs in the community, and the culture at large.

    Cons

    While there is vision, there seems to be a lack of understanding and motivation to implement the incremental, step-by-step processes needed to actually enact change. Planning meetings were chaotic and unproductive. And worse, sometimes only for show. There was pressure to pursue projects the organization had no actual interest in, simply to demonstrate the organization's willingness to be political and appease local leaders. There was also a very disappointing culture of mediocrity. Managers seemed to want to preserve non-functional systems simply because they didn't want to bother understanding problems and implementing solutions. There was also a profound lack of understanding of basic data collection and reporting concepts, to an embarrassing degree.

    Advice to Management

    Before pushing forward with strategic plans, the organizations needs to assess the competencies and effectiveness of mid-level management, and make adjustments if mid-management is unable to understand or implement plans.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "A division that was once great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at New York Public Library part-time

    Pros

    +Understanding how to organize books and magazines
    +Meeting new people everyday
    +Helping people out with library materials
    +Some good supervisors that are understanding on situations
    +Once had good flexible hours

    Cons

    -Incompetent managers that don't know how to manage a merger between divisions
    -Supervisors that would abuse their employees by forcing them to do work that only supervisors are responsible for and not part of the job description
    -Managers that are highly disrespectful towards their employees and not taking responsibilities for their own mistakes
    -Changes schedules very often without notify staff of new changes
    -Very low pay (minimum in 2016) and no wage increases
    -Extremely short hours for part timers
    -Non flexible hours and will be based off your school schedule
    -No regard for employee safety with a dangerous computer room to manage
    -Little room for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees like human beings and not your minions


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Typical Boring Non-Profit Admin Job w/Bitter Supervisor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Communications Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Communications Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at New York Public Library full-time

    Pros

    I got to work with some of the most important people in NYC directly after graduating from college. Attended all planning meeting for exhibitions, alongside expert curators, artists, and academics from all over the world. Worked alongside other colleagues in supervisory position who acted as mentors to me when it was clear that my supervisor was incompetent and abusive. Set up the first ever marketing campaigns with major media agencies to promote special branches and exhibitions at the main library. Left at five, but my supervisor would always ask why I was leaving--even though I was done for the day, the rest of the office had left, and I didn't get OT.

    Cons

    Had a verbally abusive supervisor who made my first job experience awful. I was called "green" when I actually was green (I began my job two weeks after graduating from undergraduate). My supervisor would constantly tell me that I was doing things wrong, but she would never tell me what she actually wanted. However, every other supervisor that I worked with also had issues communicating with her, empathized with me, and I was thrown a party when I left less than six months after beginning. I've since found out that she was fired and that she went though three subsequent associates. HR did not help me or place me in another position. Instead they contacted my supervisor when I notified them that I was being verbally abused on a daily basis (less than two months after beginning). Obviously, this made things awkward between my supervisor and I.

    Advice to Management

    Understand that entry level employees have only had experience as interns and that if you are not able to cultivate a relationship with an outside vendor as a professional with twenty years experience, the problem might be the vendor or you, not the intern. HR should also speak with other supervisors that work alongside a person that has been said to cause a harmful work environment--had HR spoken to my colleagues in other departments that I worked alongside, but did not directly report to, they would have learned that the problem was not me, but that the problem was my manager who caused tension while working with other managers as well.


  10. "good starting job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    friendly team and its easy work

    Cons

    none that i can think of


  11. Helpful (2)

    "It is what it is."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Library Page in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Library Page in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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.



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