New York Public Library Reviews | Glassdoor

New York Public Library Reviews

Updated April 15, 2017
146 reviews

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146 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 (2)

    "Great Place to start a Career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rye, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rye, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Creative freedom, some fantastic colleagues, remarkable institution. Very good benefits.

    Cons

    No room for growth, salaries are low.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage internal growth.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Overall great place to work, room for improvement."

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

    I have been working at New York Public Library (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great institution with a lot of resources. Holds fun events and encourages collaboration between departments.

    Cons

    Some management issues can be challenging, but this will vary based on the branch or department.


  3. Helpful (6)

    "A Shadow Of What It Used To Be"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Librarian in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Librarian in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    We do have so many branches that on a daily basis, if you work one that is small and isolated enough, you will find that it basically runs itself.

    Cons

    The library no longer has a leader who knows his few thousand employees. His personal failings, and those of the library’s administration as a whole, don’t mean staff can’t be made to feel part of a team again, but that has felt impossible for years now. Regaining a sense of community within the library organization should be a priority, but management wants to build outward. You can only build so much when the foundation is hollow. First, the high turnover and elimination of good staff must end. Management must actually listen to employee complaints and concerns. Staff morale is down the toilet. It’s a feeling that’s library-wide, because we’re treated like waste. It’s hard to choose to be happy when you’re stuck in a place that constantly asks you to take on more work and then is hellbent on reducing your paycheck , all while the senior leadership rakes it in. What is the incentive to perform? To hold onto a job you loathe? Out of devotion to the patrons? Why should the rank and file be devoted to the patrons any more than the leadership? Why would we look positively on cuts when we know they’re for the ultimate purpose of getting a handful of people outlandish bonuses? Especially when these people prove repeatedly that they don’t have a clue what they’re doing while better staff are shown the door for questionable reasons.

    There are so few people left here with any sense of the library’s history. No one sees the value in that, and that’s a failing on the part of library management. They think they can do better than what came before, but they are making the same mistakes that have already been made. There’s just not as many people around anymore to join in on the chorus of “I told you so,” which might well be by design. For now, casual visitors might not notice many effects of how we’re falling behind. They register them as aberrations. But they will catch on eventually and they will become more discerning, and if upkeep remains shoddy, if more good staff are let go in favor of sycophants and people with no knowledge of library operations, and management continues to ignore its mistakes rather than admit to them, the situation will continue to deteriorate.

    Change can be good – if the changes are improvements and not arbitrary decisions just because a new manager wants to show he’s doing something.

    Advice to Management

    There’s very little sincerity left in the library, or in its mission. It has become a business. We’re not in it to make money, but we can’t lose funding, so senior leadership has to put on a show. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of balance. Ever. Previous leadership understood that if you made the employees happy, it would trickle down. Now, we’re as replaceable as paper towels in a dispenser and they want to change to a blow dryer. Teamwork should be encouraged, not competition. Don’t say you value your employees – show them. And not by handing out huge bonuses, but by providing good pay and working conditions, making reasonable expectations, and rewarding good performance.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "I had a great experience working with the library."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Collections Processing Assistant II in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Collections Processing Assistant II in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The pros about working at the New York Public Library are that they have great benefits, are very flexible with your time schedule if you are attending school, and is very team oriented.

    Cons

    The cons about the New York Public Library is that when you apply to a position, they take a long time to inform the applicant whether or not they are going to be considered for the job.

    Advice to Management

    The application process for employment should be quicker and applicants should be informed about their status.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great starting job for students."

    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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Pretty easy job and very flexible hours to work with school hours. The staff are friendly and easy going.

    Cons

    As with any place, there will be rude patrons. Work can be a little dull and repetitive, at times there was no work to be done. It is also a job for students only, once the graduation date approaches, it is time to leave.

    Advice to Management

    Just keep at it.


  7. "Supervisor- pleasant individuals"

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to move up and you get to be part of a union. Pension benefit

    Cons

    you have to work some weekends and late nights


  8. Helpful (5)

    "A strong institution experiencing growing pains"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent work/life balance
    Excellent benefits
    Innovative in library world
    Direct impact with local communities
    Inspiring spaces (research libraries)
    Actively trying to adapt to needs of users

    Cons

    Extremely complicated organization (research libraries, circulating libraries, social services programs, etc) makes it feel like many separate organizations--there is really no concrete common goal.
    As some have noted, there are a fair share of overpaid do-nothings (or at least do-littles) sitting on top of the organization.
    There are pockets where employee morale is very low. People who have been in union positions for many years are perpetually nostalgic and resistant to change.

    Advice to Management

    Pick more effective senior leaders.
    Make a greater effort to improve employee morale.
    Focus more on innovation in core services (e.g. circulation).


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Horrific Company To Work For"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Branch Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at New York Public Library full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Quitting! My work life improve exponentially as soon as I left here.

    Cons

    This organisation is miserable to work for: most of the staff in the branches are clueless and apathetic, there's outdated technology that freezes up and takes 30 minutes to do a 2 minute job, the stress to produce higher circulation and more patron numbers is through the roof, and it's the worst pay in NYC because the President of this institution pockets everything, it's criminal.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees a decent NYC living salary to be able to live a normal, healthy life, so that we don't have to starve everyday after paying our rent. Thanks, Mr. President, for pocketing millions while we suffer for you.


  10. "Volunteer"

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

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

    Pros

    Very hands on, and a great quiet place to work. Sort of pleasant. Definitely makes me have a personal growth.

    Cons

    Work-life balance, low compensation, and also some former co-workers were a bit rude to me when I was employed.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Great Entry Level and Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Library Technical Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Library Technical Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    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.


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