New York Public Library Senior Librarian Reviews | Glassdoor

New York Public Library Senior Librarian Reviews

Updated December 18, 2016
6 reviews

Filter

Filter

Senior Librarian

1.2
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
New York Public Library President Anthony Marx
Anthony Marx
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

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. "Great place to gain experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior/Supervising Librarian in Bronx, NY
    Former Employee - Senior/Supervising Librarian in Bronx, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Professional Training
    35-hour workweek
    Wide range of opportunities

    Cons

    Low Pay
    Little opportunity for advancement unless you've got the MLS

    Advice to Management

    Value branch library staff more


  2. 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.


  3. Helpful (15)

    "Like Working on the Titanic"

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

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

    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.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Ok place to work for."

    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 5 years)

    Pros

    Coworkers, not a very demanding job.

    Cons

    Pay, hours, not room for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Over more opportunity for advancement. Start valuing education again.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Its a job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Librarian in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Librarian in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Its prestigious to say that you have worked for the New York Public Library, only a thirty five hour work week, many branches so it is easy to find a better fit, good benefits, there are a lot of different types of training that is offered, part of an union

    Cons

    the salary is low compared to other big city libraries, there have been a lot of changes recently without a lot of informing the staff, positions are being eliminated or changed, managers are being forced to reapply for their jobs, some librarys are not located in the best areas, having to work Saturdays and nights,

    Advice to Management

    To inform staff more about changes


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Just like any other "city or county" job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Senior Librarian
    Former Employee - Senior Librarian
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Health benefits, the name "New York Public Library"

    Cons

    There is no "merit based" acknowledgement. You can do the bare minimum or go above and beyond and you get treated the same.This is fine if you just want a city job where you keep your head down and do the same boring thing everyday to get a pension, then this is the place for you. If you are friends with someone above you, you can get away with anything and the union does nothing to help. New librarians that pay thousands of dollars for the MLS will be shocked when they find themselves having to answer to managers that have no MLS degrees and have no passion for the field.