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Specialist II - Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs

The mission of The New York Public Library is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities, and we rely on three great resources—our staff, our collections, and our physical and digital spaces—to provide opportunities for learning and growth. 

Established in 1987 with a gift from the Wallach family, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs is the primary access point for researchers using the Research Libraries’ materials on painting, sculpture, photography, prints, architecture and the decorative arts. The Print Collection encompasses over 200,000 prints along with a specialized reference collection of over 15,000 volumes on the history of prints and printmakers. The Photographs Collection comprises approximately 500,000 photographs, including examples of almost every photographic process from the earliest daguerreotypes to contemporary digital images. The Wallach Division also serves as the access point to the Spencer Collection of fine bindings and illustrated books. Together, these collections include more than one million works of art in various mediums and formats, complemented by nearly 700,000 monographs and periodicals, much of which can be accessed by researchers in its study rooms, which are among the most active and accessible in New York City. The quality, depth and scope of its holdings have earned the Wallach Division an international reputation among a broad variety of scholars and lovers of art.

The Specialist II serves the Curator of Prints as a steward and interpreter of the Print Collection, working with partners throughout the New York Public Library to thoughtfully acquire, promote, exhibit, publish and program the use of its holdings.

Key Responsibilities

We are looking for someone we can count on to:
  • Professional experience working with prints and illustrated books in a museum or library collection
  • Possess extensive knowledge of the literature in the field of prints and illustrated books
  • Demonstrate experience with using bibliographic utilities, electronic databases and Internet sources in reference work
  • Exhibit sound judgment and interpersonal skills, including the ability to deal effectively with the public
  • Have the ability to multitask, while demonstrating capacity to assess the accuracy, completeness and quality of information resources.
  • Demonstrate ability to work independently 
  • Exhibit capacity to articulate and express ideas clearly in presentations and in writing
  • Possess computer and word processing skills
  • Demonstrate excellent reading knowledge of two foreign languages

  • Represent the collection in public settings and collaborate with Communications to promote the collection through internal and external media
  • Raise awareness of the collection and cultivate new communities of users
  • Work collaboratively with the Center for Educators to promote the collection’s use for curriculum development in New York City Public Schools
  • Support the Division’s interpretation, teaching and collections-based instruction and programming

  • Assist with research and providing intellectual content relating to exhibitions
  • Catalog the collection online
  • Provide advanced and specialized reference services in response to in-person, written, e-mail and telephone inquiries
  • Conduct bibliographic research in the field of prints and illustrated books
  • Update and create content for web pages related to the collection

  • Assist with outreach and tours
  • Promote the use of the Collection for educational programs at all levels and in diverse subject areas
  • Assist with promoting the collection through social media

Some expectations for this role are that within:

1 month, this person will:
  • Learn the scope of the role, have identified the key partners within the Division
  • Reviewed policies and procedures related to stewardship and interpretation of the Print Collection

3 months, this person will:
  • Have identified an liaised with the key partners within the Institution
  • Have proposed an exhibition featuring collection works
  • Have participated in a public program in the library

6 months and beyond, this person will:
  • Have represented the collection outside of the library
  • Have published something about the collection
  • Have a strategic sense of collection’s development and management, in collaboration with partners within NYPL

  • Work collaboratively and build supporting relationships with colleagues across the NYPL to increase discovery, access, and collection use
  • Represent the collection in public settings and work with Communications to promote the collection via internal and external media
  • Raise awareness of the collection and cultivate new communities of users
  • Participate in NYPL-wide initiatives through participation on committees, task forces, research library meetings, and other relevant groups
  • Collaborate within the Wallach Division with the teams in the Art & Architecture Collection, Photography Collection, Spencer Collection, and Picture Collection
  • Collaborate with Digital Research to enhance digitization and overall discovery of the collection
  • Collaborate with Collection Management and Conservation to ensure the care of the collection
  • Under the direction of the Curator of Prints, assist patrons in the print study room
  • Shape and strengthen the the Division’s profile through professional engagement and development, relevant memberships, and conference participation
  • Catalog the collection

Skills Knowledge and Expertise

Required Education and Certifications 
  • Graduate degree in Art History or an undergraduate degree in Art History and an ALA accredited Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies. 
  • Fluency in two or more languages perferred

Required Experience
  • At least three years of experience working collaboratively with library, archive, or museum interdepartmental teams to realize complex projects
  • At least two years of experience in instruction, public speaking
  • Experience interpreting prints and illustrated books for the public in exhibitions, publications, and/or programming

Required Skills 
  • Experience arranging or describing print and illustrated book collections and digitization
  • Experience interpreting prints and illustrated book collections for the public in exhibitions, programs, and publications
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, including the ability to work effectively with all levels of staff and users
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a positive outlook on a broad range of tasks


Please Note: Effective August 2, 2021, absent a qualifying exception for medical or religious reasons, newly hired employees of the New York Public Library must present proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination and may not begin employment at the Library until 14 days after their receipt of their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 14 days after their first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Newly hired employees who need additional time to receive their vaccination prior to their start date may request an adjournment of their start date with their hiring manager. The Library will consider such requests on a case by case basis, depending upon the Library’s operational needs, among other factors. The Library will further consider exemptions for prospective employees who cannot become vaccinated due to a qualifying medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief or practice. Candidates who receive a conditional offer of employment and who seek a medical or religious exemption to the Library’s vaccination policy will be provided with additional instructions at the time of the conditional offer.

Core Values
All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values:
  • Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues
  • Be Resourceful in solving problems 
  • Be Curious in all aspects of your work

Physical Duties
  • Limited physical effort is required
  • Light lifting required
  • Lifting up to 15 lbs. Required
  • May require travel within NYC

Physical Required?

Local 1930

FLSA Status

35 hours to be scheduled Monday-Saturday between 9am-8pm
Evenings and weekends as necessary
Schedule subject to change

About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at