Geospatial Librarian and Map Curator

Job ID
# of Openings Remaining
Full-Time Regular
MAP SASB Map Division


The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division is the primary cartographic collection of the New York Public Library, with over 435,000 maps and nearly 20,000 atlases, monographs, and serials. The Division assists thousands of researchers each year through reference consultations, public programming, digital projects, and other forms of outreach. The Division fields inquiries from historians, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a range of professionals, family historians, and Library visitors who are curious about our collections.

Principal Responsibilities

The Library seeks a Geospatial Librarian and Map Curator to develop the New York Public Library’s cartographic and geospatial collections into an indispensable and accessible resource for researchers. The Geospatial Librarian and Map Curator is charged with building the collection and fostering and supporting its use through research assistance, exhibitions and programming, and community engagement, facilitated by collaboration with colleagues within and beyond the library. Working closely with NYPL's digital teams, the Geospatial Librarian and Map Curator will also play a leading role defining a vision of what it means to be a map library in a networked environment.


Under the general direction of the Assistant Director for Maps, Local History and Genealogy, the Geospatial Librarian and Map Curator, will be responsible for the following areas:



  • Contributes to the development of the Division’s collections, drawing on an understanding of the collection’s historical strengths, its use, scholarly trends, and the identification and pursuit of new collecting opportunities
  • Develops and implements a collection strategy for the acquisition, management, promotion, and use of the collections
  • In collaboration with Cataloging and Special Formats Processing departments and divisional processing staff, facilitates the description and organization of the collections
  • Manages the acquisitions budget for the Map collection
  • Collaborates with other curators and provides leadership on cartographic materials and spatial data collections throughout the Library
  • Provides oversight on the physical storage of map materials, collection evaluation and assessment, security, preservation, and collection care activities

Digital Initiatives:

  • In close collaboration with the Library’s Digital team, develops strategy for NYPL's geospatial technology stack and digital access initiatives: Map Warper, Space/Time Directory, and connected projects
  • Designs public service and engagement models around geospatial tools and crowdsourcing projects (e.g. Building Inspector project)
  • Builds indexes, datasets from paper, web, and digitized collections
  • Engages with researchers and creators in new uses of digital collections and spatial data
  • Selects materials for digitization

Public Service and Programming:

  • Develops a strategy to expand the use and facilitate the interpretation of print and digital collections through the use of online tools, classroom instruction, curriculum development, and publications
  • Creates exhibitions and displays, with related programming, that draw upon the collections of the Map Division and related research collections
  • Works with the Research Coordinator of Maps, Local History and Genealogy in the planning  and execution of public services, programming, and collection projects
  • With public service staff, works towards meeting a range of pedagogical needs of educators from elementary school through post-graduate programs, institutes, and seminars, and expands outreach to local, national, and international audiences
  • Provides reference and research services, including individual consultations and other reference work, as needed

Professional and Supervisory:

  • In collaboration with the Assistant Director, supports the public service activities and professional development of Map Division staff, and assists the Assistant Director in fulfilling the broader strategic goals of the research libraries
  • Supervises and directs the work of the GIS Specialist
  • Participates in grant and external funding activities, including cultivating new donors
  • Participates in library-wide activities, administrative committees, special projects, and library programs
  • Represents and promotes the collections, projects, and services of the Library through outreach and advocacy at conferences and consortia related to map collections
  • Maintains a personal program of continuous education and professional development, keeping abreast of trends in the cartographic field, digital publishing and scholarly communication;
  • Assists other staff members in developing such programs for themselves
  • Performs related duties as required

Managerial/ Supervisory Responsibilities

The Geospatial Librarian and Map Curator will supervise the work of the Library Technical Assistant IV

Key Competencies

  • Accountability and Professionalism – Demonstrates enthusiasm for and commitment to the position and accepts responsibility for personal actions.
  • Customer Service – Commits to meeting the expectations of internal and external customers. Listens and responds effectively to customer questions; resolves customer problems to the customer’s satisfaction; respects all internal and external customers.
  • Collaboration and Teamwork – Supports a positive team environment in which members participate, respect and cooperate with each other to receive desired results.
  • Job-Specific Knowledge and Skills - Plans, prioritizes, and organizes work effectively to produce measurable results; keeps current with and effectively applies new work methods, skills and technologies to complete work.


  • Leadership and Management - Provides direction, motivation and sets an example through open communication and modeling best practices.  Demonstrates ability to motivate others to meet a common goal; and, recognizes and effectively leverages employees’ skills and abilities.  Establishes realistic budget plans and demonstrates fiscal responsibility.
  • Performance Management and Development - Provides clear departmental strategic goals, individual employee performance expectations and criteria for performance measurement. Provides meaningful and appropriate advice, on-going feedback, support and resources to improve effectiveness of individuals and teams. Addresses performance problems in an appropriate and timely manner.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree in geography or related subject,including but not limited to history, cartography, or related social sciences; and an advanced degree in a relevant field
  • Extensive knowledge of the history of cartography and geographic thought, particularly in relation to United States history
  • Successfully demonstrated professional knowledge and experience with all cartographic formats in a research library context
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current practices and trends in collection development and maintenance especially as related to map collections
  • Significant experience working with spatial data, GIS software, and online mapping products and services
  • Familiarity with Linked Open Data theories and practices
  • Demonstrated management and supervisory experience, including managing materials budgets
  • Successfully demonstrated experience in the areas of project management, problem-solving and decision-making in a collaborative and coordinated planning environment
  • Successfully demonstrated facility and skill with instruction, including classroom teaching and preparation of teaching materials
  • Excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills, including successfully demonstrated ability to work effectively with the public, staff and donors

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of the planning and development of exhibitions preferred

Work Environment

Research Library

Union / Non Union

Non Union


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