Helen Bernstein Librarian for Periodicals and Journals

Job ID
# of Openings Remaining
Full-Time Regular
COLLCTNS Collections Strategy Office


The New York Public Library is one of the world’s great public research libraries. Its four research centers provide opportunities for engagement with in-depth and unique collections, inspirational reading rooms, exhibitions, programs, and a range of research services. The Collections and Research Services Department is responsible for establishing a unified strategic vision for NYPL’s Research Collections, including aligning budget resources to support and enhance collecting priorities; formulating and implementing a clear, responsible collection management and preservation plan for the lifecycle of all research collection material; and coordinating the development and assessment of research services and systems that position the Library as a vital resource to support learning, creativity, scholarship, and enterprise.


The Helen Bernstein Librarian for Periodicals provides essential leadership in the development, management, and promotion of periodicals for the Library's research collection. Periodicals, a unique strength of NYPL’s collections, are an essential resource for our users, require curatorial oversight for digitization and “e” publishing initiatives, and often present challenges in processing and collection management. The Bernstein Librarian, one of the curatorial positions within the Collection Development department, connects with public service, curatorial, and processing staff across the Library in order to ensure that our current users are able to access the materials that they need for their research and that the Library is effectively documenting contemporary publishing for future generations.



Oversees the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, which is given annually to journalists whose books have brought clarity and public attention to important issues, events, or policies. The award and programming highlight the importance of the Library’s internationally-recognized Periodicals collection.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Coordinates the selection and management of periodicals across the research libraries, including newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and small press publications in all formats
  • Curates the General Research Division’s periodical collection, comprising over 4,000 active serial subscriptions and over a million historical volumes, including collaborating on preservation and storage assessments
  • Establishes and communicates best practices for the processing and public service of periodicals across all formats in collaboration with BookOps and public service staff
  • Develops the Library’s e-content strategy for periodicals, including the ongoing transition of print to e subscriptions and the assessment of digitization opportunities
  • Raises public awareness of the periodical collections through interpretive and creative programming in order to increase usage
  • Manages the ordering of serials and key vendor relationships, including annual serial review/renewal, ongoing evaluation of titles in collaboration with selectors across the research libraries, and monitoring of funding and expenses
  • Collaborates with BookOps staff to set standards and troubleshoot issues in serials ordering and processing
  • Coaches research staff on best practices in the selection, management, and service of periodicals; provides direction and oversight on projects in the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room
  • Selects titles for the General Research Division collection in over a dozen languages and across multiple formats, including print, e, and microfilm, and coordinates the work of other SASB divisions
  • Evaluates proposals and serves as a point person for the digitization of periodicals with external partners, as well as internal digitization efforts
  • Consults with researchers working with current, historical, and online periodical
  • Develops content and opportunities to promote the collections in partnership with Exhibitions, Public Programming, and Communications
  • Cultivates the academic community through classes, outreach, and strategic partnerships
  • Coordinates the review of nominations and selection of awardee for the annual Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, and partners with External Relations staff on event planning and programming

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.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Library and Information Science
  • Minimum 5 years of experience working in research or academic library setting
  • Demonstrated experience in collection development, including managing and negotiating with vendors
  • Proven facility with issues in collection development of periodicals, including cataloging, processing, and public service
  • Conversant with issues in digitization and e-content
  • Demonstrated experience in budgeting and management of funds
  • Successfully demonstrated experience in project and resource management, problem-solving, and decision-making in a collaborative environment
  • Successfully demonstrated commitment to excellence in public service
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
  • Successfully demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively with staff across multiple departments

Preferred Qualifications

  • Background in journalism and/or publishing industry preferred
  • Experience in outreach or teaching
  • Demonstrated experience managing digitization projects
  • Advanced degree in the humanities or social sciences

Work Environment


Research Library Environment


Union / Non Union

Non Union


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