Public Services Specialist - Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Posted on August 29, 2017


The Columbia Libraries seek a Public Services Specialist to provide support for all aspects of public services in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library including designing of exhibition and public program collateral.


Supports daily public service operations in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library by staffing the Reading Rooms and Front Desk at regularly assigned times and as needed during high-use periods. Assists in the orderly upkeep of public areas by maintaining supplies and forms.

Interprets stack directories, archival finding aids, analog catalogs, and CLIO to help users request material. Learns, understands and interprets library security policies and procedures and ensures the security, integrity, and safe handling of materials by supervising reading room users.

Uses Aeon special collections request & workflow management system to register users and to manage the circulation of requests. Retrieves and re-shelves material in secure stack areas for users and staff projects. Assists with end-of-day security checks.

Updates website and social media feeds.

Answers policy, procedure, informational & directional questions in person, by phone and email. Refers complex research inquiries to Head of Public Services or curatorial staff. Assists with remote reference inquires by performing directed research in databases, online finding aids, CLIO, analog catalogs and administrative files.

Examines archival material, oral history transcripts, and rare books to answer inquiries and to prepare reprography orders for user orders, digital projects and exhibition reproductions. Organizes and inputs metadata for reprography orders into databases and order forms.

Creates and tracks requests in Aeon and retrieves & re-files materials. Assists with the circulation of materials to and from Preservation Department.

Submits deposits for reproduction order receipts to the Libraries’ Financial Office.

Designs exhibition and public program collateral, including signage, labels, and publications.

Serves on RBML exhibitions committee. Assists the exhibitions coordinator with planning, research, design, retrieval of materials, installation, de-installation and timely re-filing of materials.

May provide in-person support for public programs & events.

Schedules daily requests for users and staff & orders materials from ReCAP, Columbia’s offsite storage facility. Oversees check-ins, hold inventory, and returns.

Coordinates with Collections Management team for technical assistance and troubleshooting.

Assists Head of Public Services with statistical reporting for strategic planning initiatives


–Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent and 2 years related experience.
–Graphic design skills and familiarity with associated software –Strong oral and written communication skills –Competence in a fast-paced public service environment




New York City,NY


To Apply

Company Information

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 13 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff and hosts over 4.7 million visitors each year. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: