30 May 2022


Curator, Music & Recorded Sound

New York Public Library  New York, New York, United States

New York Public Library - job posting

Job Description

Key Responsibilities

Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Curator of Music & Recorded Sound will perform the following functions:

  • Shape and strengthen the Music & Recorded Sound Division’s profile in the national and international field of music libraries, academic and public institutions, and service organizations in which the Music & Recorded Sound Division plays a key role.
  • Collaborate with Executive Director to develop new initiatives to promote the Music & Recorded Sound Division and its collections;
  • Collaborate with Executive Director, Associate Director, Collections & Research Services & Curator of Dance and Curators of Theatre to develop multidisciplinary initiatives to promote the LPA, its collections and its programs.
  • Develop educational initiatives and partner with NYPL’s educational outreach and other external institutions on educational initiatives which may include developing and delivering experiential and integrated education activities on behalf of the Music & Recorded Sound Division and the Library, and fostering relationships with appropriate schools, universities, organizations, and others.
  • Undertake fundraising to support the Division’s activities and acquisitions, identifying and pursuing grant applications with Development, building relationships with private donors and funding bodies, drafting grant applications.
  • Develop fundraising advisory council for the Division.
  • Act as spokesperson to the press on behalf of the Division.
  • Engage with key stakeholders: donors, creators, scholars, and administrators in aligning the Library’s strategic direction with the needs of the local, national, and international music community. Undertake outreach and develop fundraising partnerships.
  • Develop a strategic plan for creating enhanced access and discoverability of the Music & Recorded Sound Division’s legacy holdings, and oversee the future and diverse growth of its general circulating and research collections, as well as the ongoing collection development activities in the area of Special Collections and Archives.
  • Lead the Division’s acquisitions and collections profile, which includes an active and robust circulating collection and world-class research collection and special collections.
  • Provide reference services to library users.
  • Partner with Exhibitions and Programming staff within LPA and throughout NYPL, and manage related external partnerships for loan requests and other matters.
  • Foster active staff involvement in the work of relevant professional associations and service organizations whose history and mission intersects with that of the Music & Recorded Sound Division and the Library.


Required Education, Experience & Skills

Required Education & Experience

  • Graduate degree in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Music Theory, a graduate degree in a related field, or commensurate professional experience
  • 5 years experience and demonstrated accomplishments in a research library, university, museum, or a similar institution, including progressive responsibilities administering and managing a research and circulating collection and staff in the field of music and/or recorded sound.
  • Strong subject expertise in music and/or recorded sound, including knowledge of classical and vernacular genres, and music scenes of New York City; informed background in Dance and Theatre.
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience.
  • Demonstrated responsive leadership and experience in planning and implementation, assessment, budgeting, personnel management, and information technology.
  • Ability to articulate a vision for the future of library services in the context of emerging information resources, needs, and expectations.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in archival print, various recording formats, audio and video materials, including preservation and digitization best practices.


Required Skills

  • Strong writing, oral and presentation skills
  • Knowledge of historic formats and preservation needs, including knowledge of audiovisual formats
  • Outgoing, charismatic, dynamic personality
  • Strong negotiating skills, comfortable working with large teams with disparate interests and goals
  • Experience managing staff


Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in music or recorded sound related field.
  • ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies or commensurate professional experience.
  • Strong, active presence in the national and/or international music and recorded sound associations
  • Published scholarly articles in the field of musicology or other similar fields.
  • Commitment to music and recordings of African American, African Diasporic, Latin American, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Indigenous communities a plus


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
  • Be Welcoming and Inclusive


Physical Duties

  • Most of the Curator’s core work will take place within the environment of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; some travel required.
  • Other duties may require site visits to view collections, and to donor’s homes, which may require inspecting collections, lifting heavy boxes, creating inventories, and establishing ongoing relationships with donors.
  • Represent the Music & Recorded Sound Division at national and international conferences as well as local organizational functions, concerts, and events, creating and sustaining important networking and professional relationships.


 How to Apply

Please apply online:  NYPL job – Curator…


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.


About the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (LPA), nestled between the Vivian Beaumont Theater and the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, is one of the world’s most prestigious performing arts research and circulating libraries, privileging and illuminating its vast international collections through scholarship, education, exhibitions, and programming. The Curator of Music & Recorded Sound guides the Division’s worldwide presence within the global community of researchers and scholars as well as our local community of young and life-long learners. The Curator of Music & Recorded Sound provides leadership, vision, direction, curation, advocacy, and accountability in managing all aspects of the Division’s collections, acquisitions, programs, publications, financials, fundraising outreach, and reference services.


Full-Time Job in Library:
Curator, Music & Recorded Sound
New York Public Library
 New York, New York, United States

Job Categories: Library. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: curator, curatorial, library, music, NYPL, and sound. States: New York.
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