Director of Library Services – YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, a national executive search and consulting firm, has been engaged to conduct a search for the Director of Library Services for YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City.


The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research was founded in Vilna, Poland, in 1925. It relocated to New York City in 1940 with the mission to study the history of Jewish life in Eastern Europe in all its aspects: language, history, religion, folkways, and material culture. Today YIVO’s Archive and Library make up one of the largest collections of materials on this subject in the world. It has an archive of 24 million artifacts and a library with over 400,000 volumes.

The YIVO Library has nearly 400,000 volumes in all European languages and is the world’s only academic library specializing in the history, languages, literature, culture, folklore, and religious traditions of East European Jewry.

Position Description & Compensation:

The Director of Library Services will position YIVO for continued excellence in its mission of fostering knowledge of the ongoing story of Jewish life, with a focus on the history and culture of East European Jewry.  This is a full-time, on-site, position that will report to the Executive Director and CEO. The salary range is $90K – $100K with a comprehensive benefits package offered.


  • Implement best practice collection management and provide stewardship for the Library’s collections.
  • Ensure cataloging, inventory, and metadata for library materials is accurate and in compliance with current best practices for discovery.
  • Establish best practice handling and storage procedures for the collection materials.
  • Manage budget, approve purchases, and transmit invoices for payment in a timely fashion.
  • Guide employment process for a small library staff (2-4) of full and part-time employees.
  • Manage and establish work schedules for library staff.
  • Manage library volunteers.
  • Select, supervise, and report on summer library fellows and interns.
  • Gather data and compile statistical reports on the Library’s work and collection materials for surveys, Newsletters, and grant reports as needed.
  • Where required assist with establishing time frames and budgets for library projects and work effectively with staff in other departments in the planning and execution of such projects.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and management to plan future library growth, digital projects, and other priorities.
  • Work collaboratively with technical services staff from the Center for Jewish History, who provide systems administration for YIVO’s ILS (ExLibris Aleph), DAM (ExLibris Rosetta) and discovery (ExLibris Primo) systems.
  • Follow best practice developments in the profession and apply them to the Library as appropriate; and
  • Participate in professional activities including publishing activity, presentation at external meetings and conferences, and service in professional organizations for either library services or Jewish studies.


  • Master’s degree in Library Science from an ALA-accredited Institution.
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of library experience, with managerial responsibilities.
  • Proven ability to conduct and supervise MARC cataloging using current industry best practices including AACR2, RDA and the Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials.
  • Applied experience working with cataloging utilities, such as OCLC Connexion and integrated library systems – preference for direct experience with ExLibris Aleph.
  • Familiarity with Aeon and Rosetta.
  • Experience with large- and small-scale project management.
  • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in Jewish studies – preference for focus on Eastern European history.
  • Proficiency in written Yiddish and/or Hebrew.
  • Knowledge of other European languages is a plus.

Mersky, Jaffe & Associates is proud of its association with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and to be conducting the search for its Director of Library Sciences.  If you or someone you know might be a suitable candidate for this position, please forward in confidence, the person’s name, cover letter, resume, and contact information to Lori Fodale by writing to