New York Academy of Medicine – Library Assistant


The New York Academy of Medicine advances the health of people in cities. An independent organization since 1847, NYAM addresses the health challenges facing the world’s urban populations through interdisciplinary approaches to policy leadership, education, community engagement and innovative research.

Drawing on the expertise of diverse partners worldwide and more than 2,000 elected Fellows from across the professions, our current priorities are

  • To create environments in cities that support healthy aging
  • To strengthen systems that prevent disease and promote the public’s health
  • To implement interventions that eliminate health disparities

Summary and Description

The NYAM Library, which opened its collections to the general public in 1878, has a collection that includes over 500,000 volumes, 275,000 portraits and illustrations and about 400,000 pamphlets.  The collection comprises primary and secondary materials in the history of medicine, public health, science and other health-related disciplines, including a rare book collection of approximately 35,000 volumes, with manuscripts and archives dating from the 17th century B.C. to the present.  Books from the 17th and 18th centuries are a particular area of strength in the Academy’s collections as are materials related to the history of medicine in the City of New York.  The collection is supported by an extensive reference collection of medical bibliography, biography, biographical dictionaries, dictionaries and library catalogues, as well as books on the history of books and printing.  The NYAM Library was a founding member of the Independent Research Libraries Association (IRLA), which according to its criteria for membership includes libraries that “house collections of international significance that are capable of supporting sustained research in a variety of interrelated subjects and of attracting scholars from all over the world.”  Currently, the Historical Collections supports a variety of different programs, including two residential fellowships and an annual lecture series.

The Gladys Brooks Book and Paper Conservation Laboratory was established in 1982 for the express purpose of caring for the NYAM Library’s materials.  In addition to its preservation mandate, the Lab also plays an important role in the training of future generations of conservators through its internship and volunteer programs and offers professional educational opportunities through a robust calendar of workshops and lectures.

A new Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health is being established for the purpose of enhancing awareness of and access to the NYAM Library’s important research collections.  The Center will serve to promote the scholarly and public understanding of the history of medicine and public health and the history of the book while stimulating intellectual inquiry in both of these fields.  The aim of the new Center is to build bridges among an interdisciplinary community of scholars, educators, clinicians, curatorial and conservation professionals and the general public.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Retrieve and reshelve periodicals, bound journals, monographs (books), pamphlets, government documents and other materials on a daily basis for patrons using the collections in the building and for the fulfillment of Document Delivery requests
• Photocopy or scan materials to fulfill patron orders and Document Delivery requests
• Assist at the desk in the main reading room as needed, including answering the telephone, supervising readers, collecting funds for fee-based services and responding to basic queries for information
• Assist with task related to the maintenance and upkeep of the collection, including shelf reading, shifting, boxing materials in preparation for binding and other tasks as assigned
• Other tasks and projects as assigned


• College experience or degree preferred
• Previous library experience, preferably providing patron assistance and/or in a document delivery or interlibrary loan setting

Experience and/or Education

• College experience or degree preferred
• Previous library experience, preferably providing patron assistance and/or in a document delivery or interlibrary loan setting
• Computer experience and proficiency are required; experience with integrated library systems and bibliographic databases, especially PubMed, Medline and Docline, is strongly desired
• Foreign language skill a plus
• Attention to detail, customer service orientation and ability to work independently as well as in a team environment
• Good time management skills and ability to balance work responsibilities in several different departments
• Ability to lift and carry heavy library materials as needed

The incumbent in this position will be physically located in Document Delivery and will report to the head of Document Delivery, but will have responsibilities in several areas of the library.

To Apply

Please email a resume and cover letter to Please include “Library Assistant” in subject line.

For more information, visit our website:

The New York Academy of Medicine is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.