dcsimg

Career Story: Stacks Manager At A Rare Book And Manuscript Library

Stacks Manager At A Rare Book And Manuscript Library

Job Title: Library Stacks Manager

Type of Company: I work for a rare book and manuscript library at an Ivy League research university.

Education: BA, Sociology, Yale College

Previous Experience: I worked as a library assistant in my department for 13 years before attaining this position. Before that I worked in another library on campus for three years as a secretary. I had paging experience as a student in a public library and a university library.

Job Tasks: My job involves managing the work that goes on in the stacks of a rare book and manuscript library. The stacks are the areas where books and manuscripts are kept. Activities in the stacks include paging (retrieving materials that someone has requested); shelving returned items; shifting to make room for new collections and returning materials that have been re-boxed or re-housed and now require more room on the shelves; taking inventory to account for all items; shelf-reading to make sure all items are in proper call number order; and searching for missing items. I also identify items that have to be sent out for conservation work or repair, a time when I can make small adjustments like putting a photograph in a buffered acid-free envelope or putting a friable pencil drawing between acid-free sheets of paper or tying up a book with loose covers and pages with special cotton tape.

I produce statistical reports on used space and available free space, item retrieval and missing item search success rates. I order shelves and supplies for use in the stacks and make sure that such supplies are kept stocked. I train permanent staff and student workers in our multiple call numbers systems, proper book and manuscript handling techniques, paging, shelving and shifting and use of special library databases. Since teamwork is a significant part of such an enterprise, I also help to staff the Access Services desk where people request the material the library holds.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of the job are handling such rare, valuable and one-of-a-kind materials and talking to the researchers who are scholars and experts in the fields the material represents. The worst parts are not being able to find missing items and being unable to really sit down and take time to read the interesting books. As a bookworm, I find that tormenting.

Job Tips: With library work it is always useful to have a master's level or Ph.D. subject degree in addition to a master's in Library Science (MLS) or a master's in Library and Information Science (MLIS). For example, a law librarian would have a JD and an MLS or MLIS. A school librarian might have an MLIS and a M.Ed. University librarians can have any degree: an RN or BSN or MD and an MLS for a medical library or a MS in Sociology, Economics or Anthropology and an MLIS for a social science library. If you want to get to the very top of your profession, it is best to go for a Ph.D. in either your library degree or your subject degree.

Additional Thoughts: This field requires attention to detail, an ability to explain and distill concepts for library users, good organizational skills, good writing skills and strong English skills. Knowledge of other languages, with an emphasis on writing and reading, is very useful.

Popular Schools offering Library Science Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.

  • Programs: Online Master of Information
  • Degrees: Master

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Gender Diversity Studies - MA in Psychology, Gender Diversity Studies - PhD of Psychology
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Degrees: Bachelor

The MSW@USC is the first top-ranked MSW program offered nationally. Many online programs are limited to certain geographic areas or the availability of courses, making it necessary to travel to campus. Our program can be completed from virtually anywhere without the need to relocate to Southern California.

  • Programs: Master of Social Work
  • Degrees: Master

Why earn your degree at Grand Canyon University? GCU is a regionally accredited university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more. Apply today!

  • Programs: B.S. in Early Childhood, M.Ed. in Early Childhood (Leads to initial teacher licensure), B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master
Argosy University
Ontario, Orange, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Human Services (MS)
  • Degrees: Master

Earn a respected online degree from George Washington University.

  • Programs: Master¬ís in Political Management
  • Degrees: Master

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).

  • Programs: BS in Liberal Studies - Professional Studies Track, BS in Liberal Studies - Autism Studies Track
  • Degrees: Bachelor
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Librarians, including:

Back to Top