Working at the JPL

Director, Norman Berman Children’s Library (posted: Sept. 24, 2021)


Reporting to the Senior Director, Library & Learning Services, is responsible for all aspects of the Children’s Library.


Library Operations

  1. Responsible for tracking budgets, endowments and grants assigned to this department as well as invoicing and expense approval.
  2. Functions as staff liaison, with appropriate committees, and as such, works closely with, and makes recommendations on all policy matters, including book selection policies, programs, budget requirements, etc.
  3. Maintains statistical records of library activities.
  4. Responsible for hiring, training and supervision of staff assigned to the Children’s Library.
  5. Participates in planning of overall library policies and procedures particularly in those areas of responsibility relating to the Children’s Library.


  1. Responsible for planning and implementing children’s activities and programs on a seasonal basis in relation to goals and objectives of this department.
  2. Responsible for planning and implementing major special events annually, including the MTL YA FEST.
  3. Establishes and maintains liaison with local educational institutions.
  4. Establishes and maintains working relationships and partnerships with community and local organizations towards joint programming

Collections Management

Responsible for selection and acquisition of all materials for the Children’s Library, in accordance with formulated policies.

  1. Responsible for determining and implementing cataloguing procedures.
  2. Responsible for maintaining the collection as up-to-date and relevant.


  1. As a senior member of the Library staff, represents the Library at community meetings, as assigned by the Executive Director.
  2. May participate in continuing professional development in the field of library services to children through participation in workshops, association meetings, conferences, seminars and by reading current professional journals.
  3. As a member of the management team, the incumbent is responsible to for close consultation and collaboration with all other JPL departments.


Graduate degree in Library & Information Studies with appropriate background in children and young adult library services.


Five years’ experience working in a children’s library.

Computer Skills: ILS software, MS-Office applications.


  • English, French and Hebrew are essential, Russian and/or Yiddish an asset
  • Ability to communicate professionally with the public at large, with donors, community partners and professionals, and library patrons.
  • Knowledge of the Jewish Community, in particular the school system, an asset.
  • Knowledge of current library technology.
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise and motivate personnel.
  • Important qualities: leadership, initiative, forward thinking, creativity all an asset.

interested applicants should submit cover letter and CV to [email protected]

Volunteering at the JPL

The JPL depends and greatly appreciates its volunteers, who contribute their time and special skills for the benefit of the diverse population served by the Library. Volunteers can work individually or as part of a team and receive personalized training and ongoing support from staff members. Some of the benefits of volunteering are:

  • Enhancing your talents and skills, as well as gaining new skills
  • Obtaining valuable work experience
  • Exploring career possibilities by working in an area of your choice
  • Acquiring new friends and professional contacts
  • Gaining greater understanding of people at different stages of life and from diverse economic and social backgrounds and becoming involved in community issues
  • Receiving letters of reference and enhancing your résumé
  • Gaining personal satisfaction

As a volunteer, you are an indispensable part of the community. By performing small and large tasks, you supplement and enhance the work of the Library’s professional staff.  Your interaction with patrons can add warmth and purpose to their lives. You also increase the community’s awareness of the Library and its mission.

Responsibilities of the volunteer

Volunteering is a rewarding experience when all participants – volunteer, staff, and patrons – have mutual respect and a desire to cooperate in meeting recognized needs.

As a volunteer you are expected to:

  • Accept only responsibilities you can handle and take volunteer work seriously
  • Be on time, advise your supervisor if you are going to be late
  • Fulfill your commitment as staff and patrons depend on you, notify your supervisor in advance if you cannot maintain your commitment
  • Establish a good relationship by being open and honest with staff
  • Participate in any training programs that may be arranged
  • Respect confidences that staff and patrons may share with you
  • Respect the confidentiality of information with regard to patrons, staff and Library lay personnel that you may be privy to in the course of your volunteer work
  • Immediately advise your supervisor or a member of the Volunteer Committee if problems occur during your time as a volunteer
  • Should you decide to terminate your work as a volunteer with us, please notify your supervisor as soon as possible, with a minimum of 2 weeks notice.
Volunteer opportunities at the JPL

The Jewish Public Library has many departments, programs and services. Please see below for a description of some of the possibilities. However, if you have other ideas, please feel free to contact us.

Books on Wheels
The Library provides a homebound delivery service for members who are unable to visit the library and are dependent on the program for reading material. We depend on volunteers to pick up and deliver material. We need new volunteers to expand the program as the demand for this service is growing.

Circulation Assistant
Volunteer assistance is required to telephone patrons with reminders, to check the shelves if patrons claim the materials were returned, and to follow up until the materials required by other patrons is returned.

Shelving and Shelf Reading
Books travel a great deal and need to return to their proper places in the library in order to circulate again. There is an ongoing need to return books to shelves, as well as to “read” the shelves to ensure that materials are in order, to check the shelves against bibliographic reports, and to change the status of materials on the database when items are missing.

Book Sale Assistant
Volunteers help us to sort through donations of books, determine which items are for sale, which might be added to the library collection, and which must be disposed of in another manner. The volunteer checks titles on the database, prices items and organizes the book sale shelves and display. This is an ideal job for an aspiring entrepreneur as this program is an invaluable fundraiser that supports the Library book budget. Volunteers with the book sale also receive discounts on book purchases.

For more information on volunteering in the adult library, please send your CV and cover letter to [email protected] or call 514.734.1497

Volunteering in the Norman Berman Children’s Library
The Children’s Library requires volunteers in the following areas:

  • To shelve books and do shelf-reading
  • Check in new books, verify database, process the books and affix security labels.
  • Repair books
  • Telephone assistance in calling parents about programs and work in support of the Birthday Book Fundraising Project.
Volunteering in the Jewish Public Library Archives

The Archives offers meaningful mentorship to its volunteers. Depending on the experience of the volunteer, we can adapt volunteer packages that include these tasks and others

  • Validating inventories
  • Curating vitrines
  • Creating content for social media
  • Learning reference workflows
  • Custom box-making for rare books

Volunteer work is not meant to replace paid positions. If you are interested in volunteering with the Archives, please send your CV and cover letter to [email protected] or call 514.734.1372.