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The New York Public Library Retail Associate Schomburg Center - Hourly (PT) in New York, New York

Retail Associate Schomburg Center - Hourly (PT)

Department: Retail Shop

Employment Type: Part Time

Location: Schomburg Center

Compensation: $15.00 / hour



Founded in 1925 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2017, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of materials focused on the African Diaspora. A research library of The New York Public Library, the Schomburg Center is also a focal point in the Harlem community offering an array of events, festivals, and exhibitions illuminating the richness of Black history and culture.

The Schomburg Shop is an emporium for products related to the global Black experience, with items ranging from classic and contemporary books for adults and children, unique gifts, and exclusive collaborations and products designed for the Schomburg Center. Retail Associates are hourly employees scheduled to work and serve vital roles during center-wide festivals, special events, and shop functions.

Key Responsibilities

Reporting to the Schomburg Shop Manager, Retail Associates will:

  • Effectively engage Shop visitors and assist with their merchandise selections

  • Conduct POS transactions for merchandise and membership sales

  • Help set-up displays and manage Shop sales during special events and festivals

  • Ensure that merchandise displays are always fresh by re-stocking and straightening

  • Take and complete orders in-person, over the phone, and from the online store

  • Package, wrap and prepare in-person and online shipping orders

  • Assist with inventory and Shop re-stockings

  • Ensure POS equipment is properly working, and replenish back stock as needed

  • Learn the merchandise to effectively help customers and suggest items for sale

  • Educate visitors about the Center, current exhibitions, programs, and services

  • Handle other duties requested by the Shop Manager

Required Education, Experience & Skills

Required Education & Experience

  • High school diploma or GED is required; College coursework or college degree is preferred

  • 6 to 12 months demonstrated retail sales experience

Required Skills

  • Prior retail sales, cash handling and competency with POS systems required

  • Comfortable and competent working with numbers/figures

  • Outstanding customer service background and the ability to work well with others

  • Exceptional organizational skills, attention to detail, reliable and prompt

  • Ability to safely lift up to 30 pounds unassisted and stand for extended periods of time

  • An interest in reading and books in printed form

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bookstore experience preferred


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.

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

  • Ability to safely lift up to 30 pounds unassisted

  • Ability to stand for extended periods of time

Physical Required?


Union/Non Union


FLSA Status



  • Must be available to work evenings, weekends, and during special events/festivals

  • Shop Associates are hourly employees scheduled for event shifts typically in late afternoon to evening and for 3 to 4 hours long. Retail Associates are assigned to shifts on a first come, first served basis and are required to be available for a minimum of five shifts per season. This number may be adjusted on a seasonal basis.