Special Library in Focus: The Jungian Psychology Library in NYC
I had the good fortune to experience a tour of the Kristine Mann Library (devoted to Carl Jung) at 28 East 39th Street with The New York Public Library staff, but the library is open to the public free for research. However, if people want to take books home, they have to become members. The library is located within the C. G. Jung Institute of New York, and it consists of two rooms and a balcony. It has books, papers, and journals related to analytic psychology and Carl Jung. The library has an online catalog and a card catalog for use in case of a computer crash. The librarian has created a unique collection, and it is the largest Jungian library in the world. There are about 250 members.
The library is staffed by a former New York Public Library employee and one assistant. They also train interns on the unique classification system, and the interns help with cataloging. The librarian is also a psychotherapist with a Jungian slant, and she is a part-time children's librarian. When she inherited the Kristine Mann Library, it was "transformed into the 21st Century by obtaining and launching an open source database and utilizing social networking to reach out, as well as by word of mouth. Fliers and brochures are sent to colleges and universities as well as book stores and other libraries. Book sales, silent art auctions, grant writing, and appeals to the Jungian community" are used to generate capital to purchase books, according to the librarian. The patronage increased by 30 percent last year. The Jung Library is a special library as well as an academic library for the C G Jung Institute of Post Graduate Jungian Training. There are about 200 special libraries in New York City.
Visiting the Jung Library definitely made me nostalgic for my solo librarian days in Philadelphia. I love public libraries, but I miss the all-encompassing and special collections nature of special libraries. I am fascinated by them, and it was great to have the opportunity to visit one in New York City. In addition, I have an advanced degree in psychology, and I studied Jung in graduate school, so this library was a perfect mix for my academic background.
Music School Library in Philadelphia: This was my first professional job as a librarian, and I was very excited to start this part-time job. The first thing I wanted to accomplish was to make the library more welcoming. I ended up cataloging the entire collection, which consisted mainly of scores and CDs, since some material was not cataloged, some was cataloged incorrectly, and some was cataloged correctly. I used the Music Classification Schedule of the Library of Congress. I helped students and faculty find music, and there was a single computer in the room for staff and customer use. It was exciting to catalog all of the donations, set the hours for library operations, and provide reference services to the public. I guess the entire look of the place changed in the time that I was there, because the board of directors was very happy when they came to visit.
Synagogue Library in Elkins Park, PA: In my search for interesting libraries to work at, I became a synagogue librarian for a congregation in suburban Philadelphia. I like Judaism, but I am not Jewish. I was fascinated to learn about the faith and catalog the materials in the library. I also did story times for the preschoolers and hosted high school religion classes in the library.
Preschool Library in Philadelphia: I was the solo preschool librarian for a predominately Chinese population in Chinatown. I loved hosting a mobile library for the preschoolers and the after-school crowd. Some teachers wanted the library to come to them, and some were content to come to the conference room where the rolling book displays showcased our books. Kids took out one book at a time and had to return the book before they could take out another. We also had books for the baby rooms. I cataloged this collection with a unique system.
Feel free to come visit the largest Jungian library in the world, the Kristine Mann Library, if you are interested in psychology, special libraries, or both! The staff will be very happy to see you, and it is free!
- Psychology databases
- Journals on Carl Jung
- Special Library Association
- Music Library Association
- International Association for Jungian Studies
- International Association for Analytic Psychology
- NYPL books on Carl Jung
- American Association of School Librarians
- Association of Jewish Libraries