News | July 14, 2015

Carolyn Waters Named 21st Head Librarian of the NY Society Library

New York, NY, July 13, 2015—The Board of Trustees of the New York Society Library has approved the recommendation of its Search Committee to appoint Carolyn Waters Head Librarian as of August 1, 2015. The New York Society Library is the city’s oldest library, and its Head Librarian is the institution’s director and head of operations. Carolyn succeeds Mark Bartlett, Head Librarian from 2006 to 2015, who is moving to Toronto with his wife Sue Hunter to continue his career as a librarian in his home country. 

Carolyn joined the Library’s staff in 2007 and has held positions in the Circulation, Cataloging, Reference, and Acquisitions Departments. In 2008 she founded the Library’s Writer Services programming, providing daytime and evening events for the Library’s large and diverse community of member writers. She has been Assistant Head Librarian since December 2011.

Head Librarian Mark Bartlett says, “Carolyn arrived here at an exciting time in the Library’s recent history and has been so instrumental in a number of our recent initiatives—a website redesign, graphic identity and branding effort, improvement of the Library’s communications channels, and services for member writers. In her eight years here she’s also made great improvements to the Library’s administrative functions and forged warm relationships with members. I am excited for Carolyn.” 

Before receiving her Master’s degree in Library Science from Pratt Institute, Carolyn was a Director of Client Management at Mellon Financial Corporation, a management consultant in the financial services industry, and a Vice President at Chase Manhattan Bank. She holds an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business.

Carolyn is the third woman to hold the Head Librarian position, following Edith Hall Crowell (Head Librarian 1936-1954) and Sylvia Hilton (1954-1978).

“The New York Society Library is one of the city’s richest treasures,” says Ms. Waters. “It is a unique literary sanctuary, a welcoming haven for all those who cherish the written word. That it remains a vibrant and vital institution 261 years after its founding is a testament to its incredible staff, members, and trustees. I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next Head Librarian, and I look forward to building on the strong foundation set by Mark’s leadership and those who came before him.”

The Board and staff of the Library congratulate Carolyn on her appointment and look forward to continuing working with her to maintain and improve New York City’s oldest library.

The New York Society Library was founded in 1754 and is the city’s oldest library. In the eighteenth century, an organization labeled "Society" meant that it was open to all—available to everyone throughout society. The Library today is open to all for reading, reference, and many events, with circulation and other services by subscription. The beautiful landmarked building dates from 1917 and includes reading rooms, spaces for study, stacks, and the Assunta, Ignazio, Ada and Romano Peluso Exhibition Gallery. The Library has approximately 300,000 volumes and hosts a variety of special events, reading groups, and workshops, as well as the New York City Book Awards. Currently the Library has a staff of thirty-seven employees.  Extensive information about the Library is available at