May 24, 2022

Report: “YIVO, World’s Biggest Yiddish Research Center, Lays Off All its Librarians”

UPDATE January 24 2019 Nearly 700 Scholars and Students Condemn YIVO Librarian Layoffs (via The Forward)

From The Forward:

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research [located in New York City], the world’s preeminent center for the study of the Yiddish language, culture and history, has laid off all of its librarians.

Four people were let go in the move, which was announced internally last week and confirmed by executive director Jonathan Brent in a statement to the Forward on Monday afternoon, after this piece was originally published. The four librarians were among 39 total employees of the 95-year-old organization, which reported $5.1 million in spending in its 2018 annual report.


YIVO’s library, which contains 400,000 books, newspapers and other publications, is separate from its archive, which contains 23 million items. Brent said that the library’s work will be conducted primarily by archivists “until such time as we can rebuild our library staff.” He said that the organization had made “every effort” to ensure researchers and visitors wouldn’t be affected by the change.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 600 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.