Book Conservator

Job description

Book Conservator

Stanford University

Job Number:

This position is dual posted at Librarian 2/3 level. This position is located in Stanford Redwood City campus.

Summary Description:

Working within a dynamic conservation laboratory, the Book Conservator will be responsible for conservation assessment, treatment, and documentation of paper-based archival and library collections. As part of a team of nine conservation staff, the Book Conservator will contribute skills and expertise to prolong the useful life of a wide array of paper and parchment-based library collections. The Book Conservator will join a program that seeks to contribute knowledge of physical collections through active consultation with curatorial and other library colleagues. The Book Conservator will create and share conservation treatment records, assessments, and other documentation via the Stanford Digital Repository, our integrated library system, and other collaborative platforms beyond the Stanford Libraries. The Book Conservator will collaborate on technical, imaging, and scientific projects with internal stake holders, service providers, and the broader scholarly community. Stanford Libraries collects, processes, and preserves materials to support use by faculty, students, scholars, and the general public. Stanford Libraries' collections number over 9.5 million volumes in twenty libraries, including the David Rumsey Map Center, Special Collections and University Archives.
Reports to the Head, Conservation Services

Essential duties will include, but are not limited to:

  • In consultation with conservators and other department staff and under general supervision of conservator, provide conservation treatment and stabilization for special collections, rare, and locked stacks collection materials.
  • Work in consultation with curators and subject specialists on matters related to conservation treatment options and decision making.
  • Evaluate collection materials through survey and assessment techniques for potential treatment, project development or physical condition.
  • Provide support for collection items going on external loan including: condition reporting, photodocumentation, and specialized housing.
  • Document and share conservation treatment through reports, photodocumentation, and statistics.
  • Track workflow using departmental tools, software and applications.
  • Utilize analytical equipment in the lab and the greater university when appropriate to guide treatment decision making.
  • Make specialized housings and enclosures for special collections, rare, and locked stacks materials for the Stanford University Library.
  • Liaise with outside vendors to meet specifications, order supplies, and insure quality/working condition of materials, tools and equipment in use.
  • May train internal staff including temporary, casual and project staff in enclosures, conservation repair, and exhibit preparation practices and participate in training sessions for staff throughout the libraries.
  • Participate in tours of the department, university classes, and other events to share information about book conservation, book history, departmental activities and professional topics.
  • Other general preservation and administrative duties as assigned.

    Other duties may also be assigned, not all unique aspects of this job are covered by this job posting.

    The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

    Minimum Requirements:

    Education and Experience:

    At the Librarian 2 level:

  • Advanced Degree in Library Science or a relevant academic discipline with demonstrated understanding of academic libraries and two or more years of relevant experience in a relevant library setting or a combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Minimum three years of experience as a book conservator in a research library conservation lab.
  • Experience managing conservation projects including organizing workflow, selection and documentation.
  • Experience training with interns or other unit staff
  • Supervision of other staff, interns or fellows (desired).

    At the Librarian 3 level:

  • Minimum 5-7 years of experience as a book conservator in a research library conservation lab
  • Experience managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders
  • Supervision of staff, interns or fellows.
  • Contributions and service to professional organizations and the field

    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (Required):

  • Completion of a recognized conservation training program or a formal apprenticeship, internship, or similar level of education and training required for the conservation of rare books
  • Broad understanding of conservation theory and practice and its application in a research library.
  • Knowledge of binding techniques, history of the book, and structural developments of book materials.
  • Knowledge of the physical and chemical mechanisms of deterioration in library materials
  • Knowledge of conservation ethics and practices relevant to research library materials.
  • Demonstrated ability developing efficient and sound treatment procedures, including evaluation, assessment and documentation; determining workflow, production levels, and quality control standards; and ensuring compliance with health and safety guidelines.
  • Strong organizational skills with experience working in a high production, high attention to detail environment
  • Knowledge of photodocumentation techniques with digital cameras, imaging and editing software, and other technical equipment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a team member
  • Excellent manual dexterity and critical judgement
  • Ability to lift 25lbs and stand for 8 hours
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively across a diverse organization
  • 3-5 years of experience working in a conservation laboratory, or equivalent
  • Ability to work well with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively across a diverse organization with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.

    Physical Requirements*:

  • Constantly sit, perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently twist/bend/stoop/squat, grasps lightly/fine manipulation, grasp forcefully, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, reach/work above shoulders, writing by hand, kneel/crawl, climb (ladders, scaffolds, or other).
  • Rarely use a telephone, operate hand controls.
  • Must be able to push and maneuver a fully-loaded cart weighing up to 650 pounds that requires an initial push force up to 50 pounds.

    * - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

    Working Conditions:

  • May work in confined spaces and at heights 4-10 feet; be exposed to dust and mold; work extended hours, evenings and weekends.
    Work Standards:
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,

    First consideration given to candidates who apply by September 15, 2019.

    Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer and is committed to recruiting and hiring without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Additional Information


    Location: University Libraries, Redwood City, California, United States
    Classification Level:

    To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

    Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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    Job No:
    Posted: 10/14/2020
    Application Due: 10/19/2020
    Work Type: