Conservation Technician

Library

Employer/Library: 
Northwestern University
Library Type: 
Academic Library
County: 
Cook

Position Details

Full Time or Part Time: 
Full Time
Hours: 
37.5 hours per week
Salary: 
Starts at $17.06 per hour

Conservation Technician

Northwestern University Library

The Conservation Technician is based in the Preservation Work Group, reports to the Chief Conservator, and has the primary responsibility of performing a broad range of conservation treatments as well as constructing or retrofitting housings for circulating and non-circulating library material. Assists with surveys, disaster planning and response, assessment and stabilization of new collections, internal and external preservation education initiatives, and other activities related to the day to day operation of the conservation lab. The Conservation Technician plays an important role in providing technical support for an active library exhibits program.

Principal Accountabilities:

  • Performs conservation treatments on paper, cloth, and leather bindings from the circulating collections.
    • Treatments include re-sewing, re-backing, repairing damaged paper, repairing existing covers, and constructing new covers. Treatments are completed in accordance with established departmental guidelines.
    • Constructs boxes, wrappers, and other protective enclosures. Assists as needed with shelf preparation and bindery preparation.
    • Effectively manages time to complete deadline-driven work. Utilizes good communication skills to convey changes in scope of work that may affect project deadlines. Monitors conservation lab supplies to insure that materials for ongoing workflow as well as special projects are available when needed. Maintains accurate statistics for all completed work.
  • Performs a variety of higher level conservation treatments with an emphasis on non-circulating materials used for exhibition, teaching and research.
    • Treatments include re-sewing, re-backing, repairing damaged paper, repairing existing covers, constructing new covers, washing paper, humidifying paper and parchment, deacidifying paper, and encapsulating brittle or fragile items. Treatments are completed in accordance with established departmental guidelines.
    • Completes written and photographic treatment documentation to established standards.
    • Constructs boxes, wrappers, and other protective enclosures for books and other three dimensional objects.
    • Effectively manages time to complete deadline-driven work. Utilizes good communication skills to convey changes in scope of work that may affect project deadlines. Monitors conservation lab supplies to insure that materials for ongoing workflow as well as special projects are available when needed. Maintains accurate statistics for all completed work.
  • Assists with the installation of exhibits, including placement of materials, creation of labels, and construction of book cradles.
  • Assists Chief Conservator to insure that materials are being handled according to established exhibition guidelines:
    • Reviews material scheduled for exhibition or loan and works with Chief Conservator to determine if conservation treatments is required.
    • Reviews exhibit to insure compliance with established guidelines regarding light levels and placement of exhibit cases.
    • Assists in the proper packing of materials going out on loan and prepares preservation paperwork, including exhibition instructions and documentation.
    • Effectively manages time to complete deadline-driven work. Utilizes good communication skills to convey changes in scope of work that may affect project deadlines. Monitors exhibit supplies; organizes and oversees inventory of exhibit cradles and mounts.
    • Assists with disaster planning and response, assessment and review of new collections, and the implementation of collection surveys for preservation planning purposes.
    • Participates in weekly conservation lab meetings (and/or training sessions) to discuss workflow and treatment decision making.Meets as needed with curators and other responsible parties to discuss treatment options and conservation needs.
    • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience where similar knowledge, skills and abilities may be acquired.
  • Excellent manual dexterity as demonstrated through previous bookbinding or conservation experience or other work requiring a high level of eye-hand coordination.
  • Successfully uses multiple software programs independently. Experience with MS Office (Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel) and web browsers. Knowledge of creating and maintaining spreadsheets and databases.

Minimum Competencies:

  • Communicates effectively one-to-one, in small groups and in public speaking contexts; writes precise, well-organized emails, letters and proposals while using appropriate vocabulary and grammar.
  • Facilitates open and effective communication, cooperation and teamwork within and outside of one's own team; respects the needs and contributions of others.
  • Effectively performs duties and responsibilities; displays attention to detail; follows a logical process/method for problem solving; supports organizational policies; anticipates demands/pressures of assignments and adjusts accordingly.
  • Demonstrates ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Plans, organizes and schedules in an efficient, productive manner; anticipates contingencies and pays attention to detail; targets projects or initiatives that require special attention and focuses on key tasks when faced with critical deadlines.
  • Demonstrates logic, rationality and objectivity; shows common sense; uses all available information to make educated decisions.
  • Strives for excellence with work processes and outcomes, honoring University policies and regulatory requirements.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proficient in conservation treatments including full range of circulation collection repairs (rebacking, recasing, pamphlet binding, drop spine box and wrapper construction, resewing paper repair, repair of leather bindings with tissue)
  • Demonstrated understanding of conservation principles.
  • Experience using OCLC and ALMA library management system.

Preferred Competencies:

  • Experience with Adobe Suite and FileMaker Pro.
  • Identifies opportunities to improve procedures and practices; shows imagination.
  • Exhibits energy and desire to achieve; sets ambitious goals and acts decisively; takes action that no one has requested to improve or enhance job results and avoid problems.

Working Conditions:

  • Duties mainly take place in a lab environment (library conservation lab), but infrequently will involve working for periods of time in the library stacks standing, and/or bending/kneeling completing collection surveys and assessments. Must be able to move and lift up to 30 pounds, and have the ability to push/pull loaded book trucks.

To Apply

Application Deadline: 
Open until filled
Application Note: 

To apply please visit Northwestern University's job site and search for Job ID 34850 or Conservation Technician

Apply To: 
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston , IL 60208 42° 3' 12.7008" N, 87° 40' 26.6376" W
Illinois