Saturday, May 25, 2013

Senior Conservator post open at Penn State

This opening was posted on the Book_Arts Listserv:

Senior Book Conservator

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries seeks an experienced and talented Senior Book Conservator to expand its conservation program, first initiated in 2005.  The Libraries has received a $1.25 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support this program and fund the position.  The funding received from the Mellon Foundation includes $1 million in permanent endowment funds and $250,000 to establish the new position while the University Libraries raises matching funds for the endowment, which will support the position permanently.

Reporting to the Head of the Digitization and Preservation Department, the conservator will provide leadership for the conservation unit in item-level treatment of paper-based rare and special collection materials in consultation with curators, archivists, and collection managers.  We seek a conservator with professional expertise in bound materials with additional expertise in related areas such as maps, prints, drawings, manuscripts on paper, photographs, and other library and archival materials.  This is a senior-level position requiring extensive professional experience, preferably in a research library environment.  The Senior Book Conservator will be located at Penn State University Park in State College, PA, but will care for collections residing at all Libraries locations. The position will be filled either as a tenure-line or fixed-term faculty librarian position, depending upon the interests and qualifications of the successful candidate.


Conservation Treatment - Plans, documents, and executes complex and intermediate conservation treatments on rare and special collection materials held throughout the University Libraries on all campuses in accordance with accepted standards and the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.  Examines and creates full written and photographic treatment documentation.  Coordinates workflow of treatments to the conservation unit.  Manages and plans upgrades of the conservation facilities.  Selects, tests, orders, and maintains specialized equipment and tools. Participates in disaster response, recovery, and salvaging operations.

Management - Develops policies and procedures in the conservation of materials based on careful consideration of resources, collection context, and use patterns.  May train, supervise, or coordinate the work of others whether project-based or permanent staff.  Works closely with curators, archivists, and collection managers in the selection and treatment of collections. Conducts condition surveys of collections including conservation aspects of exhibits or digitization.  Manages outsourcing of conservation treatments that cannot be performed in-house.  Collaborates with librarians and administrators in fund-raising efforts to support the conservation program.

Outreach - Contributes to the conservation profession in the areas of specialization through service, research, and presentations.  Stays current with conservation issues and practices through research, professional conferences, workshops, or similar activities.  Serves as a technical expert and educational resource for library staff, to the University, to other institutions and regional cultural heritage communities, and to the public.  Organizes and presents workshops for library staff or external audiences.  Answers conservation-related questions; hosts tours of the conservation labs.

Required Qualifications:

MLS from an ALA-accredited program (or equivalent), a master's degree in conservation, or completed equivalent apprenticeship training with an established conservator.
Extensive professional experience with demonstrated knowledge of the materiality and history of books, paper, and related library materials.  Detailed understanding and high-level experience of relevant conservation theory and practice as well as knowledge of chemistry as it applies to the conservation of library collections.  Understanding of and adherence to professional ethical practice in conservation.
Demonstrated ability to perform complex and intermediate conservation on a broad range of library materials.
Demonstrated ability to train, provide instruction, and supervise staff; plan, organize and direct workflow; plan and organize physical space.
Demonstrated ability to contribute of the profession through service, research, and presentations.
Commitment to foster teamwork and diversity in the workplace.

5 or more years of professional experience.
Experience in grant writing and/or fund-raising.

The Pennsylvania State University serves as the land grant institution for Pennsylvania, incorporating a strong outreach mission into its instructional and research activities. The Penn State University Libraries advances intellectual discovery, information literacy, and lifelong learning, all in support of the University’s 96,000 students and 6,000 faculty. Penn State ranks among the top ten research libraries in North America according to the Association of Research Libraries Expenditure Index.

In fiscal year 2011-12 the Libraries annual budget totaled approximately $51 million and the market value of our endowment stands at $36.1million. Penn State Libraries actively participates in the initiatives of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and our librarians are national leaders in their respective fields. As the largest public mission Library in the northeastern region of the United States, we are also the most geographically dispersed, with physical collections at each of Penn State’s 24 campuses found in all regions of Pennsylvania. For many citizens of Pennsylvania their regional Penn State campus houses their nearest library.

Established 153 years ago, the Penn State University Libraries and its librarians have endeavored to build rich collections in all disciplines. Our users have access to 5.8 million volumes, 117,000 electronic journals, and 200,000 e-books. The Eberly Family Special Collections Library holds 200,000 printed volumes, 25 million archival records and manuscripts, and a million non-book items.  Significant special collections include German literature and manuscripts, Pennsylvania-German broadsides, fraktur, and religion materials, fragile prints by the graphical artist Lynd Ward, and letters of Ernest Hemingway, among many others. In addition, collections of distinction are found throughout the Libraries on all campuses.  As one of four Resource Libraries for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Libraries receive funding from the Commonwealth to support the acquisition of and statewide access to our collections. This status, as well as our land grant history, drives us to give special attention to outreach and sharing of our expertise around the state, especially in the area of preservation.  Preservation was formally recognized as a library unit by the University Libraries in July 1990 and services to safeguard and treat library collections in all formats.  By July 2006 the department name was changed to Digitization and Preservation in recognition of the technological changes affecting libraries and the need to digitize collections for enhanced access and preservation.  For more on the Digitization and Preservation Department see: <>.

Compensation and Rank:  This position will be filled as either tenure-line or fixed-term faculty appointment dependent upon experience and interests of the successful candidate.  Salary and rank commensurate with experience. Excellent fringe benefits include liberal vacation, excellent insurance, state or TIAA/CREF retirement options, and educational privileges.

To Apply: Send a letter of application, resumé, and the names and contact information of three professional references to Search Committee, The Pennsylvania State University, Box CONSR-PADG, 511 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802. Applications and nominations may also be sent to <>.  Please reference Box CONSR-PADG in the email subject line.  Review of candidates will begin on June 28, 2013 and continue until the position is filled.  Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and diversity of its workforce.

Lindsey A. Harter
Faculty Services and Training Coordinator, Libraries Human Resources
The Pennsylvania State University - University Libraries
511 Paterno Library
University Park, PA  16802
Telephone: 814-863-4949
Fax: 814-863-5592

Friday, May 3, 2013

Catching Up: PCB Artists' Working Group

[Note: Time has a way of getting away from us all. This is one of several blogs about PCB activities over the past few months. Better late than never.-ab]

March 17, 2013
  Three book artists climbed the picture-lined stairs of Susan Viguers' Germantown home to meet in her studio as the first Artists' Working Group. 
  Each of us had a half hour to share a project in progress. They were diverse: a series of wood prints based on a personal experience; journals using a number of binding methods; an experimental variation on the tunnel book structure; and a book consisting of a poem surrounded by commentary. 
  The discussion was lively and supportive. More experienced members were generous with technical insights, such as the best ways of binding with cloth. Different perspectives helped open us to new possibilities in our projects. For those of us who work in isolation, this  is a big boost.
  Many thanks to Susan for providing such a congenial setting!

  Our next Artists' Working Group will be on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at Noon. Check the PCB web site for more details and information on how to register--the deadline is May 10.

4th Annual Book Fair

Philadelphia Photo Arts Center

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center presents its 4th annual Book Fair on May 18. Books, prints, and ephemera will be on view for sale. 


Saturday May 18, 12 to 6 pm
Free and open to the public

1400 N. American Street
Suite 103
Philadelphia, PA 19122

For additional information, including a list of arts: