Book Conservator

5 days left

California, United States
03 Dec 2020
End of advertisement period
01 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Stanford Libraries is looking for a full time Book Conservator to join our Conservation team. The Libraries values are rooted in a commitment of mutual respect and the idea that every member of the staff has something to contribute, and that learning is constant. We seek a team member who is ready to share their skills and perspectives and collaborate with colleagues across the organization.

About Stanford Libraries:

Stanford Libraries is a network of over 15 libraries with over 400 employees. We are committed to fueling the teaching, learning and research across Stanford by acquiring, stewarding and making available a robust collection, currently in excess of 12 million items. Everyone in the organization plays a vital role in fulfilling that objective. Our dedication to discoverability and information management also has us engaged in dynamic global partnerships. We are constantly building and strengthening our organization, and we recognize striving for excellence is a marathon and not a sprint. We are constantly trying to strike the right pace, and admit there are times when we find ourselves at a fast jog. While we hope to always find candidates who fit within our organization, what we truly seek is someone who will add to our culture, our profession as well as the greater academic arena. We are invested in the success of our teams and the individuals who represent Stanford Libraries.

About the position:

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. This position will report to the Head, Conservation Services.  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.

Why Stanford is for You:

Contemplate the challenges our planet faces today and the sustainability solutions we will develop in the coming years. Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, and course auditing. Join a TedTalk, watch a film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more.

Core Duties:

  • In consultation with conservators and other department staff and under general supervision of head of conservation services, 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 for potential treatment, project development or physical condition.
  • Provide support for collection items going on external loan including condition reporting, photo-documentation, and specialized housing.
  • Document and share conservation treatment through reports, photo-documentation, 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 ensure 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.


Education & Experience:

  • MLIS from an ALA-accredited library school or the equivalent in training and experience are desirable. 
  • Completion of a recognized conservation training program, a formal apprenticeship, or similar level of education and training required in the conservation of rare books
  • Additional requirements regarding professional experience below.    

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • 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 photo-documentation 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
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively across a diverse organization

For Consideration at the Librarian 2 level:

  • 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).

For Consideration at the Librarian 3 level:  

Physical Requirements*:

* - 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:

Work Standards:

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.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Stanford welcomes applications from all who would bring additional dimensions to the University’s research, teaching and clinical missions.


We believe Stanford’s future success will be shaped by the diverse perspectives, unique experiences, and inclusive culture of its community.

First consideration given to those who apply by January 15, 2021

Additional Information

  • 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
  • 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.
  • May work in confined spaces and at heights 4-10 feet; be exposed to dust and mold; work extended hours, evenings, and weekends.
  • 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,
  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 1782
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: H
  • Requisition ID: 87947

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