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Conservation Staff Assistant

Company: Penn State University
Location: university park
Posted on: May 3, 2021

Job Description:


If you are a current employee (faculty, staff, technical service, or student) at Penn State, please login to Workday to complete the internal application process. If you are a current student at Penn State and seeking employment with Penn State, please login to Workday to complete the student application process.


Conservation Staff Assistant

Part-time: 24 hours per week, Monday through Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm.

Purpose/Position Summary: Performs conservation care and treatments on library materials held in the library's general, rare, and special collections. This position's primary assignment will involve collections preservation, conservation, housing, and exhibition production support.

Responsibilities (essential functions):

Under the close direction of the Preservation Services Supervisor and Senior Book Conservator:

* Assists in preparation of materials for commercial binding to include creating binding information slips through an automated system, boxing of materials, unpacking returned shipments, and quality control checks. Assists in preparation of materials for mass deacidification treatment, such as selection of materials, condition review, and tracking shipments. * Receives training and performs a variety of tasks related to the preservation and conservation of books and other library materials from Penn State's general, rare, and special collections. Carries out treatments on library materials in accordance with accepted standards for conservation practice; gives time estimates, and documents treatments performed. Assesses and performs minor book repair including cleaning, mending, and construction of wrappers, boxes, encapsulation sleeves, etc. * Assists with supply inventories and restocking of materials; prepares solutions and other treatment essentials (e.g., paste, adhesives). Assists in investigating tools and supplies for purchase at the request of the Senior Book Conservator. * Adhere to best practices by maintaining a clean workspace; understanding and observing building and chemical safety protocols; and maintaining the security for valuable library materials. * Maintains accurate statistics on daily activities and reports this information monthly. All work assignments and tasks are to be completed in an accurate and timely manner, according to established standards and practices. * Assists in responding to collection emergencies and participates with disaster recovery services.

Required Qualifications:

* Bachelor's degree and 2 years of related experience; or a combination of related education and work experience to equal six years. * Demonstrated ability to perform exacting handwork with care, precision, patience, and attention to detail in a productive environment. Handwork includes the use of hand tools (knives, straightedges, punches, brushes, etc.) and manual bookbinding equipment (paper cutter, book press, etc.). * Written and oral communication skills commensurate with job requirements. * Ability to work independently and in a group environment as part of a well-functioning and diverse team. * Knowledge of library operations. * Demonstrated technology skills, including a proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite of word processing, spreadsheet and database applications. * Ability to work in an environment in which exposure to dust, dirt, and mold is possible * Understands and values diversity and the importance of inclusion as demonstrated through a commitment to apply and incorporate the differences, complexities, and opportunities that diversity brings to the organization.

Desired Qualifications:

* Experience working in a library, museum, or cultural heritage institution. * Experience in the careful handling of rare and special materials. * Coursework in chemistry, art, or related fields. * Digital photography skills, as well as working knowledge of Adobe programs (Ex: Photoshop, Bridge, InDesign, and Lightroom)


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

EEO is the Law

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

Affirmative Action

Penn State Policies

Copyright Information


University Park, PA

Keywords: Penn State University, Ellicott City , Conservation Staff Assistant, Other , university park, Maryland

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