Friday, October 7, 2011


Position Description: Reporting to the Head, Preservation Department, the Conservator provides leadership and strategic direction for the Conservation Unit in the conservation treatment of circulating and special collections materials. The Conservator provides technical expertise and professional advice and education to the staff, other institutions, and the public. The incumbent:
·         executes complex conservation treatments on paper-based library and archival materials, working closely and collaboratively with subject specialists, Special Collections staff and others to establish goals, select and prioritize materials, and design and implement plans;
·         manages the Conservation Lab and program and identifies programmatic needs and sets priorities;
·         collaborates with the University of Iowa Center for the Book in teaching classes in bookbinding and on other aspects of the evolving book studies program at the University;
·         establishes specifications and procedures for work performed, developing workflow patterns and ensuring the quality of completed work;
·         assesses condition of material for a variety of digitization and other projects;
·         directly supervises 3.2 FTE staff members, and additional students and volunteers performing a wide range of conservation treatments and activities;
·         serves as a resource for staff and the public on a wide range of conservation issues;
·         assists in staff education and in the planning and development of the overall preservation program for the Library; and,
·         conducts research on conservation treatment methods as needed.

Required Qualifications:
·         High level of expertise in book conservation achieved through an accredited advanced degree in book conservation, equivalent certificate program, or formal apprenticeship.
·         Minimum of 6 years professional experience in rare books and paper conservation.
·         Demonstrated expertise in performing complex conservation treatments on a broad range of library and archival materials.
·         Thorough knowledge of the history of book structure; bookbinding, printing, writing, and papermaking materials and techniques; and materials science.
·         Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
·         Demonstrated ability to train and supervise staff, assess their work, plan, organize, and direct work flow, and plan and organize physical space.
·         Working knowledge of disaster planning, response, and recovery.
·         A record of engagement with professional conservation organizations.
·         Knowledge of conservation issues and current trends at the national level.
·         Experience providing instruction in bookbinding and other aspects of book studies.
·         Demonstrated commitment to diversity in the workplace or community.
·         Display continuing achievement, particularly at a national level, in an area or areas of professional interest that will enhance his/her value to the Libraries, the University, the profession, or the scholarly community.

Desired Qualifications:
·         Demonstrated knowledge of history of photography and the evolution of historical and contemporary photographic techniques.
·         Experience in book and paper conservation in a research library setting.

Additional Expectations of the Position:
Civil and Respectful Interactions:
·         Demonstrates respect for all members of the University community in the course of performing one’s duties and in response to administrators, supervisors, coworkers, and customers; constructively brings forward workplace concerns to coworkers and/or supervisor.
·         Establishes and maintains standards of collaborative interaction among peers and employees that is characterized by respect, honesty and service; assures that all unit members are held to similar standards and ethics; constructively manages conflict.
Diversity and Inclusion:
·         Welcomes the richness of talent from a diverse workforce and recognizes that diversity brings stimulation, challenge, and energy that contribute to a productive and effective workplace.
·         Manages the talents, strengths and behaviors of each individual in a diverse work group, while providing each employee with the opportunity to contribute to the goals of the unit. Works to assure that all employees are respected and treated in a manner consistent with University policies in regard to equal employment opportunity and diversity.
Leadership Accountability:
·         Represents the interests of the University and of unit leadership in the use of resources to meet service and productivity demands within unit goals and budgets; strives to promote continual process and quality improvement.
·         Inspires and motivates others to high performance by exercising strong stewardship of University resources, setting expectations, measuring success through individual performance evaluations, and driving organizational results.
Learning and Professional Development:
·         Seeks opportunities to enhance one’s own professional knowledge, skills, and abilities as they relate to one’s current position and/or to prepare for potential future roles and overall career development.
·         Identifies opportunities for and creates development plans that encourage employees to attend to the growth of their personal and professional capacity; engages self and staff in collective reflection of the University’s greater role in society.

Salary and appointment: Hiring range $50,000 to $75,000. Start date negotiable. Position will be filled at the level of Expert Librarian (PLB3) or Senior Librarian (PLB4) depending upon level of experience, expertise, and professional contribution. The University of Iowa offers an attractive package of benefits including 24 days of paid vacation per year, your choice between two retirement plans and two University of Iowa health insurance plans, dental insurance, pre-tax child and health care spending accounts, and additional options.

The University of Iowa Libraries: The University of Iowa library system consists of the Main Library, the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences and a number of branch libraries. The Libraries has more than 5 million volumes including thousands of electronic resources and coordinates the development and maintenance of the University’s locally-created open access digital resources including the Iowa Digital Library, featuring more the 440,000 digitized texts, images, and audio and video recordings, as well as Iowa Research Online, our institutional repository. Our Special Collections include over 200,000 rare books, ranging in age from the 15th century to newly created artists’ books.

Library systems are built on a mix of open source, locally developed, hosted services, and vended applications primarily from Ex Libris, OCLC, and Microsoft. The University of Iowa is a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), ARL, OCLC, SPARC, CNI, CLIR, LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, and Portico. The Libraries provides a program of support for professional development activities and its staff members are actively engaged in national cooperative efforts.

The Conservation Unit: The Conservation unit, founded by Bill Anthony in 1985, operates from a 2000 square foot laboratory facility to provide conservation services for materials from Special Collections, University Archives, Iowa Women’s Archives, John Martin Rare Book Room, Music Rare Book Room, and circulating collections. Conservation staff work closely with The University of Iowa Center for the Book which is a unique program that conjoins training in the technique and artistry of bookmaking with research into the history and culture of books.

The University and Iowa City: A major research and teaching institution, the University of Iowa offers internationally recognized programs in a diverse array of academic, medical, and artistic disciplines, from otolaryngology to fiction writing, printmaking to space science, hydraulic engineering to dance. The University consists of a faculty of 2,000 and a permanent staff of 13,000 serving 30,500 students, more than 40% of whom are from out of state and close to 10,000 of whom are registered in graduate and professional degree programs. Approximately 9% of the University’s faculty and staff and 10% of its student body are members of minority groups, and 8% of the students are from foreign countries.

Iowa City is a community of some 68,000 people (more than 150,000 live in the surrounding area) with excellent educational, recreational, and cultural advantages. It is consistently cited in the national media as a city with an excellent quality of life. The city is readily accessible via interstate highways and a major airport is only 30 minutes away. The community is growing in its diversity; within the Iowa City Community School District, 32.47% of the students are minority, with 16.22% identifying as African-American, 8.55% as Latino/Hispanic, 7.33% as Asian-American, and .37% as Native American during the 2010/11 school year.

Application Procedure: To apply for this position, please visit the University of Iowa Jobs@UIOWA website at To help facilitate your application process, note the requisition number 59966. Applications must be received by October 28, 2011.


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