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Student assistants are vital to the goals of the Conservation Facility. We hire about ten students for the academic year. In addition to fall and spring semesters, we also have employment opportunities during the summer. An interview, which includes a manual dexterity test, is required for employment consideration.
The work consists of the treatment of items from our General Collection. We use methods which adhere to book conservation techniques and principles. Treatments include the enclosure of brittle books, repair of damaged book spines, rebinding of books into new covers, and pamphlet binding. We also prepare books and journals to send to a commercial bindery. Students are also responsible for helping with the general maintenance of the facility and for the regular care of tools we use, as well as projects related to stacks maintenance.
An applicant should enjoy working with her hands and not mind getting glue on them. She should have good manual dexterity and be able to work with concentration and pay close attention to details. She should also be able and willing to lift rolls of bookcloth, to use papercutters and other sharp tools, and to learn to safely use a forty-inch board shear.
The operating hours of the Conservation Facility are Monday through Friday, 8:30am - 5pm (closed between noon and 1pm). We are situated in a locked facility in which only workers and other library staff have card access to. For safety reasons, a student has to be paired with at least one other student. Once you commit to specific hours, it is very important that you fulfill that commitment. If you don't work, another student may not be able to work either.