Job Posting: Head of Conservation Treatment and Collections Care – New York Public Library (Long Island, NY)

Head of Conservation Treatment and Collections Care

Position Description:
The Head of Conservation Treatment and Collections Care manages activities, workflow, and production of NYPL’s treatment programs, the work of which serve to protect and ensure immediate and long-term access to the Library’s vast and important special and general research collections. The Head ensures the smooth integration and timely completion of conservation and collections care activities, including coordination for exhibitions, processing, and digitization. The Head serves as the Library’s lead expert on all facets of conservation for the entire range of special and general collection formats.
Program Context
Within the New York Public Library’s Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Division, the Conservation Treatment unit is responsible for: advanced physical and chemical conservation treatment of special collections across NYPL; addressing the conservation needs of special collections in processing or digitization workflows; review, treatment, and preparation of all collection items for exhibition at NYPL or for exhibition loan to borrowing institutions; construction of custom-designed housings; consultation to curatorial and other library staff on conservation concerns; and for management of all internal and external conservation services for artifactual items in any format across the institution. The unit’s focus is on single-item treatment of objects of unique, rare or high value that hold world-wide significance.
The Collections Care unit is responsible for: stabilization, repair, and treatment of non-circulating general research collections; creation of automated and handmade custom housings; item-by-item and mass deacidification; and mold remediation. Unit staff also carry out collection preservation surveys; participate in environmental monitoring, as well as emergency preparedness, response and recovery. The unit’s focus is batch production with high quality deliverables.
Both units’ development and outreach activities align with the Preservation Division’s efforts to safeguard the Library’s collections and support the Library’s strategic priorities for widespread and ongoing physical and digital access.
Applications should include a cover letter and resume.

Principal Responsibilities:
  • Under the direction of the Aaron and Clara Greenhut Rabinowitz Assistant Director for Preservation (ADP), the Head of Conservation Treatment and Collections Care manages the treatment programs in the Barbara Goldsmith Conservation Laboratory and the Collections Care Laboratory.
  • Serves as the Research Libraries’ lead expert on the conservation of NYPL’s library, archival and artifact collections. Designs, develops, and implements comprehensive, efficient, productive and effective special and general collections conservation programs based on the Research Libraries’ requirements and policy guidelines. Establishes treatment specifications and procedures for general and special collections. Ensures that treatment standards, protocols and production/project deadlines are met.
  • Works closely with the ADP and other Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Division managers to maintain preservation programs and standards of treatment. Works closely with exhibitions, digitization, and processing program areas in the preparation and treatment of collection items.
  • Works closely with the Research Libraries’ curatorial units to determine conservation treatment priorities and available options and coordinates treatment quotas and activities between the research centers and the treatment labs.
  • Develops, reviews and updates procedures and systems for the intake of items for treatment, housing, or other conservation activities including setting priorities. Reviews all treatment proposals and evaluates conservation treatment work.
  • Maintains program metrics and prepares reports. Maintains treatment records and reporting systems.
  • Contributes to grant applications, supervises grant-funded conservation work, and writes or contributes to final reports for funders.
  • Serves as the technical lead on treasures projects. Performs complex conservation treatments on a wide range of paper-based formats, including full written and photographic documentation in accordance with the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
  • In coordination with the Preservation team, advises, participates in and may lead disaster planning and recovery activities.
  • Encouraged to participate in all facets of professional activity. Maintains membership in AIC the Professional Associate level or above. May represent the Division and Research Libraries at professional conservation meetings and organizations.
 Managerial/ Supervisory Responsibilities:
  • Supervises conservators, technicians and students assigned to treatment of special collections and general library research collections in all of the NYPL research centers. Hires, trains, supervises, and evaluates lab staff. Assigns and evaluates work. Leads, coaches, and supports staff through regular feedback and performance reviews.
  • Oversees the research, evaluation, recommendation and procurement of highly specialized equipment and supplies for the highly technical and innovative Goldsmith Conservation Lab.
  • Manages expenditures for grants, special projects, supplies, small and large laboratory equipment (including scientific equipment), and contractual conservation work.
 Minimum Qualifications:
  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in library/information science with a conservation certificate or a master’s degree in conservation.
  • Demonstrated thorough working knowledge of conservation theory, practice and treatment procedures.
  • Professional experience in the conservation of paper-based materials, as demonstrated by a portfolio.
  • Demonstrated success in the management of conservation programs, with a minimum of five years supervisory experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of preservation issues in large cultural institutions.
  • Demonstrated successful administrative, supervisory and organizational skills, including the ability to train, supervise and assess work; to plan, organize, and direct workflow and physical space.
  • Demonstrated mastery of written and oral communication.
  • Demonstrated skill with computer technology, scientific equipment and other technology as it applies to the efficient management of all conservation operations.
  • Experience in disaster recovery procedures for library/archival/museum materials.
  • Ability to work collegially across a large, complex, and dynamic organizational setting.
 Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience with emerging technologies in conservation practice.
  • Experience with conservation research and testing.
  • Working familiarity with museum collections.
  • Ten years of supervisory experience.
 Physical Duties:
  • Position involves some lifting and exposure to dust and mold. Must be able to lift up to 40 pounds.
  • Travel to all Research Libraries sites required.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
Union / Non Union:
Non Union