Head of Conservation (New York, NY, USA)

The New York Public Library seeks an experienced conservator to provide expert strategic and administrative leadership for its conservation operations. The Head of Conservation (officially titled Senior Manager, Conservation) will provide and promote a vision for the care and treatment of the Library’s special and general collections, developing and implementing plans to identify, prioritize, and address their conservation needs.

Under the direction of the Associate Director for Special Collections and Preservation Services (SCPS), the Head of Conservation oversees a team of 9 FTE, including five conservators. The Head of Conservation will collaborate closely with the other SCPS program heads and the Research Libraries curatorial staff to formulate strategies and procedures in support of special and general collection preservation and access. This will include especially close collaboration with the Senior Manager for Collection Management who directs collection risk management activities and is leading a collection-wide inventory and condition survey project that will begin in 2018.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Directs the Barbara Goldsmith Conservation Laboratory and Collections Care Lab, both located at the NYPL’s Library Service Center in Long Island City
  • Manages budget, staff training and development, laboratory safety program (including chemical and hazardous waste management), supplies and equipment selection
  • Oversees and reports on all conservation activities undertaken by staff and contractors, including conservation treatments and documentation, condition surveys, technical analyses, special research projects, housing selection or creation, and preparation of collection items for consultation, exhibition, digitization, outgoing loan, and transport
  • Collaborates with Senior Manager for Collection Management in training the collection survey project team and interpreting the survey’s findings to inform and prioritize conservation and preservation initiatives
  • Works with the Registrar in evaluating and making recommendations for the outgoing loan of collections
  • Develops and maintains professional relationships with curatorial and many other Library stakeholders in establishing and advancing conservation goals
  • Leads hiring, coaches and evaluates staff, fostering collegiality, innovation, and collaboration among laboratory staff and other Library stakeholders. Supports and fosters professional development and engagement among staff
  • Collaborates with a variety of Library partners on exhibition preparation and installation, outgoing loans, collection processing, and policy and procedure development
  • Represents NYPL through participation in professional organizations, including presenting at conferences, developing seminars, and serving on professional committees
  • Initiates, develops, and contributes to grant proposals and other fundraising efforts aimed at specific conservation priorities or increasing overall program capacities
  • Identifies opportunities for scholarship and professional academic experience, such as supporting academic internships and fellowships. Ensures compliance with industry standards and best practices, in alignment with Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC)
  • Identifies and develops opportunities for conservation-based public outreach

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from a recognized conservation training program or ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library/Information Science with conservation certificate
  • Minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible professional experience in conservation
  • Demonstrated successful application of the American Institute for Conservation Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice
  • Advanced knowledge and demonstrated experience with complex conservation treatment of paper, books, or photographs
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the preservation and treatment of a wide range of formats
  • Demonstrated success managing projects, supervising and developing staff talent, and coordinating work across functional and reporting lines, including working with colleagues from other institutions, vendors, and other external organizations
  • Demonstrated ability to manage budgets and other resources
  • Record of professional engagement and contribution, such as research, publication, and involvement in pertinent professional and scholarly organizations
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing, demonstrating strong interpersonal skills with individuals with different work styles
  • Familiarity with current preservation and conservation practices and initiatives for cultural heritage collections and audiences

 Work Environment:

  • Expert knowledge of working in a conservation laboratory setting required
  • Position involves lifting and exposure to dust, mold, and other hazardous substances
  • Knowledge of usual parameters and compliance with an OSHA safety program is expected
  • Travel to all Research Libraries sites within NYC boroughs as required
  • Performs other duties as assigned

To Apply:

Please use the following link: https://jobs-nypl.icims.com/jobs/9917/head-of-conservation/job?mode=view&mobile=false&width=750&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=-300&jun1offset=-240.