Conservation Staff Assistant

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Campus City:
University Park, PA
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Work Unit:
University Libraries
Preservation, Conservation and Digitization
Full/Part Time:


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, housings and exhibition production support. Close supervision until competence of specific task is demonstrated. Under the close direction of the Preservation Services Supervisor and Senior Book Conservator: 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 in preparation of materials for commercial binding to include creating binding information slips, boxing of materials, unpacking returned shipments, quality control checks, and preparing bound material for patrons. Assists in preparation of materials for mass deacidification treatment. Assists with copying, filing, and scanning documents for vendors and the department. Assists Conservation Centre staff with special projects such as condition assessments of collections and mass rehousing projects. Assists in responding to collection emergencies and participates with disaster recovery services. 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. Supports the daily operations of the Conservation Centre by performing such tasks as: maintains workspace in a clean and functional order; understands and observes building and chemical safety protocols; and maintains 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. Bachelor’s degree and 2 years of related experience; or a combination of related education and work experience. 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. Experience in the careful handling of rare and special materials. Coursework in chemistry, art, or related fields. Computer skills: basic communications, word processing, tracking tools, spreadsheets, database management, and/or image processing. Experience working in a library, museum, or similar institution. This position is 24 hours a week at a rate of $14.00 an hour.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088