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Conservator, University Libraries
Rebel since: 2002
What you do: I conserve books, which can include page repair, spine
replacement, or a complete rebind. I also service photographs, maps,
and archival materials such as letters and artifacts. Preservation, which
includes environmental monitoring and emergency preparedness, is
also an important part of what I do.
What makes you successful? Perseverance. There are not many jobs
like mine out there.
Currently, our laboratory is the only one in the state. The job requires
specialized training and experience. It requires dedication to turn this
into a career.
Why you do what you do: I love the cultural impact. I like the fact
that my work will be here long after I am gone. Also, I get calls all
the time with people asking me how to save the family Bible or their
grandparents’ photo collection.
Can’t work without: Scalpels, bone folders, straight edges, and paste —
we make our own paste.
Being surrounded by books: That is why people love libraries. They want
the experience of walking in the door, smelling musty leather, cracking open
a spine, and maybe seeing something that hasn’t been seen in 100 years.
Occupational hazard: I have been cut a lot of times, and always from
something I didn’t expect.
People would be surprised to know: I manage the Balance Café
inside the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on weekends. I
love interacting with people I wouldn’t otherwise.