Head, Preservation & Conservation

at University of Iowa Libraries (view profile)
Location University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa
Date Posted January 15, 2021
Category Academic
Job Type Full-time
Apply Here http://p.rfer.us/UIOWA3DL6Y
Education Requirements MLIS/MLS
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency $75,000
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency $95,000
Hourly or Salary? Salary
Pay Grade 6A


The University of Iowa Libraries seeks an enterprising, innovative, and prudent leader to head its Preservation & Conservation Department. Activities of the department include collections care, conservation, digitization, digital preservation, and materials processing. As a member of the Libraries’ management team and a senior leader in the organization, the Head, Preservation & Conservation is responsible for defining and implementing the Libraries’ preservation program in a time of perpetual change and avid competition for limited resources. The individual in this position is expected to address many of the challenges and opportunities identified in the department’s Beyond the Horizon report, available at https://www.lib.uiowa.edu/preservation/files/2020/12/Beyond-the-Horizon.pdf.

Reporting to an Assoc. University Librarian, the Head, Preservation & Conservation leads and mentors a highly motivated department of 14 individuals as well as student employees, oversees all aspects of departmental operations, sets the department’s strategic direction, seeks opportunities for sponsored research and other external funding, participates in library planning and leadership, and represents the Libraries on issues related to collections care on the University campus, within the State of Iowa, and nationally as a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Preservation Officers peer group.

Located within the department is the Conservation Lab, a 1484 sq. ft. teaching laboratory established in 1984 in close collaboration with the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book. Under the leadership of its fourth Conservator, staff in the Conservation Lab provide physical treatment from stabilization and simple repairs to complex rebinding projects and recovery of damaged rare books and other printed matter. The lab is a statewide resource, servicing other cultural heritage museums and archives on campus and performing contract work in disaster recovery.

The successful Head, Preservation & Conservation will carry on the rich legacy of our Conservation Lab, cultivate close and productive relationships with campus collecting units (museums, galleries, archives), articulate a balanced strategy for local and cooperative digital preservation, and help to identify and secure funding for significant digitization initiatives.

Specific duties and responsibilities include:
• Plan, organize, coordinate, and implement a comprehensive preservation program including oversight of both print and digital preservation, an established conservation lab, and a production digitization program.
• Oversee the development of preservation policies and procedures consistent with professional best practices for libraries and cultural heritage research collections and aligned with the institution’s level of risk tolerance. Regularly assess procedures and develop strategies to increase productivity, streamline workflows, and contain costs.
• Oversee the Libraries’ collections care program including preservation assessment surveys, environmental monitoring of collections and exhibition spaces, integrated pest management, and disaster response and recovery.
• Actively participate on the Libraries’ Operations & Management Team and collaborate with library leadership to align preservation services with library goals and departmental needs. Identify programmatic goals and set priorities for the department.
• Provide effective leadership, coaching, and mentoring for a department of 14 individuals (4 classified as Merit staff, 9 classified as Professional & Scientific), in addition to student staff, fostering a work environment that embraces values of service; collaboration; integrity; creativity; openness; diversity, equity, and inclusion; stewardship; and respect.
• Espouse the department’s commitment to student success through meaningful opportunities for students to connect work in preservation and conservation to the skills and knowledge they are gaining in the classroom and vice versa. Promote meaningful paid mentorship as an essential part of preservation and conservation education and to enfranchise individuals who identify as members of groups historically underrepresented in the profession.
• Manage and develop the Preservation & Conservation department cost-recovery program to assist, as feasible, with the preservation needs of non-library UI collecting units, as well as libraries, museums, non-profit organizations, and cultural heritage institutions statewide and regionally.
• Contribute to the profession regionally and nationally through research, publishing, teaching, and/or service. Coach and mentor staff active in their own professional engagement activities that contribute to their individual career goals, the profession, and the institution.
• Represent the University of Iowa Libraries on issues related to collections care, conservation, digitization, and digital preservation (directly and/or through designees) on collaborative initiatives with campus partners including the UI Law Library, Stanley Museum of Art, and Pentacrest Museums, as well as Iowa’s public universities and the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

Education Requirement
• ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library and Information Science

Experience Required
• Six or more years of professional experience, and evidence of national leadership as well as continuing significant achievement in professional activities.
• Demonstrated leadership skills and project management skills.
• Demonstrated ability to coach, mentor, and supervise professional librarians.
• Demonstrated skill utilizing and tailoring communication styles—including oral, written, and interpersonal—to work effectively and collaboratively with peers and partners.
• Understanding of and experience with preservation and conservation best practices, operations, and activities employed across the diverse collections of a comprehensive research library.
• Demonstrated ability to work in a team-based setting where consultation, flexibility, collaboration, and cooperation are essential.
• Demonstrated commitment to diversity in the workplace or community.
• Demonstrated understanding of the mission of a research university and the mission and functions of a large research library.

Desirable Qualifications
• Demonstrated ability to secure supplemental funding for projects or programs by way of grants, gifts, cost-recovery programs, etc.
• Demonstrated experience identifying and setting preservation priorities through ongoing communication, collaboration, and strategic planning with collections stakeholders and library leadership.
• Knowledge of new technologies and strategies affecting preservation.
• Knowledge of digital imaging and experience in digital preservation.
• Demonstrated advocacy for equitable and gainful employment for student and contingent workers in preservation and conservation programs as well as cultural heritage organizations generally.

For the full job ad and to apply for the position, please go to: http://p.rfer.us/UIOWA3DL6Yl

This position will be posted through at least January 29, 2021 and may be removed from posting and filled any time after the original posting period has ended.

Equal opportunity/affirmative action employer
The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance or accommodations with the application or interview process may contact University Human Resources/Faculty and Staff Disability Services, (319) 335-2660 or fsds@uiowa.edu. For jobs in UI Health care, please contact UI Health care Leave & Disability Administration at 319-356-7543.