Performs a variety of treatments primarily for circulating library materials. Creates a variety of custom enclosures for library materials from both circulating and non-circulating collections. Oversees the sorting of materials from circulation points in Perkins-Bostock Library and the branch libraries, and the distribution of finished work back to those areas. Assists with student and volunteer training and supervision, and performs quality review of their work. Has an active role in staff and patron education and training regarding the proper treatment and handling of library materials. Works with a moderate degree of independence; consults with the Head of Conservation Services Department and/or the Senior Conservator as needed to resolve problems.


Conservation and Custom Enclosures (80%)

  • Using judgment, experience and knowledge of structures of library materials, selects for and carries out basic, intermediate, and advanced repairs primarily on circulating collections including bound and unbound materials.
  • Constructs custom fitted enclosures for library materials from circulating and non-circulating   collections. It is anticipated that building custom enclosures will account for approximately half of this position’s bench time.
  • Binds pamphlets using accepted materials and techniques; prepares items for the shelf by making pockets, inserting tip-ins, creating and inserting replacement pages, etc.
  • Follows established guidelines and procedures.

Workflow Management (15%)

  • Retrieves damaged materials and shelf-preparation requests from the Perkins re-shelving area, branch libraries, and DUL Technical Services; assesses damage to library materials; triages damaged materials according to established guidelines into the appropriate repair workflows; identifies materials for replacement; identifies materials for potential transfer to special collections.
  • Assists Head of Conservation Services Department in providing training, technical assistance, and guidance to student assistants, volunteers, and other staff. Regularly reviews/updates the departmental workflow and technical documentation.
  • Responsible for assigning daily tasks to student assistants. Provides quality assurance for student work including pamphlet binding and enclosure workflows; ordering and application of shelf labels; and distributing finished work to appropriate locations. Undertakes these duties when student assistants are not available, or as needed to ensure work moves efficiently through the department.

Departmental Support (5%)

  • Assists in developing workflow for conservation program and department.
  • Assists in presenting preservation education and outreach programs for the library including in person and through our blog.
  • Participates in lab tours.
  • Participates in disaster response team for the library.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • With Head of Conservation Services Department, trains, supervises and/or makes work assignments for student assistants, interns, and volunteers. Conducts quality assurance for student work.


It is the expectation that all Duke University Libraries staff members will demonstrate exceptional workplace behaviors in the execution of their specific position responsibilities. These behaviors are customer focus, collaboration, creative problem solving, continuous learning, and a commitment to diversity.


Required: Bachelor’s degree and/or an equivalent combination of relevant education and experience.


Required:  Three years of library experience providing conservation or book repair services with evidence of progressively increasing acquisition of skills, knowledge, and responsibility; demonstrated knowledge of current book and paper conservation and bookbinding techniques; demonstrated manual dexterity required to perform assigned tasks with a high level of quality, accuracy, and productivity; ability to manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously; ability to effectively organize and prioritize daily work; ability to work collaboratively as well as individually to support department and institutional goals; excellent communication and interpersonal skills; demonstrated proficiency using computer based technology and ability to adapt to new technologies.

Candidates will be asked to submit examples of their work during the interview process.

Preferred: Demonstrated knowledge of the repair of 19th to early 20th Century library materials including books bound in leather and/or cloth; demonstrated knowledge of the construction of a variety of custom enclosures including drop spine boxes, corrugated drop- and telescoping-boxes, phase boxes, four-flap boxes, encapsulation, etc. Prior student supervisory experience including training and quality control of student work. Experience working in an academic research library or archives; knowledge of library systems including ILS software.

Working Conditions

  • Must be able to lift 30 pounds and unpack, shelve and shift large quantities of library materials with or without reasonable accommodation;
  • Must be able to push a full book truck;
  • Must be able to work in an environment in which exposure to materials containing dust and mold is possible;
  • Frequent bending, crouching, stooping;
  • Typical office environment;
  • Occasional weekend shifts required in the case of an emergency affecting library collections.

These statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.

Salary and Benefits

$18.77 per hour (minimum). Comprehensive benefits package upon eligibility includes vacation, 13 holidays, sick leave, health, dental, disability, life insurance, educational assistance, and tuition grants.


Since its founding in 1924, Duke University has grown into one of the most prestigious private universities in the world and its medical center ranks annually among the top in the nation. The Duke University Libraries are the shared center of the university's intellectual life, connecting people and ideas. The Libraries consist of the Perkins Library, Bostock Library, Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Lilly Library, and Music Library, and the library at the Duke Marine Laboratory in Beaufort. Duke's library holdings of 6.2 million volumes are among the largest of private universities in the United States.                

Duke is a diverse community committed to the principles of excellence, fairness, and respect for all people. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. We believe that when we understand, celebrate, and tap into our uniqueness to creatively solve problems and address shared goals, our possibilities are limitless. Duke University Libraries value diversity of thought, perspective, experience, and background and are actively committed to a culture of inclusion and respect.              

Duke's hometown is Durham, North Carolina, a city with vibrant research, medical and arts communities, and numerous shops, restaurants and theaters. Durham is located in the Research Triangle, a growing metropolitan area of more than one million people that provides a wide range of cultural, recreational and educational opportunities. The Triangle is conveniently located just a few hours from the mountains and the coast, offers a moderate climate, and has been ranked among the best places to live and to do business.

Duke offers a comprehensive benefit packages which includes both traditional benefits such as health insurance, leave time and retirement, as well as wide ranging work/life and cultural benefits. Details can be found at:


Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  An electronic resume, cover letter, and list of references should be submitted at: Search for requisition ID # 12878. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The Duke University Libraries have a strong commitment to Affirmative Action and is actively seeking to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our staff.