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Re: Title query, Forwarded posting from RObert Milevski

>From milevski@Princeton.EDU  Tue Jan 30 15:32:02 1996
From: "Robert J. Milevski" <milevski@Princeton.EDU>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 96 09:42:53 -0500
Subject: Title query
Message-ID: <"cgQ691.0.303.odZ3n"@sul2>


Being an administrator for a few years leads me to ask these
questions before being able to respond directly to your query.
First, I would like to know your current job title.  Second, does
this title accurately describe what you are nowdoing?  Third, does
the job description for that title accurately describe what your are
now doing?  Fourth, what level does the institution regard this
position: professional, non-professional, something in between?
Fifth, why does the institution want to change your title, which your
message implies?  Sixth, do they want to change your job description
as well as your title?  Seventh, does it make a difference to you
(except for the obvious pride you have in your work and your
training) as long as you continue to do the same work, other than
describing what you do to others using your job title as a basis for
the conversation, which you may not like personally?

I would say, again, as an administrator, that I have renamed
positions within the preservation/conservation departments I have
headed to conform with (what I have perceived to be) the current
nonmenclature in the field, especially if the old job title implies
or connotes an activity which is no longer generally acceptable to
the field, such as the title "book restorer."  (Twenty years ago or
more the term restorer was being disparaged by folks then starting to
call themselves book conservators.  And the connotation was someone,
usually a little old man, off in some back room, sophisticating books
for some book dealer, making them look like they did when they first
came out of the bookbinders shop.)  The same holds true for the name
of departments.  Here at Princeton we changed the titles of our
support staff positions from Treatments Specialist I, II, and III
(highly descriptive terms, don't you think?) to, respectively,
Conservation Assistant, Conservation Technician, and Senior
Conservation Technician.  At a previous job I changed the name of a
department from Collections Maintenance (we were not book dusters and
shelf readers or floor sweepers, which is what I think when I here
this term, and which is still used in the field to some extent) to
Preservation Department.

This is probably more than you asked for but it brings up the idea of
the facade of names we as preservation and conservation folk have to
call ourselves to impress people have no idea (and may not care) what
it is that we do with such conviction.

Robert J. Milevski
Preservation Librarian
Princeton University Libraries
One Washington Road
Princeton, New Jersey 08544
telephone: 609-258-5591; fax: 609-258-4105 or -5571;
email: milevski@firestone.princeton.edu

>From foo@bar  Tue Jan 30 15:32:02 1996
Subject:      query
Message-ID: <"se6ph3.1.303.odZ3n"@sul2>

I am curious.  I am a bookbinder, working in a large institutional
There is a conserted effort by the library to style me a
technician", a term I find extremely distasteful.  I am a bookbinder,
trained as one, and find it an honorable calling with a long and
history.  Am I the only one who objects to this 'conservation
label which is suddenly all the rage out there?
Dorothy A.

Peter D. Verheyen                                       <wk> 315.443.9937
Conservation Librarian                                  <fax>315.443.9510
Syracuse University Library               <email>pdverhey@dreamscape.com
Syracuse University                    <www>http://web.syr.edu/~pdverhey/
Syracuse, NY 13244                <Listowner>Book_Arts-L@listserv.syr.edu

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