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Concerning the designation of Conservation Technician versus bookbinder:
I see the two as separate job titles, although one can be another at the
same time. A conservation tech handles a wide range of conservation
situations with or without supervision. The work a conservation tech
performs includes housing materials: selecting pamphlet or document
boxes, building four flap wrappers, clamshell boxes, etc., as well as
repairing torn pages or binding or rebinding materials in a book format.
A conservation tech may also decide which materials are sent to a
commercial bindery as well as oversee or run the bindery program.
A book binder is a time honored position but a book binder does not
necessarily know or care about conservation principles or the safe and
permanent housing of library materials.
Many of us cross many lines and so we each need to create the job title
that best describes what we do. I use the term conservation tech because
it best describes my position. When I am binding books for my own
business (North Bound Books) I call myself a bookbinder. When I
introduce myself to people I usually say I am a bookbinder and a
Artemis BonaDea, Conservation Technician
Alaska State Library
Juneau, AK 99811
On Mon, 29 Jan 1996, Dorothy Africa wrote:
> I am curious. I am a bookbinder, working in a large institutional library.
> There is a conserted effort by the library to style me a "conservation
> technician", a term I find extremely distasteful. I am a bookbinder,
> trained as one, and find it an honorable calling with a long and interesting
> history. Am I the only one who objects to this 'conservation technician'
> label which is suddenly all the rage out there?
> Dorothy A.