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- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: pricing
- From: John Freund <johfreu@NERVM.NERDC.UFL.EDU>
- Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 12:00:50 -0400
- Message-Id: <199705011630.JAA25223@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
RE: Ethics and moonlighting:
I am employed as a book and paper conservator in a state university
library. I do private work on a fairly small scale at the encouragement of
the Library administration. It's good public relations for one thing
(collectors are potential donors), and there really are very few other
conservators in the area. I also refer lots of work to other places.
I have used University facilities and some equipment on my own time, and of
course use my own supplies and materials. I am careful to keep detailed
invoices for supplies and to do the work only after hours. You are walking a
thin line however and the perception of unethical practice is always there
so one has to be very careful and make sure the administration knows what
you are doing. I have to file a yearly report with the University and the
Library detailing the nature of this work also.
I am certainly not making money off this and barely make enough to buy
materials. So, why do I do it?
Part of it is probably the frustration of being hired for a job described as
80% bench work and 20% administration and to find in reality the numbers are
Part of it is just helping the people who come with a relatives Civil War
letter, or Great Grandmas birth certificate and want it put back together
and treated. Small items like this seem to get rather high quotes from
conservation centers. I recently refered a person with one letter and they
were quoted $625.00 for treatment. The people who come to me can't afford that.
And part of it is the satisfaction I get from being known as a local
resource. I have done work for free for people who could really not afford
it or for a local historical center that was having money problems.
Unethical ? It would be if I were using University time and materials for
private gain. As it stands, I think the University benefits more from this
work than I do from the money I get.
Unethical because I am taking work from private restorers and conservators
by undercutting prices? I don't think so. I think most of the work I do
would probably not get done if I did'nt do it. Not only because of price,
but because people would rather keep these items close rather than sending
them across country. They would prefer it be done locally.
Conservator, University Libraries
. The reaction I
>get from the academic community on my question about ethics of
>moonlighting etc..resembles a lot the story of the fox guarding the
>chicken coop. I am getting a lot of nit picking on this or that, but so
>far no concrete answer. If this issue is too hot to handle, just sweep
>it under the rug...eventually, it will diseappear, better off, kill the