Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Conservation Students

Each year Preservation Services hires students to help further the work of our department. Student workers across campus provide a valuable service to the library and college in the work they do. Here in Preservation we hire both end processing students who prepare our general collections for the shelves, and conservation students who do treatments on both new materials and items we already own. In my years in the conservation lab we have had a great group of student workers - some remain with us for all their terms on campus and others for a shorter period of time. Some have gone off into the world after graduation with plans for specific careers in a variety of fields, while others have the idea of exploring possibilities for work or a job they couldn't yet imagine.

This spring another of our student workers, Sanja Miklin, headed off into the larger world of possibilities, after she graduated in June.

In the fall of 2011, Sanja joined us in the conservation lab and worked for two terms, plus some interim periods as well. In the previous years Sanja attended a number of Book Arts Program workshops, and she displayed an enthusiasm and aptitude for working with the tools and techniques of bookbinding. Eventually she applied for work and was hired to join our team.

During her short time here Sanja worked at a variety of tasks including rebacking books (repairing books by attaching new spines). However, she was instrumental (no pun intended) in our completion of a large music score rehousing project. This long-term project consisted mostly of pamphlets needing new sewing. Despite the repetitive nature of the repairs to this group of material, Sanja came to the work each day ready to do the work needed and sought to employ methods of batch processing to efficiently move the material out of the lab. As we wrapped up this long project, it seemed somehow fitting that both Sanja's graduation and the end of this long project happened in the same month.

Last week, Sanja stopped back into the lab to complete one final bookbinding project before leaving for home. She brought in her thesis to bind; something she had spoken of doing earlier in the year during those slow months of research and writing. She needed very little help from us, just the space and tools. Since she was binding one book, she made a second smaller blank book at the same time; batch processing in action! What a wonderful thing for her to have a bound copy of her thesis, the tangible accomplishment of her long hard work in book form. And how nice to see the skills we taught her put into practice for housing her own writing. As it is with all our students, we hope she will continue to find use and value for the skills she learned here in Preservation, whether for her own projects or in her work for others.

Written by Stephanie Wolff.

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