San Francisco Public Library



Job Summary: Under direct supervision performs conservation treatments on books and other library materials for the circulating and non-circulating collection. Performs other related duties as required.

Critical Job Elements:


Quality Control: Technicians shall be responsible for checking each item upon completion of repair for the standards of quality and productivity as specified below.

a. Book Repairs-binding hinge repairs. Tightening hinges, half hinges, regluing cover to text, new end sheet and/or super, rebacking, recasing, sewing textblocks, repair of broken sewing, sewing or wire stitching pamphlets into pamphlet binders, drill and sewing for temporary use REF materials, side stapling temporary use paperbacks.

Standards: Neatness; adhesive not excessive (not visible) but adhered sufficiently to create a strong bond. Hinge is tightened firmly with the textblock fitting snugly around the joint of the case and the flyleaf aligned with textblock. Tipping of end sheets lightly (1/16th") to the shoulders to reduce drag, flush with textblock at head, tail and fore edge. Text block cased in squarely and tightly and pressed sufficiently until dry. Super or cloth on rebacking free of bubbles or air pockets and adhered smoothly and firmly; a lining of Japanese tissue with the correct choice of paper firmly adhered to the spine. Sewing is tight and with the appropriate thickness and weight of thread. Appropriateness of treatment according to efficiency and time, i.e., part of a book sewn instead of the entire text, hinge tightened instead of new end sheet. Pamphlet Binders are attached according to guidelines outlined. Drill and sewing holes are close to the margin and lined up straight. The sewing is tight and tape is adhered neatly, free of bubbles and creases and trimmed cleanly and neatly at top and bottom. Paperbacks are sides stapled close to the binding margin using a minimum number of staples and the spine edge is taped if staples have sharp edges.

Min. repair 20min. for pamphlet binds, stapling, drill and sew, tightening hinges, half hinges without cleaning the spine and applying new super, rebacking without cleaning the spine and applying new super. 20 min.-2 hours each for other treatment, including extensive sewing repair along with a complete rebacking consisting of cleaning the spine and new spine linings.

b. Book Repair-textblock treatment. Tipping in pages or errata, hinging in pages, plates, or foldouts, hinging or inserting pockets, photocopying replacement leaves.

Standards: Neatness and accuracy. Leaves are tipped on lightly, no more than 1/8" without excessive or visible adhesive. Pages are trimmed flush with for edge, head and tail. Leaves are hinged in where appropriate. Pockets are inserted according to accessibility and structure of book. Leaves are photocopied when too damaged to repair or are not sufficiently register to tip into a book. 20 minutes average per repair for tipping in a few pages or errata. Longer time, up to 2 hrs. and beyond on occasion, for multiple tip ins, including time to recopy if necessary.

c. Paper Repair. Repairing paper using paste and/or paste and Japanese tissue. Flattening paper or document repair tape. Guarding folds. Attaching hinges. Refolding maps charts.

Standards: Neatness, accuracy and efficiency. Choice of tissue corresponds to paper thickness. Appropriateness of mend ie., paste only or paste and tissue or damage is too minimal or situated where repair is unnecessary. Mend blends in, is smooth to touch, and does not "V" when page is turned. Placement of tissue mend is generally on the verso of the page unless it obscures text or image. No more than 1/8" overlap when applying a hinge. Repairing with document repair tape is reserved for brittle or fragile paper, newsprint, thinner paper and some of the heavily used and soiled Children's materials. 20 minutes average per repair. Up to 2 hours for extensive repair when photo copying is not an option.

d. Mylar Jackets. Replace mylar jacket for soiled or torn mylar.

Standards: Appropriate size of mylar folded neatly around book jacket. Sufficient length of tape attached securely and tightly on the outside of the mylar. 20 min. average per jacket.

e. Tape Edges. For temporary repairs, primarily mass market paperbacks and heavily used and damaged children=s books.

Standards: Appropriate width of tape used for spine thickness. Free of bubbles and creases. Trimmed cleanly and neatly at top and bottom. Paperback covers tipped on and reglued if detached and scored. 20 min. average repair.


a. Maintaining cleanliness of work area including tools and equipment.

b. Responsible for keeping sufficient supplies on hand to perform own treatments.

c. Following instructions if the last to leave for the day.

d. Keeping and maintaining monthly statistics in a timely manner.

Standards: Keep area around workspace clean and free of food and debris. Informing supervisor when supplies are low. Cutting stock of materials used in treatment for yourself. Clean up all tools and brushes at least once a day. Remove trash cans from back room and lock, make sure all equipment, tacking irons and terminals are turned off and unplug coffee pot.


Standards: Act in a courteous manner. If you don't know the answer to a question refer to the appropriate person.


Air drying wet library materials and assisting in the response to damage of library materials as instructed by supervisor.

Additional Job Elements as Assigned:


Specification of appropriate treatments for materials sent to Preservation for repair into categories of repair in house and/or bindery treatment. Pulling books from the stacks or sort room that need repair and/or bindery treatment.

Standards: Able to sort into categories for the bindery: double-fan bind, save the sewing, new case no prep, mylar/permabind, pambind and for repairs in house according to condition of textblock and cover, margins, brittleness and flexibility of paper, time involved if repaired in house. Able to recognize materials that may be considered rare or highly valued.


a. Measuring materials for manufacturing of phase boxes and clamshell boxes by outside vendors.

Standards: Accuracy and appropriate enclosure for material.

a. Encapsulating materials

Standards: Weld is solid and strong. Space between material and weld is appropriate according to the thickness of the item. Mylar is free of dings or marks.


Items needing treatment are specified by the curator of the collections. Treatments such as hinge, spine and/or paper repair shall be performed according to the treatment principles of Rare Book and Paper Conservation as specified by the supervisor.

Standards: Minimal treatment applied to withstand specialized handling of rare materials as outlined by a rare materials curator. Appropriate materials and treatments applied. ie., no PVA in the text or directly on spine, hinging in instead of tipping in pages, Japanese paper hinge repair, spine repair, rebacking in specified cases.

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Timestamp: Thursday, 04-Nov-2010 14:30:53 PDT
Retrieved: Friday, 20-Apr-2018 21:52:20 GMT