At Cornell, all units concerned with the physical treatment of library materials are grouped under "conservation" and are overseen by the Director.
The Conservation Unit consists of three conservation treatment operations that are responsible for the conservation treatment and restoration of rare and unique library and archive materials. The Book Conservation Unit is managed by a book conservator with the support of conservation technicians. The Photographic Conservation unit is staffed by a photograph and paper conservator, and treats rare photographs and manuscripts. The Paper Conservation unit is staffed by a paper conservator, and concentrates on the treatment of graphic materials at the Library Annex conservation facility.
The Commercial Binding Office and the Preparations are under one manager, and staff in both units complement each other. The task of this unit is to prepare materials for commercial binding by collating all periodicals, retrieving the standard data from the binder's data base, generating binding instructions on-line to the binder, and carrying out quality control checks when the completed binding has been returned. As with book repair, this office processes materials from all libraries with the exception of Law. The Preparations units deals with the binding and casing of the high volume of new unbound material entering the library. The Preparations Unit prebinds by the stiffening process large numbers of paperbacks prior to first-time shelving, and must work productively to keep pace with the books processed by Library Technical Services.
The Conservation Liaison Specialist organizes surveys of the collection in order to identify preservation candidates, and with the help of the curators, selects groups of materials for treatment by the conservation treatment staff. Usually, the collected data is used to produce detailed treatment cost figures incorporated into grant proposals. She closely monitors materials "in process" through a central documentation system, and is able to retrieve information on past work carried out by conservation staff. All conservation treatment work for rare and unique materials is drawn from all the libraries of the University. The Conservation Liaison Specialist also acts as the Department's network administrator and is responsible for monitoring the library climate.
For more information please see Selection and Disposition of Vault Materials for Conservation Treatment.