I have a BA in Religious Studies (1992) with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba. My undergraduate studies, which began in microbiology, was interrupted by a year of living on an island on the west coast of Canada, and a year of working the 2nd shift at a Tupperware factory.
I have a MA in Theological Studies (1996) from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. My degree was in biblical studies - which meant, among other things, 3 courses each in ancient Greek & Hebrew.
I have a MLIS (2005) from what is now the School of Library and Information Science at Wayne State University. While the program did not have a preservation track, I cobbled one together for myself. This included an internship with Eric Alstrom, conservator at Michigan State University, and an independent study on the preservation resource needs of Michigan’s public libraries. An article based on this research was recently published in Archival and Library Security.
Like most everyone else who does conservation work - a lot of training came through workshops, and time with other binders, artists, and other librarians.
My first library job was as a student at the seminary. One of my tasks was stiffening paperbacks with what I later learned was a Northwestern U. technique.
I worked 3 years at the Goshen (Ind.) Public Library eventually ending up as their book mender. (Not because the job was a goal of mine, but because it moved me from part time to full time.) I learned to like working with the physicality of books, and the day-to-day craftiness of the job.
I currently work at the Library of Michigan, Michigan’s state library, with primary responsibility conservation, managing the digitization program, some cataloging, and supervising our student workers. I began working with the Michigan Newspaper Project, going around the state cataloging newspaper collections. And I’ve run the library binding program (when it was large enough to need someone to run it).
For about five years I was heavy into workshops and other teaching opportunities on book repair and other preservation topics often geared for public libraries. (I ceased doing this workshops a couple years ago.) I have a particularly fondness for and interest in public libraries especially for their role in documenting/preserving their local community’s history. I also taught an intro to conservation course for two years at Wayne State, which was a wonderful, and tiring, experience. My favorite training experience has been working with interns, including a four month stint with an intern from the Netherlands.
I had my previous blog, Library Preservation, for a handful of years and, among other things, the experience resulted in developing a wonderful community of colleagues. I now have a number of fascinating colleagues in a variety related disciplines - none of whom I’ve ever met in person.
Some presentations I've given:
- Presented "A Conservator takes on Digital Preservation"at the Wayne State University NDSA student chapter colloquium, Converge and Ingest: Teaching Digital Preservation, Oct. 24, 2012.
- Participated in panel presentation on CONTENTdm collection infrastructure at the meeting of the CONTENTdm Midwest User Group, May 4, 2012.
- Presented “The Past and Future of Newspaper Preservation” at the annual meeting of the Michigan Archival Association, Marshall, Mich., June 25, 2009.
- Presented “Socially Networked Preservation” at the Michigan Library Consortium program “Who Are You Going to Call: Library-Vendor Preservation Partnerships.” East Lansing, Mich., June 4, 2009.
- Presented “Bound to Bind” on the continuing importance of library binding at the NASIG program “Serials Preservation at a Crossroads” in Ann Arbor, March 11, 2005.
- Presented “Managing Michigan’s Newspapers: Cataloging, Preserving, and Beyond” at the Michigan Library Consortium program “Newspaper Collections in Libraries and Archives.” East Lansing, Apr. 21, 2005.
- Assisted Michigan Library Consortium in organizing their programs “Newspaper Collections in Libraries and Archives” and “Who Are You Going to Call: Library-Vendor Preservation Partnerships.”
- Have given public talks on “Caring for your family treasures” at various libraries.
Some publications I've worked on:
- “Preservation Resource Needs of Michigan’s Public Libraries” co-wrote with Joseph Mika in Library and Archival Security 23(2), 2010.
- Maintain “Conservation at the Library of Michigan” Facebook page.
- Wrote a regular column on preservation issues for LM4X, the Library of Michigan newsletter.
- “Michigan Book Arts at the Library of Michigan” in the Fall, 2005 issue of Bound and Lettered.
- “Book Press: Public Libraries and Public Relations” in the July/Aug 1999 issue of Library Mosaics: The magazine for support staff.
I have lived in 3 Canadian provinces, and 3 U.S. states. I was the 2nd shortest student in my 2nd grade class. I deeply value silence.
When I’m not attempting to think deep thoughts about preservation, I like to play in the kitchen, and play guitar. I also chair the board of The Hermitage, a retreat center in rural, southwest Michigan.