To Repair or Not to Repair?

Bringing an artistic perceptiveness– along with a sense of posterity– to this fragile job assisted the library professional II be selected as the third-place recipient of the 2017 President’s Classified Staff member of the Year Award. A Rebel since 2002, he played a crucial function when UNLV recently hosted First Folio! The Book That Gave United States Shakespeare.

The job

We repair books, naturally, however likewise lots of other products that are part of University Library’s collection. Personally, I have the tendency to work on the really uncommon and very important items that belong to Unique Collections.

An important part of my job is focusing on and deciding which items must be fixed and how to set about it. I’m the only book and paper conservator working on an institutional level in Nevada.

I have a great group of 5 undergraduate students who deal with the standard repair work for books that circulate. It takes at least a year to train a student.

How you chose this field

I have actually always wanted to operate in a library. I even was a library aide in high school. Later on, I lined up a pretty decent gig working my way through college at the law library at the University of Tulsa. (I made a bachelor’s degree in theatre management there before earning my master of library science degree from the University of North Texas.) One day my supervisor came through and needed to know if anyone wanted to take a course in book repair. I took that very first class in 1991. I enrolled for several weeks then got a job in the preservation lab at the University of Tulsa.

When I initially started, it was not a recognized field. The field was growing and starting to put some science into the art of conservation preservation. It was a very hands-on approach. Digitization had not come on board yet.

The important things that truly drew me was the idea of scale and thinking of time on a scale. Everything has a life expectancy. Paper has a life expectancy of 24 hours. What intrigues me is taking that very same notepad and tweaking that life expectancy to obtain it to survive indefinitely. We have newspapers in our collection that are more than 100 years of ages. There’s a sense of history.

And a sense of satisfaction

There is a sense of art work that enters into what I do. Likewise, knowing that the work you are doing will have a long lasting effect is very important to me.

The most difficult of your tasks at UNLV

By far, the most time consuming and tough has actually been the New york city New York Hotel 9/11 T-shirt Collection. This collection has its origins directly following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, when members of the pubic spontaneously began leaving numerous memorials in front of the reproduction of the Statue of Liberty at the New York New York Hotel. Initially, each product (primarily T-shirts of numerous fire and cops departments throughout the nation) were cataloged and preserved in acid-free storage containers as they were contributed. Not just does the size and scope of the collection make it a difficulty, but likewise it is a task that we keep revisiting since of its appeal. The T-shirt collection was utilized in a 9/11 tenth anniversary art project. Afterward, we spent a number of months seizing the day to rehouse and survey the collection. I monitored a team of trainees carrying out the numerous tasks involved in maintaining these products.

Working with the First Folio! Display

The “First Folio” was considerable because it was such a prominent ‘checking out’ exhibit in our library. I played a role in ensuring that preservation protocols were in location. For example, I needed to generate ecological reports two times daily, while the folio was internal.

And, I assisted in establishing the exhibit. It was a delight working with such a rare artifact.

Couldn’t make it though the day without

My morning coffee. Without my morning coffee, I am refraining from doing anything that day.

Where you grew up

I matured in Hominy, Oklahoma, in Osage County. Heard of the play, August: Osage County? It’s exactly like that.

Something you have done that is bold

Moving here to Las Vegas was a no-brainer for my profession, however on the other hand was more of a cultural shock than I was expecting, originating from Oklahoma. It took me far from a safety net that I was really familiar with. Now when I return to Oklahoma, I need to readjust to things like the restaurants not being open at all hours.

First paying job you ever had

I hauled hay at the Drummond Cattle ranch. I worked for the cousins of (celeb tv chef) Ree Drummond. I made five cents for each bale I carried. After the hay was cut and baled, our task would be to come along in a flatbed truck– hanging on for dear life– load up the bales, and own them to the hay barn less than a mile away. There we would stack them up for winter season. I found out how to own a 1947 Ford pickup that had one gear. One guy would own, while two would be on the back, stacking, and just hoping you would not fall off. I had to do with 12.

Then I had a high school task providing prescriptions for the regional Rexall in Hominy. Later I was a bellman at a hotel. I learned a strong work ethic. The tasks at the pharmacy and the hotel likewise taught me to be client service-oriented– be useful and courteous despite the fact that you might not feel like it.

A favorite book, film, or TELEVISION show to recommend

Better Call Saul, I believe, is one of the greatest TELEVISION programs of all time.

Guidance for success

Never stop finding out. You always have to follow your interests and your passions and be curious about things. One of my preferred things is to stroll randomly though a building on campus where I have not been previously. I’ve found a botanical garden and the Howard Hughes aircraft. One of my preferred things is the rock collection in the Lilly Fong Geoscience Structure.

Exactly what the Person Nominating Him Had to State

Cyndi Shein, head of University Libraries’ Special Collections technical services

Michael’s work is focused on protecting historical maps, pictures, music ratings, manuscripts, architectural illustrations, and uncommon books– some dating back to the 15th century. He expertly performs conservation of these products and monitors the environments of Lied Library, the Music Library, the Architectural Studies Library, and the Teacher Development and Resources Library … This expert work is silently carried out behind the scenes, and while seldom in the public eye, it significantly supports public access to the university’s academic resources.

Among Michael’s most significant recent contributions to the community is his work on the New york city– New york city 9-11 memorial collection. Michael showed effort and leadership when Special Collections was confronted with the complicated task of auditing, saving, and rehousing over 400 boxes of authorities and fire department T-shirts that were left at New york city New york city Hotel in the aftermath of 9-11 to memorialize the fallen heroes of that day.

Possibly of biggest significance in the previous year is the essential function Michael played in UNLV’s effective hosting of the national exhibition tour “First Folio– the book that provided us Shakespeare.” For the very first time, uncommon editions of Shakespeare’s First Folio explored the country. UNLV qualified and was chosen as the website for Nevada due to the fact that we were able to meet rigorous ecological requirements by thoroughly following the procedures of the Folger Library to supply detailed daily reports prior to and throughout the book’s visit to UNLV.

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