Senior Library Exhibition Technician: Duke University Libraries

The Duke University Libraries has a growing exhibition program that supports exhibits curated by students, faculty, and library staff in several galleries that rotate multiple times per year. This position will support exhibitions by tracking and preparing library and non-library materials, creating appropriate mounts, and assisting in installation of temporary and permanent displays. This position will also be responsible for maintenance of supplies, equipment and the exhibition prep room, as well as maintenance of the exhibition spaces.


Preparation for installation of Exhibitions (30%)

In conjunction with Exhibition Librarian:

  • Uses power and hand tools to design and fabricate bases, boxes, furniture, pedestals, cradles, and other supports for display.
  • Uses standard preservation practices when handling and mounting all library materials, consults with conservation department when necessary.
  • Makes and mounts labels, signage and other exhibition treatments including facsimiles of materials too fragile for display.
  • Makes illustrations of exhibition spaces for preparation of installation.

Installation of Exhibitions (25%)

  • With the Exhibition Librarian installs exhibit comprised of special collections materials including manuscripts, photographs, and objects.
  • In consultation with the Conservation Services Department, designs and maintains gallery lighting based on light levels appropriate for the preservation of library materials.
  • In consultation and with the assistance of the IT department, installs AV and IT equipment.

Library Materials Retrieval and Tracking (30%)

  • Physically retrieves and returns collection material to and from Rubenstein or other libraries.
  • Performs record-keeping and documentation tasks using library systems or other management software.

Maintains physical conditions of the exhibition gallery spaces and prep room (10%)

  • Assures all equipment, AV, IT, graphics and cases in exhibition spaces are in good order.
  • Gathers environmental monitoring data from the exhibition spaces.
  • Maintains supplies and equipment and orders materials as needed

Other Tasks as Needed (5%)

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • None


It is the expectation that all Duke University Libraries staff members will demonstrate exceptional workplace behaviors in the execution of their specific position responsibilities. These behaviors are customer focus, collaboration, creative problem solving, continuous learning and a commitment to diversity.


Required: Two years post-secondary education or equivalent combination of relevant education and experience.

Preferred: BA/BS in a relevant field


Required:  Candidate must display a competency in the care, handling and display of special collections library materials, generally acquired through two years of library or archives experience or similar experience with works of art in a museum or gallery. Candidate must show proficiency in the use of a variety of power tools and fabrication techniques, good dexterity and hand-eye coordination, sound knowledge of professional exhibition practices, and the ability to produce museum quality craftsmanship. Candidate must be comfortable working independently, showing initiative where appropriate and possessing teamwork orientation with excellent organizational interpersonal and communication skills. Work requires experience or shown proficiency in computer skills using programs relevant to job responsibilities or ability and willingness to master technology as needed. Candidate should be adaptable to frequent change, work under pressure and managing multiple tasks and deadlines.

Preferred: Candidates with prior experience working in an academic research library, particularly in an exhibition setting are preferred. Other skills desired include experience in exhibition installation, layout configuration, pedestal/mount/wall construction, matting, framing, label making, crate fabrication, experience or knowledge in the design and implementation of gallery and exhibition lighting, experience with programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe illustrator, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Sketch Up, Aeon, Aleph, Publisher, and Omeka.

Working Conditions

  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds including large quantities of library materials; exhibit cases, ladders, oversize items, etc.
  • Must be able to work in an environment in which exposure to materials containing dust and mold is possible.
  • Must be able to work in positions that include frequent bending, crouching, and stooping and to stand or walk for an eight hour day; majority of time standing or moving around exhibit galleries and prep spaces.
  • Occasional weekend or evening overtime may be required.
  • Must be able to climb and work on a ladder for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to reach hands above shoulder level and to move heavy objects.

These statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.

Salary and Benefits

$15.29 per hour (minimum). Comprehensive benefits package upon eligibility includes vacation, 13 holidays, sick leave, health, dental, disability, life insurance, educational assistance, and tuition grants.


Since its founding in 1924, Duke University has grown into one of the most prestigious private universities in the world and its medical center ranks annually among the top in the nation. The Duke University Libraries are the shared center of the university’s intellectual life, connecting people and ideas. The Libraries consist of the Perkins Library, Bostock Library, Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Lilly Library, and Music Library, and the library at the Duke Marine Laboratory in Beaufort. Duke’s library holdings of 6.2 million volumes are among the largest of private universities in the United States.

Duke’s hometown is Durham, North Carolina, a city with vibrant research, medical and arts communities, and numerous shops, restaurants and theaters. Durham is located in the Research Triangle, a growing metropolitan area of more than one million people that provides a wide range of cultural, recreational and educational opportunities. The Triangle is conveniently located just a few hours from the mountains and the coast, offers a moderate climate, and has been ranked among the best places to live and to do business.

Duke offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes both traditional benefits such as health insurance, leave time and retirement, as well as wide ranging work/life and cultural benefits. Details can be found at:


Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  An electronic resume, cover letter, and list of references should be submitted at:  Refer to requisition # 401218021.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The Duke University Libraries have a strong commitment to Affirmative Action and is actively seeking to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our staff.

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