Hello my name is Patrick Layton and I am a Book Conservator for the University of Hawaii at Mānoa Hamilton Library.
I learned my craft while obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management at Brigham Young University where I graduated in 2013. After graduation I stayed at BYU working for the book lab in the Library until 2018 when I decided to further my education. I applied for and was accepted to a master’s programme at the University of the Peloponnese in Kalamata, Greece. There I studied Cultural Heritage Materials and Technologies. I lived there for a year studying what is truly nuclear physics to be able to determine the atomic make-up of cultural artifacts. In the programme I was fortunate enough to build my thesis around dust settling in fairly closed library environments, neither of which had any HVAC systems in place. The goal was to try and take my research towards a PhD studying if we could determine the penetration/solubility of hygroscopic materials in the atmosphere. Essentially I want to know how deeply the atmosphere of the surrounding area impacts library materials. I am still looking for the research topic that can motivate me to apply for a PhD somewhere.
Currently I am a graduate student at UH Mānoa in the Library and Information Systems program. I wanted to join this program when I first started my job at UH Mānoa but it was more important to get used to the workflow and what was required of me. I am excited to finally follow in the footsteps of my mother and brother, and to officially become a librarian! My reasons for going through this program and not going straight for a PhD is truly because this program aligns with my career goals. I would like to become a preservation librarian for a university library and eventually move on to library administration. I am frustrated with the way libraries are trying to switch to business models, and feel the only way to be able to change this is to join the enemy in administration. Libraries by nature will never “make money” what they do and their goal is to provide a service and the language for non-profit organization management fits so much better than language used for a business model. This is actually where my undergraduate degree pairs perfectly with the MLIS degree. Using the right terminology is important to get all stakeholders involved. The librarians from the service aspect, campus administration from a business model. Someone needs to sit there and translate the two different languages so that we can thrive and survive.
I am excited for the future of libraries as we accept, embrace, and teach new technologies. Libraries really are the early adopters of new things, whether that be virtual reality/augmented reality, 3-D printers, and online journals. The library is one of the first places that many populations will get to see and interact with this technology in a positive environment. This allows libraries to be a vehicle for change in the lives of so many people. The library is such an important part of the health of society and I am proud to be a part of them.