Job Overview


The Library of Congress serves the Congress in fulfilling its duties and preserves and promotes knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people. It is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the world's largest library, with more than 151 million items in its physical collections (including books, manuscripts, prints, photos, film, video, and sound recordings) and almost 20 million items online. Located primarily on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the Library is the home of the U.S. Copyright Office, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Law Library of Congress, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

By law, employment at most U.S. Government agencies, including the Library of Congress, is limited to U.S. citizens. However, non-citizens may be hired provided that immigration law and other legal requirements are met, and the Library determines there are no qualified U.S. citizens available for the position.

The incumbent provides expert curatorial services and specialized reference services for the Law Library of Congress rare book and special collections. Analyzes, evaluates, and organizes the Law Library's holdings of rare materials for maximum effectiveness in research and reference and for long-term preservation and conservation of these valuable heritage assets.

This position is located in the Collection Services Division, Global Legal Collection Directorate in the Law Library.

The position description number for this position is 256435.

The salary range indicated reflects the locality pay adjustments for the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area.

The incumbent of this position will work a flextime work schedule.

This is a non-supervisory, bargaining unit position.

Relocation expenses are not authorized for the person(s) selected under this vacancy announcement.


Provides in-depth, advanced scholarly research guidance on the holdings of the rare and special collections of the Law Library, including provision of information on complex research strategies pertinent to the inquiries of scholars; on the extent, nature, content, research potential, and availability of original and secondary research material in Law and Library-wide; on related holdings in other repositories; and on problems concerned with access to collections.

Compiles comprehensive analytical inventories of Law Library rare book and special collection holdings to maintain, service, and secure unique and valuable legal books, incunabula, and manuscripts. Has achieved scholarly knowledge in the field of law and legal history that includes a thorough knowledge of the major bibliographic source materials; an in-depth familiarity with the library's holdings in selected categories of rare books, such as Roman law, Canon law, early American statutory law, and other legal sources and literature in a variety of languages and scripts including, but not limited to, Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, German, and Russian; and an extensive familiarity with the holdings in other institutions and collections.

Solves complex problems or problems that involve relationships among the different reference functions with special attention to experience in addressing rare book reference and information research. Serves as a specialist in reference and information research applying to rare book inquiries. Meets with researchers and analyzes questions and requirements and suggests search strategies. Assists clients with law rare book questions, using knowledge of these collections, subject matter, and the patrons who require them. Clarifies vague requests for materials through use of proper bibliographic tools. Prepares written information and research responses. Frequently works on several assignments at one time and must be able to successfully handle competing demands and deadlines. Provides in person consultation/briefings with patrons in area(s) of subject specialization.

Maintains liaison with the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate within the Library, and develops personal contacts with outside sources such as vendors and other large law libraries to assess and review new or unusual circumstances, variations in approach, and incomplete or conflicting information.  Maintains involvement in professional associations, represents the Law Library at meetings and conferences, and participates in work-related professional activities.

May be assigned to review and/or adapt work to provide initial quality control and aid in the training process.  The incumbent conducts and analyzes training needs and services.  Provides instruction to staff and Law Library clients on the content, nature, and use of Law Library rare books and special collection resources.  Conducts in-house training activities, develops training techniques and skills, and trains and mentors rare book fellows and/or Law Library technicians assigned to rare book detail.