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 155 million items in its physical collections (including books, manuscripts, prints, photos, film, video, and sound recordings) and over 37 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.

This position is located in the Materials Development Division of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The Braille Program Specialist serves as an expert on matters pertaining to braille policies and procedures. Plans and implements internal programs and field operations for the Chief, Materials Development Division and the Director, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). Working independently, the incumbent receives guidance in matters impacting policy. Uses LC and NLS policies to analyze and recommend internal and external procedures relating to the production and distribution of braille materials. The incumbent utilizes a broad professional knowledge of and experience in the area of braille. The position description number for this position is 79293. 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 will not be authorized for the person(s) selected under this vacancy announcement.


Performs Braille Liaison Activities 30%

Works primarily independently and uses authoritative judgment while working on joint efforts with stakeholders in the government and private sectpr concerning matters and projects impacting developing and/or improving braille. Actively engages in developing braille policy. Gives advice and solves difficult organizational or program-related issues while initiating and maintaining relationships with stakeholders associated with NLS programs and/or operational changes relating to Braille developments. Serves on committees working on developing and using braille reading materials and producing braille through advanced technology.

Plans liaison activities for important NLS network programs with national or international impact in the field of braille. Possesses broad knowledge of braille and multiple NLS braille programs, serves as a consultant for braille-reading consumers, such as the public, libraries, and professional organizations and the public. Authoritatively guides and leads policy formulation and program planning related to training braillists, braille research and development, selection, production, and distribution of braille materials.

Acts as the technological authority related to the use of electronic braille formats by blind consumers and on accessibility issues of online content and the Internet by braille users. Suggests solutions to technical issues of braille production and braille codes. Works with network libraries and other stakeholders onprojects designed to improve blind and physically handicapped individuals' braille access to other library collections and/or access through technological devices.

Promotes braille literacy for children and adults. Drafts and evaluates articles on braille matters for NLS publications and professional journals. Drafts and delivers speeches concerning NLS's public relations activities related to braille. Plans and conducts meetings and other public relations activities supporting organizational programs. Represents NLS at meetings, conferences of other organizations, including the Braille Authority of North America and the National Braille Association. Designs public information including press releases, fact sheets, newsletters, and other briefing documents.

Braille Program Planning and Management Work 25%

Evaluates braille program effectiveness. Engages in evlauation of related issues of effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of NLS programs. Recommends, designs, and leads research, development, review, and demonstration of projects in varied areas including, but not limited to: methodology for the production and distribution of braille books and magazines; performance specifications for materials; production processes and procedures; designing, evaluating, and testing equipment; and the development and expansion of special code applications for integration of digital media. Using broad knowledge ofexisting braille technology, designs and implements braille-related projects and answers related inquiries. Recommends and works to develop strategies for implementing NLS and associated braille programs. Recommends short- and long-range goals for NLS braille programs, designs detailed plans for implementing the programs, and assists in their implementation. Decides if organizational goals, emphasis, and/or processes need modification as they relate to braille programming

Conducts comprehensive review of existing braille programming functions to guarantee NLS meets its goals, and identifies areas to improve operational efficiency. Evaluates productivity in every area of braille programming, oversees problems areas, and works to eliminate them. Recommends necessary steps to maintain or enhance quality and quantity of NLS services involving refining automation.

Braille Program and Policy Advice and Guidance 15%

Gives expert advice on extensive Braille projects and programs, requiring significant adaptation and/or interpretation for application, including accessibility and usability of electronic communication methods, such as online library catalogs, electronic media, and the internet. Stays abreast of advances in this field, particularly those impacting blind individuals; maintains knowledgte of the techniques, practices and opportunities to use libraries containing primarily print materials. Recommends long-range braille program plans, objectives, and milestones, serving as the basis for organizational and administrative change related to these programs.

Braille Accessibility and Disability Rights Work 15%

Recommends solutions to difficult problems or issues for accessibility requirements and develops novel approaches and methods for providing access for individuals with disabilities through design and improvement of websites for braille users. Gives technical advice for developing and surmounting accessibility barriers for braille users. Recommends technological policies for the certification and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Represents NLS at meetings or conferences examining ADA implementation and/or accessibility.

Braille Program Evaluation 15%

Gives advice to technical braille personnel, including staff, contractors and volunteers, related to analyzing and investigating matters involving various difficult program aspects requiring novel approaches to solving problems. The analysis serves as the basis for recommending organizational changes and administration of braille programs impacting national users. Ensures recommendations are compatible with the overall study objectives and schedule.

Provides inventive and novel analytic designs and/or investigative techniques materially significant in the resolution of problems with unprecedented or novel aspects.

Incorporates diverse studies and analyses results into comprehensive technical briefings and other papers. Gives technical advice within and outside NLS as a recognized expert in the field.


Performs other duties as assigned.