Job Overview

Summary

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Knowledge Services Group (KSG) is seeking two Reference Assistants to join its Humanities and Reference Consulting Section. The Reference Assistants will provide reference services primarily to congressional clients in the CRS congressional reading rooms and research center. The Reference Assistants may also provide reference services to CRS analysts, specialists, attorneys, and information professionals.

CRS works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for nearly a century.

CRS is well known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has immediate access to the nation's best thinking on public policy issues of interest to its Members and Committees.
The closing date for this vacancy announcement has been extended to October 21, 2013.

Duties

Independently provides library reference services to congressional clients and CRS staff. Staffs CRS’s congressional reading rooms and research center during the facilities’ open hours. Uses ready reference and specialized information sources to respond to general information requests received in person or by telephone or email. Assists and instructs clients on how to find information, use research resources, and troubleshoot simple problems such as the printing of documents.

Completes the most difficult special searches for all types of materials and identifies and obtains typically hard-to-find documents, technical reports, and/or data. Applies knowledge of technical tools, reference and bibliographic sources of all types, and the entire spectrum of printed and computerized card catalogs and files to determine accuracy of information required to respond to congressional requests.

Maintains the physical collections in CRS’s congressional reading rooms and research center, including print copy displays of newspapers, journals, reference materials, government documents, and book collections. Reviews collections for completeness and currency, ensures items are properly shelved, and assists in determining when items should be withdrawn. Promotes the use of collections by drawing clients' attention to additions to collections and creating signage and promotional materials. Provides collection security and access by following and applying Library of Congress (LC) collection security procedures.

Participates in evaluation of reference materials during the annual subscription review process. Compiles and assists in review of usage statistics for the physical facilities and collections. Reviews and reconciles document delivery charges and transactions, analyzes usage of document delivery against costs and availability of documents from other sources, and coordinates training of KSG staff in the use of the document delivery service.

Initiates, establishes, and maintains relationships with congressional clients and CRS staff to develop appropriate context needed to connect clients to the appropriate CRS experts. Establishes and maintains professional relationships with LC staff to facilitate access and use of LC collections and services. Supports CRS and LC outreach services by providing logistical support for activities held at CRS off-site facilities, informing walk-in clients of CRS products and services, and referring clients to appropriate CRS staff and programs.