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.

The Federal Research Division (FRD) is the principal fee-for-service, full-cost recovery research and analysis service of the Library of Congress. FRD administers the Federal Research Program, which provides research reports, translations, and analytical studies for entities of the Federal Government and the District of Columbia.

This position is located in the Research Section, Federal Research Division, Collections and Services Directorate, Library Services. The incumbent in this position will be a specialist in the area of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The position description number for this position is 12802.

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, non-bargaining unit position.

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


Responds to a full range of complex or difficult research inquiries. Work is completed in an environment of ongoing change, where information and sources of information are rapidly expanding, much of the subject matter is in flux, and the technology is undergoing significant change. Conducts research and analysis on topics in an academic field and/or other areas of specialization. Prepares research products on broad, multifaceted subjects. Clarifies vague requests for reports, research work, or similar items, and improves and redefines inquiries, requests, and tasks to better meet client agency requirements. Plans content, scope, and emphasis of studies and research results. Works with FRD supervisors and project managers on proposals for specialized research projects on emerging, key, and relevant issues as requested by prospective client agencies.

Prepares and/or edits highly complex materials using extensive knowledge of a subject and/or geographic area to provide accurate interpretation and explanation of subjects. Communicates findings through written and oral reports, abstracts, summaries, charts, graphs, and other products, including born-digital products, prepared according to Division standards and client agency requirements.

Applies knowledge of a wide range of sources of information in a functional information area or subject matter area to obtain information that meets client needs. Modifies standard information practices, precedents and techniques, and automated systems. 

Identifies authoritative sources, answers inquiries using foreign-language and international resources, and translates material when necessary. Identifies and examines publications, electronic resources, and trends in field of specialty for use in meeting complex research requirements. Develops and communicates new sources of information with other research team members and FRD staff. Performs detailed analyses and evaluations of client requests and relevant information requirements.

Organizes and coordinates assignments involving complex and novel or obscure problems and/or special requirements for analyzing and organizing information. Uses initiative and resourcefulness to deviate from or expand accepted methods for managing information. Prepares summaries and abstracts of English and foreign-language technical reports and publications. Keeps abreast of current events and reads background materials on related issues.