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    These positions are located in the American Folklife Center, Special Collections Directorate, Library Services.

    The position description number for this position is 382817.

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

    This is a non-supervisory, bargaining unit position.

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

    Learn more about this agency


    The reference librarian is responsible for providing reference, research, consultation, and liaison services; instructions and training; and security for American Folklife Center (AFC) collections. AFC holds nearly 6 million items of ethnographic and historical documentation recorded from the nineteenth century to the present. These collections, which include extensive audiovisual documentation of traditional arts, cultural expressions, and oral histories, offer researchers access to the songs, stories, and other creative expressions of people from diverse communities. The collections are among the Library's most varied in medium, format, physical condition, and intellectual property rights requirements, with attendant concerns for security, preservation, and safe handling. The collections are accessed by means of complex, diverse, and often multi-layered intellectual controls and surrogates in written and digital forms. As one of the largest ethnographic archives in the world, AFC plays a critical role in establishing a positive image of the Library and furthering the Library's goal of providing a high level of responsive, effective, and professional public access and outreach services to the full range of Library users worldwide, including members of Congress and their staff, other agencies, scholars, researchers, and communities of origin.

    The AFC is looking for reference librarians to strengthen collection access in the following areas:

    • Music and dance of the world
    • Music, dance and narratives of indigenous communities
    • Public Memory and collective experience
    • Narrative and verbal arts

    Provides comprehensive reference services in response to requests received in person, by telephone, or via electronic means. Communicates with a wide variety of patrons with non-routine questions regarding access, handling, and use of AFC materials, maintaining a high degree of tact and courtesy. Interviews researchers, analyzes their questions and requirements, and recommends material appropriate to their needs. Orients readers to the reading room and its services. Guides researchers in employing search strategies that tap the full range of the Division's reference tools and resources to meet the researcher's need. Provides information on the collections, finding tools, and relevant reference sources. Locates information, often of a specialized or technical nature, from a wide variety of published and unpublished sources and electronic databases relating to folklife materials.

    Exercises substantial research skills to assist in documenting and presenting the collections. Reviews and analyzes specialized or technical information from a wide variety of sources. Begins to develop competence in a subject area of specialization within the Division. The subject area is chosen in consultation with and is approved by the section head. Through research in folklife, ethnomusicology, and related fields, and in a specialized subject field, as well as constant examination of new literature and development of professional contacts, maintains awareness and knowledge of folklife, developments in the field of audiovisual librarianship, and availability of reference and resource materials. Performs research involving the use of ethnographic materials and reference sources and drafts reference aids in consultation with the section head or senior staff. As requested, carries out research and provides documentation for the creation of catalog records and finding aids.

    Participates in planning and performing outreach efforts including provision of information services through the use of new technologies. Develops and maintains personal contacts and cooperative work relationships to provide or exchange information. Attends workshops, conferences, seminars or meetings relating to audiovisual librarianship and the development and use of ethnographic materials in general and in a specialized subject area. Participates in outreach efforts, such as responding to comments and queries in electronic forums where Library collections are presented. Participates in planning programs and recommending policies related to reference and research services in the Division, making suggestions to promote effective means for connecting a broad audience with the collections. As assigned, provides tours and other oral presentations for staff, research groups, and other visitors to the Division.

    Recommends new acquisitions based on established collection plans and arranges for purchase/donation. Actively researches available items and determines appropriateness to overall collection. Screens unsolicited offers, using professional judgment to reject inappropriate offers. Pursues contacts with owners/donors of appropriate works and undertakes all arrangements for acquisition or donation. Coordinates with the acquisitions coordinator for delivery of new items. Maintains knowledge of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the collections.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

    1410 Librarian

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/521130800. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.