Librarian (Subject Collections Specialist)-Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Position: Librarian (Subject Collections Specialist)
Location: Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Salary: $96,970 to $126,062 per year

Full vacancy announcement available on USAJOBS.

This position is located in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division and under the administrative direction of the Chief of the division.

The incumbent, who has achieved a high level of competence in his/her specialty, performs a variety of professional curatorial services, which involve advanced reference work, scholarly research and responsibility for special projects and acquisitions, as well as the organization, interpretation, and advanced bibliographical work of the division’s collections. In these activities, the incumbent brings to bear his/her knowledge of a specialized area (American history, culture, and literature), a sound background in rare book librarianship, experience in research methodology, and acquaintance with the original and secondary sources in his/her field. The incumbent serves as a Reference Specialist providing essential and critical curatorial and reference services on behalf of the division.

Provides personalized reference services about American history, culture and literature to varied constituents, including Members of Congress and their staffs, utilizing his/her subject expertise, as well as broad knowledge of databases, information sources, and reference services both within and outside the Library. Determines and assists reference needs in person as well as through other means of communication, including providing information on the most likely sources pertinent to the inquiries of scholars; on the extent, nature, subject matter, content, research potentialities, and availability of material in the division; on the most efficient methods of searching for information; on related holdings in other libraries; and on any special conditions of use. Determines whether rare books can be photographed without damage and recommends various options. In connection with these services, the incumbent keeps abreast of research in progress and of published material and demonstrates intimate knowledge of the collections for which he/she is responsible.

The incumbent performs comprehensive research and analysis in topics relating to the division’s custodial collections. Based on an understanding of objectives to be accomplished and the relations of the division’s collections to the Library’s total resources, organizes and develops special projects, utilizing critical judgment to determine scope, emphasis, approach, appropriate techniques, and manner of presentation. Research requires judgment in using a variety of resources, determining their relevance, and in evaluating their authoritativeness. The incumbent devises and prepares various means of access to the collections for which he/she is responsible, including finding aids, bibliographies, and research guides.

Oversees the growth of the division’s collections in his/her areas of specialization, developing guidelines for their continued growth. Examines incoming catalogs and special offers to make recommendations for additions to the collections. Prepares memoranda of recommendation, letters of solicitation, and other documents related to acquisitions. Develops new and ongoing professional relationships with prospective donors. Selects materials for the division’s collections from incoming receipts by purchase, gift, exchange, transfer, etc., as well as making recommendations for classes of material inappropriate for retention. In his/her work with the general collection, identifies materials suitable for transfer to the division’s custody. Works closely with the Conservation Office to develop plans for the care and treatment of the books in his/her subject area. Consults with conservator’s on preservation matters and makes recommendations about form of treatment, taking into account the resources available to the Division, the importance of individual items, and various available options. Ensures collection security and preservation of all Library collections.

Serves as a consultant to scholars using the Library’s collections and to persons planning special observances in subject fields and on the collections in which he/she has specialized knowledge. In order to make the division’s collections better known to scholars, to facilitate their development, and to encourage their use, prepares exhibits on the division’s subject collections for which he/she has specialized knowledge, developing an organizing theme for an exhibit, selecting materials, preparing a description for items shown, and writing publicity releases in accordance with Library guidelines, and materials accompanying the exhibition in print form or on the web. Collaborates with other Library staff and outside partners in developing and providing access to library resources through the web and other means. Prepares talks for personal delivery before scholarly and general audiences, both in the Library and at other locations. Through publications, correspondence, and personal contacts informs the interested public of the Library’s resources and services in the fields of his/her expertise, in so doing seeking cooperation in enriching the Library’s collections and assuring that the resources of the division are exploited by scholars to the fullest extent possible In these presentations and programs works closely with the Publishing Office and other Library units to meet mission and program goals. Participates in professional
associations and scholarly enterprises in the fields of his/her specialization and maintains close liaison with learned societies, foundations, research centers, and interested groups and individuals engaged in planning and promoting individual and cooperative projects concerning his/her areas of assignment.

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