Librarian (Reference Librarian)

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Job Description

About the Agency

The Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division is responsible for the acquisition, processing, preservation, duplication and reference servicing of the audio and visual collections of the Library.

This position is located in the Recorded Sound Research Center, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Record Sound Division, Collections and Services Directorate, Library Services, Washington, D.C.

The position description number for this position is 12768.

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

The incumbent of this position will work a modified flexitime work schedule to accommodate research center hours, which are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

This is a non-supervisory, bargaining unit position.

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


The Reference Librarian provides reference, research, consultation, and liaison services; instructions and training related to the recorded sound collections of the Library. Responds to a full range of complex or difficult research inquiries. Prepares research guides on broad, multi-faceted subjects. Clarifies vague requests for reports, research work, or similar items, and refines and re-defines inquiries, requests, and tasks to better meet requirements. Prepares responses to inquiries and requests, and research papers using specialized knowledge. Prepares technically complex responses to inquiries. May be responsible for identifying sources that authoritatively answer inquiries using foreign or international resources. Identifies and examines publications, electronic resources, and trends in field of recorded sound for use in meeting complex research requirements. Provides comprehensive reference, research, advisory, and instructional services to individuals and groups. . Responds orally or in writing to inquiries related to assigned field of responsibility. Meets with researchers and analyzes questions and requirements and suggests search strategies of greater complexity or time. Uses knowledge of information sources and/or experts in other institutions or service units outside the agency. Assists patrons with specialized collections, using knowledge of these collections, and subject matter. Searches an automated database for bibliographic records. Inputs information into an automated data file. Modifies and edits online records. Identifies, categorizes, and analyzes error data in electronic databases and recommends corrections. Clarifies vague requests for materials through use of proper bibliographic tools. Maintains reading room collection in current, up-to-date shape. Provides in-person, online, and telephone reference services in a reading room.

Produces selected and annotated bibliographies, discographies and subject guides on specific subjects. Develops resource directories, in both paper and electronic format. Gives Instruction to faculty, staff, and other clientele on the content, nature, and use of library resources, including how to search collection materials and various databases and other electronic media. Keeps abreast of changes in methods of accessing and disseminating information to accommodate the diverse information needs of the client.

Recommends materials for acquisitions. Searches titles and items before ordering to prevent duplication and to discover existence of related works. Examines and initiates recommendations for material in all formats to ensure that the recommendations have been properly executed. Determines whether recommendations are suitable for addition to the library’s collections by interpreting and applying the library’s selections policies and approval plan guidelines. Determines the most appropriate method of acquisition. Has achieved knowledge of the collections area that includes knowledge of the major bibliographic source materials; familiarity with the library’s holdings; and an familiarity with the holdings in other institutions and collections. Develops and maintains proficiency in the research, organization, and communication of information on a variety of subjects. Uses judgment to perform a variety of professional services that involve mature and responsible handling of complex reference, collections development, exhibit and publications duties in the designated area.

Writes and/or edits materials of a highly complex subject matter utilizing an extensive knowledge of a subject area to provide accurate interpretation and explanation of the subject.

Reviews a wide variety of both print and electronic brochures, catalogs, journals and other sources for new items and sources for possible acquisition to improve library collections. Determines the quality of materials acquired from different sources. Participates in efforts to acquire items by gift. Examines unsolicited materials to determine whether they should be added to the library’s collection. Prepares justifications for acquiring new or additional materials for the collection. Initiates, establishes and maintains professional relationships with librarians, archivists, cooperative partners, and other specialists in order to share resources and information as well as to coordinate workflow within the library. Recommends changes in procedures, workflows and tools. Regularly explains technical information to individuals or groups. Conducts tours and orientation sessions for staff and visitors. Represents the organization at conferences, seminars and exhibits. Attends workshops, conferences, seminars, or meetings in librarianship and other relevant fields for the purpose of professional development.


Applicants must have had progressively responsible experience and training sufficient in scope and quality to furnish them with an acceptable level of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position without more than normal supervision.

Ability to provide research and reference services in a library or archival setting**

Knowledge of the principles, concepts, tools and techniques of library science**

Knowledge of audio materials in a library or archival collection**

Ability to analyze, plan, develop and/or execute library programs and/or projects

Ability to perform writing and editing duties

Ability to develop and/or manage materials in library collections

Ability to provide consultation or liaison services

Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing

How to Apply

For full announcement and application instructions, go to: position closed on Dec. 29, 2016.

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