Librarian-Reference Specialist (Music)

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Job Description

Open & closing dates: 10/04/2017 to 10/19/2017

Salary: $54,972 to $71,467 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 09

Work schedule: Full-Time

Appointment type: Permanent

One vacancy in the following location: Washington DC, DC

This job is open to the public: U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S., and excepted service employees.

The Music Division in the Collections and Services Directorate is the Library’s primary gateway to the collections and reference services dealing with the subjects of music, theater, and dance. These collections consist of books, serials, and scores; and special collections that include scores, correspondence, writings and business papers, iconography, and musical instruments. The incumbent reports directly to the Head, Reader Services Section. The incumbent may be an authority in a specialized field of music and is an expert in digital reference service. Performs duties which encompass very complex and wide ranging reference, research, and outreach assignments in his/her field of specialization. Plans comprehensive, in-depth means by which to improve and support all automated reference activities. Librarians respond to inquiries that are received in person, by telephone, by correspondence and by electronic media. These requests originate from Congress, foreign and U.S. Government agencies, national and international academics and scholars, research and scientific institutions, the professional and business communities and from the general public. Maintains current and extensive knowledge of trends in his/her specialized area in the fields of music or performing arts and of advances in the area of reference librarianship.

  • This position is located in the Readers Services Section, Music Division, Collections and Services, Library Services.

  • The position description number for this position is 136668.

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

  • The incumbent of this position will work a flexitime work schedule.

  • This is a non-supervisory, bargaining unit position.

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


  • Provides reference services to individual researchers and groups where needs are relatively easy to determine from client interviews in person or over the telephone, or from written requests, and the bibliographic source materials are of limited technical complexity and are readily accessible, i.e., found within the Library’s Music Division collection or can be located within a database by use of standard search procedures. Responds orally or in writing to inquiries related to assigned field of responsibility.

  • Provides in-person and telephone reference service in the Performing Arts Reading Room. Searches standard databases where the information is relatively stable, such as for bibliographic citations of a general nature. Clarifies vague requests for materials through the use of proper bibliographic tools. Verifies correct bibliographic citation for requested items. Seeks assistance for locating materials that are not readily accessible. Develops knowledge of resources in other agencies or institutions in order to provide informed referrals. Assists patrons with specialized collections, using knowledge of these collections, subject matter, and the patrons who require them.

  • Provides reference and research services of limited technical complexity in the Music Division.

  • Examines publications, electronic resources, and trends in topics related to the collections and services of the Music Division. Develops knowledge of collections for use in performing research tasks. Assists in preparing research guides and finding aids on specific topics of recognized client interest using standard search strategies and describing research methodologies. Assists senior librarians in revising or updating research materials, and collection development activities including searches, and completing claim and order forms.

  • Identifies foreign and international print and electronic resources in the field of music to address user needs that are easily determined from interviews or written requests.

  • Prepares and updates standard guides to specialized collections and resources in the Music Division.

  • Uses standard methods, techniques, concepts, and principles to perform assignments in the Music Division, which may involve materials in multiple languages.

  • Assists senior reference staff in determining the quality and usefulness of collection materials in the Music Division. Assists in developing strategies for the organization, storage, preservation, and service of these materials.

  • Monitors the condition of collection materials in the Music Division to ensure adherence to established preservation standards and specifications. Brings deteriorating items and those with special needs to the attention of division management. Orients users and explains procedures and regulations governing use and handling of materials in the collection.

  • Coordinates the acquisition of items for the Music Division that are of limited technical complexity, or easily acquired. Reviews a variety of brochures, catalogs, journals, and other sources of items for possible acquisition in order to develop collections in the Music Division. Consults acquisition policies to determine whether items are appropriate for purchase, copyright claim, exchange, gift, or other type of acquisition. Examines recommendations to identify processing and custodial requirements and to identify out-of-scope materials.

  • Maintains liaison with recommending officers and subject specialists to coordinate acquisition of material. Provides proper purchasing information and correct bibliographic identification to dealers, subscription agents, vendors, overseas offices, exchange partners, etc. Reviews and approves invoices for payment for all formats of material.

Supervisory status: No

Promotion Potential: 13

Who May Apply

By law, employment at most U.S. Government agencies, including the Library of Congress, is limited to U.S. citizens. However, non-citizens may be hired, provided that other legal requirements are met and the Library determines there are no qualified U.S. citizens available for the position.


  • Conditions Of Employment: No additional requirements to those listed above.


  • 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.

  • Knowledge of the principles, concepts, and techniques of library science and music librarianship.**

  • Knowledge of integrated library systems and other technology tools relevant to performing arts collections.**

  • Knowledge of the history and literature of music.**

  • Ability to provide reference and research services in the performing arts.

  • Ability to interact collaboratively with others.

  • Ability to communicate in writing.

  • Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.

How to Apply

This position closes on 10/19/2017.

See the full job posting and apply here:

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