Music Reader Services Librarian

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Job Description

Number of vacancies: 2

Open & closing dates: 03/19/2019 to 04/02/2019

Service: Excepted

Pay scale & grade: GS 11

Salary: $68,036 to $88,450 per year

Appointment type: Permanent

Work schedule: Full-Time – Flexitime.


This position is in the Music Section of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) at Taylor Street. The Music Section is part of the Network Division at NLS, which is part of the Library Collections and Services Group, Office of the Librarian, The Library of Congress.  


The incumbent provides service directly to consumers of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and serves as a knowledgeable resource in the specialized area of special format music scores and books for individuals who are blind or otherwise reading disabled. Services are rendered in person, or by correspondence, telephone, or digital media. Requests originate from the blind and visually impaired consumers or persons with physical disabilities making them unable to hold or manipulate a book or focus or move their eyes to read, and the NLS network libraries serving them; Congress; U.S. and foreign government agencies; national and international academic, research, and scientific institutions; the professional and business communities; and from the general public. The incumbent exercises initiative, tact, and flexibility in meeting the reference requirements of constituents ranging from students to experts in their fields. The incumbent maintains an in-depth knowledge of the operation and resources of the Music Section and of NLS as a whole, including information technologies as they apply to library, information and office services. The incumbent participates in the effort to make NLS music materials available in accessible digital formats.

Responds to reference inquiries of a complex, often of a specialized or technical nature, from a wide variety of published and unpublished sources and databases. Inquiries may be received by telephone, digital means, in person or in writing. Uses knowledge of specialized information sources including the structure, content, and access protocols of relevant sources to produce selected and annotated bibliographies and other types of documents on specific subjects within the music field. Searches authoritative sources of bibliographic records. Uses a thorough knowledge of NLS music resources and knowledge of information sources in other institutions or service units outside The Library of Congress.

Digitizes music materials following NLS Music Section guidelines and processes files to make them accessible and available via download for NLS patrons. Processes digital audio materials according to NLS guidelines for inclusion in the music collection. Prepares digitized materials for online cataloging and for inclusion on BARD. Works with NLS colleagues and specialists from The Library of Congress on digitization, encoding and metadata standards and implements latest standards. May create or edit and verify catalog records to conform with established cataloging rules and policies. May assist with management of digitization projects for braille music, large print and audio materials for inclusion in the music collection.

Monitors the quality of preserved materials to ensure adherence to established standards and specifications. Decides appropriate treatment for deteriorating items and those requiring special needs. Reviews and monitors the completion of preservation projects. Suggests and implements methods to improve quality and productivity in preservation reformatting. Recommends to the Head of the section titles or copies of titles for removal from the music print reference collection and from the circulating collections. Searches acquisitions lists and other sources for new titles and other materials in various formats for the collections.

Prepares written materials, including the writing and/or editing of documents, catalog records, guidelines, metadata, NLS music magazines, blog entries for the Music Section’s blog, and reports. Compiles information packages for blind or otherwise reading disabled patrons. Selects items from periodicals and other sources for inclusion in special interest reference files. Produces material by gathering and verifying facts, writing and/or editing reports and developing and presenting information that is clear and meaningful to the intended audience. Analyzes, prepares, and organizes complex projects applying the appropriate established procedures and practices. Searches authoritative databases and modifies and edits online records.

Develops personal contacts, with NLS staff, network libraries, consumers, professional workers and researchers to establish and maintain cooperative work relationships in order to provide or exchange information and professional knowledge. Serves as a liaison in arranging appointments for visitors to NLS and its music section.

This is a non-supervisory, bargaining unit position. Relocation expenses will not be authorized for the person(s) selected under this vacancy announcement.

The position description number for this position is 383079.

The Library of Congress may offer repayment for all or part of federally insured student loans. However, not all service units within the Library of Congress participates in the repayment of federally insured student loans. Therefore, determination to repay a federally insured student loan is subject to approval by the appropriate service unit.


  • 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 reference and research services.**

  • Advanced knowledge of Music.**

  • Ability to perform writing and editing duties.**

  • Knowledge of collections, development and management of digital collections.

  • Knowledge of the subject area of music within a library’s collection.

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

  • Ability to plan and carry out digital reference service.

  • Knowledge of library resources for the blind, visually impaired, and print disabled community.

  • Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.


All librarians must meet the requirements for professional education in library science or possess equivalent experience and education.

Applicants must meet the requirements specified in paragraphs A or B below.

Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate study in library science in an accredited college or university, in addition to completion of all work required for a bachelor’s degree;


A total of at least 5 years of a combination of college-level education, training, and experience. To qualify on this basis, the applicant must establish conclusively that the education, training, and experience provided a knowledge and understanding of the theories, principles, and techniques of professional librarianship; a knowledge of literature resources; and the knowledge and abilities essential for providing effective library and information services.

Additional Education And Experience Requirements for Positions at GS-11:

3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education in library science or doctoral degree (J.D., Ph.D. or equivalent) related to the position.

How to Apply

This position closes on April 2, 2019. Apply online:

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