Librarian (Cataloger)

Washington, D.C
May 17, 2022
May 18, 2022
Full Time

The Cataloger position is located in the American Folklife Center, including the Veterans History Project, of Researcher and Collections Services. The purpose of this position is to assist in providing services associated with the Center's archival collections. The cataloger is under the supervision of division leadership, who determines overall objectives of the work, including deadlines, priorities, and definitions of the work to be done: these are not however, accompanied by detailed preliminary instructions regarding sources of information or the methodology to be employed. Work is reviewed for completeness and accuracy, adequacy of planning, soundness of judgment, and conformance to professional standards. Personal work contacts with more experienced catalogers, archivists, and others responsible for the cataloging and processing of materials.

Catalogs a variety of difficult material sometimes requiring specialized knowledge of folklife, ethnomusicology, oral history, a foreign language and/or considerable knowledge of specialized bibliographic areas (serials, rare books, maps, photographs, audiovisuals, software, etc.). Performs the full range of original cataloging duties for a variety of materials or specializes in a particular subject-area, technical field, or language.

Performs content designation of newly created and updated bibliographic and name authority records, supplying tags, indicators, subfield codes, delimiters, and fixed and variable field information. Establishes new personal and corporate names and uniform titles, with appropriate cross-references, for inclusion in the name authority file.

Searches entries in appropriate machine and manual catalogs. Selects and assigns a classification number. Analyzes material to determine its relationship to the existing collections, for proper main entry, and the need for added entries. Assists in ensuring that records adhere to appropriate national and international standards. Interprets present and past cataloging rules. Identifies the need for revision to a classification scheme and the tools, which describe it. Recommends additions and clarifications to the existing authority files, both name and subject.


Conditions of Employment

Conditions of Employment

At present, the Library of Congress will not enforce an earlier policy to require all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, employees are required to certify their vaccination status, which is used to plan and implement workplace safety protocols, such as those related to mask-wearing, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine. Upon request, new hires may be required to show proof of vaccination to the Health Services Division. Library employees who are not vaccinated may be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 every seven days.

Library of Congress employees are prohibited from using illegal drugs, including marijuana. The Library is part of the Federal Government and abides by federal law, so regardless of individual state or District of Columbia laws, marijuana use is illegal, considered criminal activity, and can affect your employment at the Library. In addition, past drug use and activities (e.g., selling or distributing) may deem you ineligible for employment.


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 apply knowledge of cataloging rules, procedures and practices.**

Knowledge of folklife, ethnomusicology, documentary studies, oral history and/or other related subject areas to process and describe archival collections.**

Ability to analyze, evaluate and organize information and materials.

Ability to build and maintain professional relationships and provide liaison services.

Knowledge of digital curation and descriptive tools, information technologies and integrated library systems to support archival functions.

Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.


This job does not have an education qualification requirement.

Additional information

Although it is the Library's policy to afford the maximum pay benefit to employees when setting rates of pay, a new appointee who has had no previous Federal service will generally be paid the minimum step of the grade.

The Library of Congress is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicants must submit a complete application package that is received by the closing date of this announcement.

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please email The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants with disabilities may be considered under special hiring procedures and must submit an appropriate certificate of eligibility when applying for this position. The proof or disability/certification may be issued by the State Vocational Rehabilitation Office, Disability Services or Career Services office of the applicant's college or university, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. The letter must verify that the applicant has a severe disability and must be dated within three years of the date of the application. Certification from health care providers are not accepted. For more information contact the Library's Office of EEO/Diversity Programs at 202-707-6024 or email FAILURE TO SUBMIT YOUR CERTIFICATION WILL CAUSE YOUR APPLICATION TO NOT BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE SELECTIVE PLACEMENT PROGRAM.

The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States and is part of the Legislative Branch of the Federal government. As such, all positions are in the excepted service.

Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation.

The Library reserves the right to fill a lesser or greater number of vacancies indicated during the life of this vacancy announcement.

Initial appointments, permanent or indefinite, to the Library of Congress require completion of a one-year probationary period.

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.

Are you a veteran? Please indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming in your application materials and/or applicant profile and provide the appropriate supporting documentation to validate your claim. Those applying for 5-point preference must submit Member Copy 4 of your DD 214. Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out an SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form. If required supporting documentation is not attached, Veterans' Preference will not be considered in the application process.