Folklife Specialist (Research and Programs)

Washington, D.C
Aug 06, 2022
Aug 13, 2022
Full Time

The Folklife Specialist (Research and Programs) position is located in the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress. The purpose of the position is to support professional services for the Center's research and programming activities; contribute significantly to the development and distribution of educational resources and interpretive materials; support the development of AFC archival collections; represent the Center within and outside the Library on matters of folklife, ethnomusicology, ethnographic research, and public programming; and perform other duties related to the American Folklife Center or in support of the Library, as assigned.

In consultation with Head of Research and Programs, provides assistance for Center folklife or ethnomusicological research projects in the Library of Congress and in other research libraries and ethnographic archives. Aides with professional services and information resources in various media for the Center to provide to cultural heritage fields, including folklife, ethnomusicology, and oral history.

Contributes to materials across multiple media that draw on expertise in the fields of folklore, ethnomusicology, oral history, and related cultural heritage disciplines. Materials may include written articles, lectures, blog posts, publicity/press releases, and social media communications, as well as the development of content for various digital platforms. Prepares and contributes to policy and division reports as required.

Participates in education activity, including planning, scheduling, and providing logistical support for seminars, workshops, special events, and associated outreach.

Provides resources to support AFC educational programming development and works with other units and programs as needed (inside and outside of LOC).

Provides authoritative technical advice in the area of folklife and/or ethnomusicology research to others outside the organization who are working on education and training projects. Serves as a project staff, providing support to the Center's team members in the form of working with identified priorities, locating resources, and following procedures as they relate to the team's assigned tasks.

Stays abreast of trends in the archival field. Provides subject expertise and conducts research, as needed, to help inform collection acquisition decisions. Collaborates with archives staff to provide curatorial expertise and other support as assigned related to collections processing and access efforts. Helps support AFC collection development by amplifying the value of AFC archives through symposia, blogs, podcasts, and other public engagement efforts

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


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 or current 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.

Knowledge of folklife, ethnomusicology, ethnographic research, public programming, and/or related fields.**

Ability to support and contribute to professional services for a cultural heritage center or a research library.**

Ability to produce informational and interpretive materials on activities or collections.**

Knowledge of the principles, concepts, and techniques of library and/or archival work.

Ability to support education programs and training.

Ability to plan and execute work.

Ability to communicate in writing.

Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.

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 at step one 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.

Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation. For more information, please see: Vetting Process

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.

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

Initial permanent appointments to the Library of Congress require completion of a one-year probationary period. Probationary periods served at other Federal agencies do not count toward this requirement.

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.

A "Not to Exceed" (NTE) status is used to identify an appointment with a specific ending date. However, the Library has the right to separate a NTE employee at any time due to either performance issues or budget constraints.

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.