Preservation Science Specialist

Washington, D.C
Dec 01, 2022
Dec 03, 2022
Full Time

The Preservation Science Specialist is located in the Preservation Research and Testing Division (PRTD) within the Preservation Directorate and reports to the Division Chief, PRTD. The Directorate is responsible for the long-term, uninterrupted access to the Library's collections through a variety of preservation programs. The Preservation Directorate accomplishes the preservation of the Library's collections including the rare, valuable, special format, and general research collections through a variety of processes. PRTD supports and enhances the efficacy of these processes through activities in three programmatic areas: analytical services, research projects, and the quality assurance program. Analytical service activities include analyses for assessment and characterization of media, substrates, and treatments.

Research program activities include research supporting the treatment of collection items, research supporting condition assessment and analysis of Library collection materials, research into materials degradative processes and the assessment of effective conservation treatments, research into preventive conservation measures, and optimizing and/or developing new analytical techniques.

The incumbent is responsible for planning and carrying out work, resolving most conflicts that arise and operates with a moderate degree of independence within the scope of preservation projects approved by the Division Chief and conducts a range of preservation activities based on expert knowledge, skills, and requisite training and experience.

The incumbent is able to carry out standard preservation research and testing procedures in at least one preservation science research area, and operation of at least one scientific instrument; including but not limited to the preservation research, testing and analysis of both traditional and modern Library materials including paper, parchment, pigments, inks and colorants, photographic or audio/visual media formats; environmental monitoring and assessment; quality assurance testing and specifications.

The incumbent collects and organizes information to support preservation research and analyses upon review by the Division Chief. Executes surveys and prepares data for reports related to preservation research topics, including, but not limited to, the assessment and characterization of media, substrates and treatments, materials degradative processes and the assessment of effective conservation treatments, and preventive conservation measures. The incumbent may assist with organizing research reports and studies to identify, evaluate and implement preservation practices. Prepares research data for review, and other documentation in support of PRTD's research projects.

The incumbent assists the Division Chief with preservation research efforts; including projects that involve other Division staff members. Assists the Division Chief with efforts made by PRTD to provide service and information to the custodial units, the Library of Congress, and the public. May be required to research and prepare procurement documents for purchase of small equipment or laboratory supplies as assigned by the Division Chief. Attends workshops for training under the direction of PRTD Chief to advance preservation knowledge.


Conditions of Employment

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.

Ability to operate scientific and/or laboratory instruments to perform preservation projects.**

Ability to analyze, organize, plan and carry out preservation activities in a library or similar institution.**

Knowledge of current preservation and conservation research in the field of preservation science. **

Knowledge of the principles, concepts and techniques of preservation.

Ability to develop and maintain professional relationships.

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.