FLICC Sample KSAs for Librarian Positions GS 9-12

Public Services Librarians


The FLICC Personnel Working Group is developing Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities statements (KSAs) in the areas of public services, systems, acquisitions, cataloging and administration/management. The KSAs can be used in vacancy announcements for federal positions. The document below is one of a series and is a "work in progress."

You are encouraged to visit this page during the process of preparing your own vacancy announcements and select the KSAs appropriate to your circumstances. These KSAs are intended as a guide and are not associated with specific grade levels nor are they intended to be used for the purpose of classifying 1410 positions.

The working group invites your comments and additions. Please email them to Kathy Eighmey, the FLICC staff liaison to the Personnel Working Group.

  • Knowledge of the organizational structure and programs of the agency of which the library is a part.

  • Expert knowledge of the content of print and electronic information resources including the ability to critically evaluate and filter the resources for their applicability to the information requested. Electronic resources include online catalogs, proprietary databases, electronic journals, and Internet resources among others.

  • Specialized subject knowledge appropriate to the mission of the agency of which the library is a part.

  • Knowledge of the principles, practice, and theory of collection development including selection, deselections, and evaluation tools and methods.

  • Knowledge of the role serials and book vendors play in the acquisitions process.

  • Knowledge of the principles, theories, and practices of adult learning.

  • Knowledge of curriculum development and instructional methods.

  • Knowledge of a variety of end user search systems and the features and requirements of each.

  • Knowledge of current and emerging information technologies to retrieve, develop, and disseminate information products, services, and tools.

  • Knowledge of personal computers, electronic mail, dial access, client/server technology, Java, local and wide area networks, the Internet, including World Wide Web, document imaging, etc.

  • Knowledge of the principles and practice of the reference/research interview.

  • Knowledge of how library users/adults process and use information.

  • Knowledge of the principles and practice of online searching including search construction and strategy, search commands and syntax, index structure, use of controlled vocabularies, natural language searching, Boolean logic, truncation, adjacency, relevance ranking, etc.

  • Knowledge of the content and structure of a variety of databases to determine the most appropriate and cost-effective one for providing the required information to the Library user.

  • Knowledge of research and evaluation techniques to obtain feedback from users on current and potential products and services, to assess the outcomes of information use, and to solve information management problems.

  • Knowledge of public relations and marketing techniques (needs assessments, community analysis, publicity, media exploitation, and display/exhibit techniques).

  • Knowledge of HTML coding principles and the structure of HTML documents.
  • Skills

  • Skill as active listener.

  • Skill in utilizing effective communication and analytic techniques in conducting reference/research interviews to clarify or define the user's information needs.

  • Skill in providing accurate and timely answers to specific research questions with source identification.

  • Skill in identifying principles or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information.

  • Skill in instructing users to identify, retrieve, critically evaluate, and manage information.

  • Skill in the development and use of various of training and instructional materials or methods such as CAI (computer-assisted instruction), audiovisuals, syllabi, handouts, etc.

  • Skill in executing a database or manual search that requires unique or complex search strategies to ensure required precision or recall.

  • Skill in establishing and applying a current awareness program.

  • Skill in the use of internal automated systems to retrieve information about the library's collections.

  • Skill in the use of internal and external automated systems including personal computers, electronic mail, dial access, local and wide area networks, the Internet, including World Wide Web, document imaging, etc.

  • Skill in use of appropriate information technology to acquire, organize and disseminate information.

  • Skill in the use of HTML or other web software or technology to create personal or library home pages.

  • Skill in developing and implementing a marketing plan to attract users, promote information services and products, and obtain program support.

  • Skill in building a core collection of books and journals that meet the information need of the agency.
  • Abilities

  • Ability to obtain information, define problems or questions, identify relationships, evaluate quality, assess impacts, draw conclusions, and make recommendations.

  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

  • Ability to adapt behavior or work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles.

  • Ability to accept and deal with ambiguity.

  • Ability to consider new ideas, new concepts, and differing opinions.

  • Ability to anticipate trends in the environment in which the library operates and respond pro actively.

  • Ability to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills, or apply training, feedback, or other opportunities for self-learning and professional development.

  • Ability to plan and organize.

  • Ability to set well-defined and realistic goals.

  • Ability to work with others to achieve goals.

  • Ability to demonstrate understanding, courtesy, tact, empathy, concern, and politeness to others.

  • Ability to effectively deal with people (individuals) who are difficult, hostile, or distressed.

  • Ability to relate to people from varied backgrounds and situations, including differences of gender, ability, culture, religion, and sexual orientation.

  • Ability to search databases using Telnet, Windows, DOS, Mac, Unix, or other interfaces or platforms available within the agency.

  • Ability to assist users in downloading software and clients from institutional or web servers.

  • Ability to understand and interpret written material including technical reports, rules, regulations, instructions, survey results, studies, reports, charts, graphs, or tables, and apply what is learned to specific situations.

  • Ability to identify and evaluate print and electronic resources that meet the information needs of the agency and select the most appropriate materials to make available in the library's own collection and which are most appropriate to obtain on an as needed basis.

  • LCLibrary of Congress
    Comments: Library of Congress Help Desk
    FLICCFederal Library and
    Information Center Committee

    Comments: [email protected]