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Careers at the Library of Congress

Vetting Personnel at the Library


The Library’s Personnel Security Division (PSD) ensures that staff responsible for the care and administration of the Library’s collections, control of information systems, and the safety and security of visitors and employees adhere to the highest standards of integrity, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, and are loyal to the United States. PSD ensures that all persons appointed to positions are and remain suitable for employment with the Library or fit to perform duties on behalf of the Library.

Below are some answers to Frequently Answered Questions so that you can gain a better understanding of the personnel vetting process. Personnel vetting assesses the trustworthiness of individuals to protect the people, property, information, and mission of the Library. Additional questions about the process can be sent via e-mail to

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Why do I need a background investigation? My job does not require a security clearance.

The Library requirement for a background investigation does not mean that you are being considered for a security clearance. Some Library positions require a security clearance but most do not. A background investigation is conducted to determine if the individual is suitable for Library employment or is suitable for access to Library facilities and information.

What does the full background investigation/vetting process involve?

The overall process involves several steps. Those steps are described at external link.

How long does a background investigation take?

The amount of time that a background investigation may take depends on the type of investigation required for the position. Depending on the type of background investigation, the scope of the investigation could be different. Additionally, each individual person’s background is different which affects the number of resources needed to complete the background investigation. The need for a security clearance may also affect the time it takes for the Library to adjudicate the completed investigation. Each type of background investigation requires its own set of specific actions.

Is it true that the investigation will search my credit report?

Yes. A search of the records of commercial credit reporting agencies is a necessary part of almost all background investigations. The credit check done by the National Background Investigations Bureau is considered a "soft check" and does not affect your credit score.

Am I required to be fingerprinted? If so, where can I go to be fingerprinted?

Yes, most selectees will need to be fingerprinted. You can be fingerprinted at the Library or at your local police station or courthouse on the FBI FD-258 fingerprint card. Those and other options will be explained to you when PSD sends you the Application Request e-mail.

Is it okay if I guess at dates and addresses that I barely remember?

Providing information that is as complete and accurate as possible will help ensure your investigation is completed as quickly and easily as possible. If you are unable to answer a question without guessing, provide the information to the best of your ability, and note that you have done so on the questionnaire. If you are interviewed in person, point out the approximated information on the questionnaire to the Investigator. Estimate the date (month and year) to the best of your ability and check the "EST" checkbox, indicating that this is an estimated date.

Are you going to tell my supervisor that I'm looking for a job?

It is a requirement of a background investigation, and actual employment, that your current employer be contacted. We must verify your employment data and make other inquiries concerning your background. If you are a Federal employee or contractor, for example, it may be that your current employer needs you to have a security clearance for the work you do. In other instances, you are asked to complete the investigative form for an investigation and clearance only after a conditional offer of employment has been made for a position requiring a security clearance.

Do I have to answer all the questions on the e-QIP questionnaire? A lot of that information is already on my resume.

Yes. The resume is part of the application process. The e-QIP questionnaire is part of the investigation process. All of the questions should be answered accurately and honestly.

Why do you need information about my relatives?

Relatives can potentially influence your actions. We need to determine if threats or pressure against your relatives, or threats or pressure from your relatives, might place you in a precarious position.

What will happen if I refuse to give you some of this personal information?

The completion of the background investigation is a job requirement. Providing the information is voluntary, but if you choose not to provide the required information, you will not meet the requirements of the job and will therefore not be considered further and your conditional job offer from the Library will be withdrawn or you will be terminated from the Library.

What should I do if I remember something later, after I've filled out the e-QIP questionnaire or forms and turned them in?

Immediately notify PSD. PSD will determine where you are in the investigative process and indicate to you the next steps needed to correct or update the information.

Will I get a chance to explain some of the answers I give you?

Yes. Many types of background investigation require an interview. Additionally, you may submit additional information on the extra pages with your questionnaire if you feel you need to fully explain details or circumstances of the responses you indicated on the form.

Who decides if I get the job?

Library adjudicators will evaluate your case and communicate their findings to the appropriate Human Resources (HR) specialist or to the Contracting Officer Representative (for contractors). The hiring decision is not made by the PSD. All questions concerning the hiring outcome should be directed to the HR specialist that is handling your application for consideration.

Why am I receiving a call from an investigator for an interview? I was already approved to come on board.

PSD often makes a risk-based determination to allow you to onboard at the Library based on the results of the initial review process. Because of this, the investigative process may still be ongoing after you have received your start date and/or begin working at the Library.

How can I know if a person who says he is an investigator for the Defense Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA), really works for DCSA? I have been called by someone who wants to interview me and I want to make sure it is not a scam.

The identity of DCSA investigators can be confirmed using the information found at external link.

Where can I obtain a copy of my background investigation?

You can request a copy of your investigation by following the instructions at external link.