U.S. Citizen AFC Folklife – Remote Internship 2021

  • General Website: https://www.loc.gov/folklife
  • Hosting Service Unit: Library Services
  • Program Contact: Folklife@loc.gov
  • Interests/Areas of Study: Humanities, Folklore; Ethnic Studies; Library Sciences
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen
  • Application Period: Annually
  • Application Notes: Summer 2021 Internship - Starting Date: July 6, 2021. The internship extends for ten weeks from starting date. The application period for the summer 2021 opportunity closed on April 9, 2021.
  • Compensation: GS 03 $18.75/hour; $750/week; $7500.00 total for 10 weeks
  • Academic Credit: The Library does not provide academic credit, but you may arrange with your school in advance to receive credit.
  • Available Benefits: Transit; Sick leave accrual.
  • Program Duration: Short-term. Full-Time; 10 weeks in summer
  • Qualifications: Demonstrated relevant subject knowledge and skills with standard digital office tools; availability in summer for 10 weeks; Availability (July 6, 2021 – September 13, 2021 dates)
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Summary:  The Folklife Internship provides experiences in archival practice, cultural heritage research, and programming, while building participants’ knowledge about ethnographic materials. AFC staff supervise work on projects aligned with the successful applicant’s qualifications and interests. US citizens over 18 years old are invited to apply for consideration, including those currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate school, recently graduates, and community scholars or other individuals with experience working in the heritage sector.

Responsibilities:  This program offers participants insights into the environment and activities of the American Folklife Center, which pairs robust cultural programming with the world's largest ethnographic archive. Interns will be exposed to a broad spectrum of public programs and archives work: artist liaison, production, preservation, reference, access standards, and information management. Depending on the specific project they are assigned, interns will assist staff with coordinating and producing public programs; archival processing of special collections in many different formats; managing digital outreach activities and communications; or supporting reference and research activities. Near the end of their appointment at the Library, the interns will reflect on their projects and experiences by producing a blog post, as well as a presentation for AFC staff.

The following five projects are on offer for 2021 virtual internships. Each intern will be assigned to work on one project as their primary responsibility, alongside other assignments that will introduce them to the range of AFC activity. Applicants will be asked to list their top two project choices in the application.

#01 – Podcast development & production support: Provide production assistance for the Center’s two podcast series, Folklife Today and America Works, through collection research, drafting scripts, identifying audio assets, and editing. Additionally, there may be opportunity to participate in a podcast episode and/or contribute to the development of other podcast series. Episodes from both of the Center’s podcasts are available here: https://loc.gov/podcasts/.

#02 – Reference and Researcher Support: Assist reference staff in providing reference services and developing a range of researcher access tools, including subject guides from AFC archival collections using the LibGuide platform. Conduct research using primary and secondary resources for a variety of Library users. Training and support for use of LibGuides will be provided. Find current AFC LibGuides here: https://guides.loc.gov/american-folklife.

#03 – Web archives collection engagement: Work with AFC staff to design a strategy for identifying sites to archive across two web archives managed by the division and engaging potential researchers with the Web Cultures Web Archive digital collection. Responsibilities will include researching the collection, identifying key constituent groups of researchers, identifying collection gaps, developing engagement opportunities, and contributing to communications campaigns using various channels and platforms used by AFC. See the collection here: https://www.loc.gov/collections/web-cultures-web-archive/about-this-collection/

#04 – Story Map development & production: Assist AFC staff on designing and implementing a set of curated digital publications via the LC Story Maps portal (an intuitive web-based platform). Responsibilities will include researching online collections, identifying and gathering digital assets, developing curatorial narratives, and creating Story Maps. Training on the platform will be provided. See examples of LC-produced Story Maps here: https://www.loc.gov/rr/geogmap/storymaps.html.

#05 – Foodways Research: Support AFC staff in conducting collections research within and beyond the AFC Archive for a large scale multi-year project on food, cooking, and culinary culture as represented in the Library’s holdings. Responsibilities will entail cross-library coordination and exploration of collection materials related to food heritage in the United States; tracking assets and collection materials; helping develop thematic approaches to curation; and drafting interpretive text.


AFC Folklife Virtual Internships Program 2021
Specific Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is GS 3-3 pay?
This position is paid at GS 3-3 level. You will be paid at the rate for Washington, DC.  https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/2021/general-schedule/

2. What is Flexitime?
Fellows work a full 40-hour/week schedule. Two weeks equal a pay period.  Fellows work 8 hours per day. For this reason, when determining the schedule to be worked, you will log off 8.5 hours after starting. With Project Mentor prior discussion and approval, Fellows may adjust their schedule within the Pay Period. Library’s core hours require most staff (including Fellows) to begin between 6:30am and 9:30am and end the day between 3:00pm and 6:00 pm (Eastern Time).

3. Do I need to provide a transcript?
You are welcome to, but it is not a required document. 

4. How competitive is the AFC Folklife Internship Program?
Based on our experience with other fellowship programs offered here at the Library of Congress, we expect this to be a highly competitive program, with a large number of applications. Therefore, we must strictly adhere to the requirements for application packages and the deadline for their submission. Interested applicants are encouraged to carefully read the application criteria and procedures.

5. What are the selecting officials looking for in the application?
Selecting officials may consider course selection, related experience (professional or project-based), language skills, and interests related to the various subject areas noted on the announcement. While not required, experience or education in library-related fields can be a plus.
6. I am interested in more than one project area of this program. Can I apply to more than one? Must I submit separate applications for each?
In your cover letter, state explicitly your areas of interest. Your education, experience, and general background should affirm your selections and demonstrate your wish for serious consideration for each subject area you identified. Submit only one application package.

7. Do you provide housing or transportation?
No. This is a virtual program and you will work from home.

8. How many academic credits do I receive in the program?
The Library of Congress is not an academic institution and does not grant course credits. However, you may check with your school about receiving credits for your fellowship if interested.

9. I am not available to start the fellowship on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. Am I still eligible?
The schedule and the length of the fellowship direct that we require all interns to report on the same day, Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

10. Can my fellowship lead to a full-time job?
The fellowships come with no guarantee for permanent employment. However, we encourage those interested in careers at the Library of Congress to look at all job opportunities listed on the USAJOBS website and the Library’s Careers website. The new skills and experience gained during your time at the Library can be used as a stepping stone and the supervisor of your fellowship can be a valuable reference for your future job searches.

11. Will these fellowships be offered in the Fall/Winter?

No. This is a summer fellowship program only.For additional information about internships and fellowships at the Library of Congress, visit the Internship and Fellowship Program portal: https://www.loc.gov/ifp and click on the Overview tab to explore other internships at the Library of Congress.