U.S. Citizen Librarians-in-Residence Program 2024

  • Hosting Service Unit: All Library of Congress
  • Program Contact: Librarians-in-Residence@loc.gov
  • Interests/Areas of Study: Library and Information Science: Acquisitions and Collection Development; Archives and Special Collections; Cataloging and Metadata; Collection Preservation; Community Engagement; Digital Services; Reference and Instruction; Systems and Standards.
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen
  • Application Period: Annually
  • Application Notes: Applications will open January 8 to February 9, 2024.Apply via USAJOBS.gov: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/769682000
  • Compensation: GS-09 Pay Level
  • Academic Credit: No Credit
  • Available Benefits: LC Internal Discounts; Transportation Subsidy; Health Care
  • Program Duration: Short-term. Short-term. Temporary, Not-to-Exceed six months, with the possibility of an extension for up to four months.
  • Qualifications: The program is open to students who earned or will complete their Master’s degree in library and information science from an American Library Association-accredited program between December 1, 2022 and June 16, 2024.

APPLICATION

Apply for this program on USAJOBS.gov: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/769682000

Please refer to the How to Apply brochure here: LIR24-How-to-Apply.pdf (PDF, 2MB)

INFORMATION SESSIONS

Learn more about the 2024 Librarians-in-Residence Program at one of the upcoming Information Sessions:

  1. Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. Register here: https://loc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_sC6VNypVQ8yz0uGOkQm9EQ
  2. Friday, January 26, 2024 at 12 noon Eastern. Register here: https://loc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_kpDVV321Q3mFmzHbC6tqPQP

PROGRAM INFORMATION

In support of developing the next generation of librarians and information professionals, the Librarians-in-Residence program will give early-career librarians the opportunity to gain meaningful work experience in at least one track of the following: Acquisitions and Collection Development; Archives and Special Collections; Cataloging and Metadata; Collection Preservation; Community Engagement; Digital Services; Reference and Instruction; and Systems and Standards. Not every track will be offered each program year. 

The Library of Congress is offering 6 positions for the 2024 program. The program begins June 17, 2024 and ends December 13, 2024. There is an optional 4-month extension to April 11, 2025.

Participants will be expected to serve onsite at the Library’s Capitol Hill campus for the duration of the program. Telework is determined by each division, so the number of telework days served will vary.

PLACEMENTS

Below are the tracks and placements for the 2024 program.

1) Archives and Special Collections: Researcher and Collections Services/Special Collections Directorate/Rare Book and Special Collections Division

Under the direct supervision of the Chief of RBSCD, the Librarian-in-Residence will specifically focus on unprocessed archives as well as updating legacy finding aids. The LIR will also collaborate with the Chief on a related web archiving project. Artist’s websites hold a wealth of important information about the works of art housed in RBSCD, including printmaking techniques, artistic collaboration, and content creation. Creating an archive of artist websites will serve as a stable and permanent discoverability resource for researchers, educators, and students interested in the art and craft of printing and book production in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Over the past several decades, the Rare Book and Special Collections Division has built one of the strongest book arts collections in the country. These holdings are bolstered by archival collections that include both the professional and personal materials of letterpress organizations, artists, and publishers. Materials include correspondence, ephemera, realia, broadsides and posters, as well as materials for bookmaking, such as paper samples, dummy copies, paper-making screens, printing blocks, copper plates, and more.

2) Collection Preservation: Discovery and Preservation Services/Preservation Directorate/Preservation Services Division

The Librarian-in-Residence serves in the Preservation Services Division of the Preservation Directorate and performs developmental assignments related to building the national collection; stewarding the national collection; sharing the national collection via research, reference assistance, systems and other means; and creating, managing, and distributing national collection metadata and related standards. The LIR is introduced to a professional library setting through participating in training, mentoring and other enrichment activities. The LIR will be expected to work on projects, assignments, and tasks across the Preservation Directorate, in the areas of collections management, general collections conservation, preservation services and contracting. The LIR can expect to work on collections including web archives, digitized collections, print collections, unique collections, and/or electronic databases. The projects may be preexisting or will require designing and executing a new workflow.

3) Digital Services: Congressional Research Service/Knowledge Services Group

The mission of the Congressional Research Service is to serve Congress with the highest quality of research, analysis, information and confidential consultation to support the exercise of its legislative, representational and oversight duties. With core values of confidentiality, objectivity, nonpartisanship, authoritativeness and timeliness, CRS serves as an extension of congressional staff. CRS examines pressing legislative issues facing Congress; identifies and assesses policy options; and provides analysis, consultation and briefings to support Congress throughout the legislative process across the full range of public policy issues. The Librarian-in-Residence in the Knowledge Management Section of the Knowledge Services Group is expected to work on projects, assignments, and tasks related to the collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of internal and external research materials and administrative information. The LIR will also work on artificial intelligence-related pilot projects.

4) Digital Services: Discovery and Preservation Services/Digital Services/Collections Digitization Division

The Librarian-in-Residence will work alongside a former Librarian-in-Residence serving in the Collections Digitization Division working on the implementation of the FY2023-2027 Digitization Strategy, and additionally exploring the many technologies, processes and procedures involved in successfully digitizing and making available to patrons the vast collections of the Library of Congress. A major component of this effort will be the exploration of user stories in planning for the development of a Library-wide digitization management system, which will require in-depth analysis of division-level requirements for digital transformation throughout the Library. This will include reviewing documentation developed by the Digitization Strategy team from year one of its implementation (2023), learning and applying the Library’s best practices for creating user stories for product development, conducting meetings and consultative sessions, and developing recommendations. The LIR will also work in the Digital Scan Center, learning and applying processes for digitizing items from the Library’s special and general collections.

5) Reference and Instruction: Law Library of Congress/Global Legal Research Directorate/Public Services Division

The Librarian-in-Residence in the Public Services Division of the Law Library is expected to work on projects, assignments, and tasks in the areas of research and reference services, collection management, and consultation/liaison services. “Research and reference services” includes staffing the Law Library Reading Room reference desk and responding to legal and legislative research and reference questions in person, via telephone, and electronically. The LIR will also work on developing and maintaining legal research/reference LibGuides. The LIR may also work on complex legal research/reference assignments (individually and/or as part of a team). “Collection management” includes using standard techniques to organize and maintain collections. Representative tasks in collection management include government documents inventorying, creating finding aids and documentation for law collections, maintaining the security of the collection, ensuring proper handling of the collection, and collection assessment and review. The LIR can expect to work on collections including web archives, digitized collections, print collections, unique collections, and/or electronic databases. “Consultation/liaison services” includes tasks such as giving tours of the Reading Room; attending staff meetings, briefings, and tours; providing research and reference consultations by appointment; and supporting the Law Library’s instructional services and programs. The LIR may also participate in outreach efforts such as writing for the Law Library’s blog, In Custodia Legis; writing articles for the Law Library’s online publication, the Global Legal Monitor; and providing legal research/reference instructional programs (individually and/or as part of a team).

6) Reference and Instruction: Researcher and Collection Services/General and International Collections Directorate/Researcher Experience and General Collections Division

The Librarian-in-Residence within the Researcher Experience and General Collections Division (REGC) will focus on creating a chatbot system for our online library platforms. This text-based simulator will be built off our existing Ask a Librarian platform (LibAnswers), offering users a self-guided chat experience. This chatbot will be rule-based, as opposed to being AI-powered, and is available to us as part of LibAnswers. Its primary role will be to serve as the first point of contact for users who are interacting with librarians, collections, and services in virtual spaces. The LIR's responsibilities will include reviewing, refining, and enhancing our current FAQ knowledge banks, using them to define the chatbot's behavior and interaction flow. They will collaborate with other library staff to create rules that guide users through predetermined options, essentially customizing the user experience through this human-driven bot. Additionally, the LIR will become well-versed in the Library's services and collections to effectively assist users in finding the right resources, connecting them with relevant events and research guides, or redirecting them to live chat support or other inquiry forms. As a member of the Main Reading Room research/reference team, the LIR will also gain hands-on experience in our virtual reference environment, contributing to the system's design and testing. Although they will be part of the REGC team, the work performed by the LIR will ultimately benefit all library users engaging with the Library of Congress remotely through our virtual spaces, as well as the more than 30 research centers, reading rooms, and services that actively use our Ask a Librarian reference service.

Participants will select their first- and second-choice placements in the application. After a review of applications, selecting officials will contact prospective candidates for interviews and make preliminary selections. Successful candidates will submit paperwork for a mandatory background check.

Participants receive on-the-job training and undertake assignments that contribute to the ongoing mission and work of the Library. They participate in enrichment assignments and receive mentoring from seasoned professionals. They are also expected to participate in Library-wide activities, such as the National Book Festival, and to provide information sessions concerning their professional interests to Library staff as well as report back to their graduate programs on experiences as Librarians-in-Residence.