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Director, Special Collections Directorate at the Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Last Updated: 11/18/21

Job Description

Client

The Library of Congress (LOC), founded in 1800, is the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation. It is the country’s first established cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with more than 170 million items on approximately 840 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 38 million books and other print materials, 3.6 million recordings, 14 million photographs, 5.5 million maps, 7.1 million pieces of sheet music and 70 million manuscripts. The LOC occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897) is the original LOC building. The John Adams Building was built in 1938 and the James Madison Memorial Building was completed in 1981. For more information, please see https://www.loc.gov.

Summary
The Director of the Special Collections Directorate (“Director”) ensures that the voices and creative expression of all Americans are represented in the special collections; building Library collecting, description, and access practices that enable inclusion and eliminate barriers. S/he will work with colleagues across the Library to create and drive engagement opportunities, linking our collections and experts to researchers and the American public. In supporting the Library’s position as a leader in the library and cultural-heritage communities, s/he must support and invest in the professional development, engagement, and advancement of our staff members, ensuring that our personnel have the skills to lead and accommodate changes in the information professions, collections strategies, and the needs and expectations of our users. Respecting tradition and enabling innovation, the incumbent will help ensure the continuing relevance of the Library of Congress to more Americans and the world at large.
The Director works under the general direction and supervision of the Associate Librarian for Researcher & Collections Services (AL-RCS) within the Library Collections & Services Group. The Director has responsibility over seven organizational units: Geography and Map Division; Manuscript Division; Music Division; Prints & Photographs Division; Rare Book and Special Collections Division; and the American Folklife Center, including the Veterans History Project. The Director is also responsible for the overall effectiveness of the Directorate; the effectiveness of his/her communication and cooperation with other members of Library Services, the Library and outside organizations; the quality and extent of his/her participation on the service unit management team; and his/her effective leadership of subordinate managers, supervisors and staff in incorporating the Library’s priorities and values into their programs and activities.

The Director has overall responsibility, as well as delegated authority, for the oversight and administration of broad, emerging, and critical agency programs or operations. S/he is primarily responsible for the direction and management of the Directorate and is charged with developing, building, and curating the digital and physical collections, stewardship and management of the collections, and sharing the collections by providing resources for researchers seeking to use the vast collections of the Library. Moreover, the Director has responsibility for creating and managing metadata according to national standards for archival collections and for cartographic, music, and graphic materials. S/he also has responsibility for researcher focused services, including multiple reading rooms and websites, as well as special collections access guidance, orientation, and instruction.
Working closely with the Center for Learning, Literacy, & Engagement, the Office of Communications, and the Center for Exhibits & Interpretation, the Director leads the Directorate in creating and participating in outreach initiatives, exhibits, and special events to creatively share the Library’s collections.

Duties

  • Represents Researcher & Collections Services (RCS) on a broad variety of Library-wide programs and projects to engage visitors and audiences online and on-site with the Library’s unique, special, and rare collections.
  • Plans, directs, and ensures the security of the collections in collaboration with appropriate management staff in the Divisions and officials throughout the Library.
  • Is responsible for the provision of effective service to Congressional and government offices, to other federal, academic, and public libraries, and to general readers and lifelong learners from the U.S. and abroad.
  • Plans and directs the production of authoritative information such as research guides.
  • Plans and directs activities financed by gift, trust or permanent loan funds associated with the Library's collections. In collaboration with the Development Office and the Librarian’s Office, proposes, plans, and directs activities financed by grants from institutions and foundations, or carries out negotiations with donors or prospective donors.
  • Responsible for budget and personnel planning within the divisions under his/her direction to assure a coordinated program designed to meet the mission and goals of the Special Collections Directorate, RCS, and the Library.
  • Serves as the primary advisor to the Associate Librarian of RCS on various programs and events of the Special Collections Directorate.
  • Works closely with the Director of the Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement, as well as the Center for Exhibits and Interpretation within the Office of the Librarian to create and promote engagement of users with the Library's Special Collections.
  • Counsels senior management and officials at multiple levels of the Library of Congress; senior staff of the Directorate; and private sector clients and vendors on agency matters.
  • Works closely with the Center for Learning, Literacy & Engagement and Office of Communications to plan, support, and implement events and programs to share the Library’s unique collections.
  • Leads the Special Collections Directorate engagement activities, creating and participating in outreach programs, special events, multimedia, and social media.
  • Establishes performance expectations for subordinate managers. Provides informal feedback and formally evaluates direct reports on organizational and individual performance. Provides advice and counsel to staff members and subordinate managers. Effects disciplinary measures. Reviews and approves or disapproves leave requests.
  • Promotes the spirit and practice of diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) programs, ensuring that the commitment to equal opportunity is carried forward in all aspects of Human Resources management. The Director is responsible for furthering the goals of EEO by taking positive steps to ensure the accomplishment of affirmative action objectives and by adhering to nondiscriminatory employment practices in regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap. Specifically, the incumbent initiates non-discriminatory practices and affirmative action for the area under his/her direction in the following:(1) merit promotion of employees and recruitment and hiring of applicants; (2) fair treatment of all employees; (3) encouragement and recognition of employee achievements; (4) career development of employees; and (5) full utilization of their skills.
Qualifications

The competencies below are required for this position, and those marked with a double asterisk (**) are considered the most critical. A candidate's resume MUST SHOW a proven record of accomplishment that clearly demonstrates:
  • Ability to lead and manage a program/area of responsibility**: The successful candidate has acquired and administered human, financial, material, and information resources to accomplish an organization’s mission. Accomplished strategic and operational goals for an agency/organization and in doing so had the following responsibilities: 1) developed program performance objectives/targets that support the organization’s mission and goals; 2) conducted regular reviews and prepared annual assessments of accomplishments and outcomes/results; 3) advised senior level officials; 4) oversaw day-to-day operations directly and through subordinate supervisors; 5) worked with both internal and national external organizations to achieve program goals; 6) evaluated current and proposed programs and operations and recommended actions to initiate, modify, or discontinue projects; 7) developed and integrated policies and processes for your area of responsibility; and 8) planned, acquired, and organized resources and people.
  • Knowledge of the principles, concepts, and techniques of library and archival practices**: The successful candidate has applied professional knowledge of library and information management principles, concepts, and techniques to manage library functions and carry out library programs in a research library setting; using this knowledge to create content, organize material, and provide access to special and digital collections. Experience with the following: 1) setting priorities and policies for rare and special collections management, including archival processing; 2) cataloging or description of digital collection items; 3) evaluation of collection materials to determine strategies to organize and make accessible, including strategies to address large quantities of unprocessed collections; 4) providing leadership for a collection development program; and 5) working closely with library subject specialists in setting reference service priorities and targets.
  • Ability to build coalitions and professional networks**: The successful candidate has identified, built, and maintained relationships and professional networks to gain support and commitment from scholars and other learners; the publishing and creative community; and colleagues in the library and archival field. This includes: 1) participating in and representing the institution at professional association meetings; 2) working collaboratively with other departments, agencies and organizations to further agency goals and objectives; 3) establishing cordial relationships with donors and potential donors to obtain additions to Library collections; and 4) working with the archival and research library community to identify trends and issues related to the collections and services of the Library.
  • Ability to lead people and manage a diverse workforce: The successful candidate has led people to meet an organization’s vision, mission, and strategic goals, including ongoing improvements in customer services. Provided an inclusive workplace that fostered the development of others, facilitated cooperation and teamwork, and supported constructive resolution of differing opinions by using innovative approaches and future-oriented thinking. Performed human resources management functions such as: managed the budget and personnel planning for organizational units under his/her direction; established performance expectations for subordinate supervisors and staff; provided formal and informal performance feedback and evaluated staff; and promoted the goals of equal employment opportunity and ensured the office was free of discriminatory employment practices.
  • Ability to lead and inspire change: The successful candidate has the ability to lead and inspire change in developing and implementing agency values, principles, and direction. This includes the ability to think creatively and recognize innovation; promote ideas with enthusiasm, conviction, and assertiveness; resolve contentious situations; solicit and consider others’ opinions; gain support and commitment from others; motivate and inspire others; demonstrate flexibility; and promote a culture of change and growth.
  • Ability to present information orally through briefings, consultations, and other presentations: The successful candidate has conveyed analysis and information orally through briefings, consultations, and other presentations, in both planned and extemporaneous situations. This included shaping the appropriate amount, form, depth and level of detail, and content of information to the needs of the receiver/audience.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing and review and assess the writing of others: The successful candidate has written clear, cogent, accurate, well-organized, and understandable written products in the area of information or library management, such as: 1) strategic planning and forecasting documents; 2) policies; 3) budget requests; 4) funding proposals; 5) program goals and objectives; 6) project plans; 7) contract statements of work; 8) program performance documentation; 9) annual reports; and, 10) library program information for the Congress. This includes targeting the amount, form, depth and level of detail, and content of the information to the needs of the receiver/audience. Evaluated the written products of others to meet the quality standards of the organization.
  • Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing: The successful candidate has the ability to effectively express ideas and recommendations other than in writing in various settings to peers, staff, managers, supervisors, and external audiences to both provide and seek information. This includes actively listening to or understanding communicated information and answering questions thoughtfully and completely.
Education:
All librarians must meet the requirements for professional education in library science or possess equivalent experience and education.
  1. Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate study in library science in an accredited college or university, in addition to completion of all work required for a bachelor's degree;
or
  1. A total of at least 5 years of a combination of college-level education, training, and experience. To qualify on this basis, the applicant must establish conclusively that the education, training, and experience provided knowledge and understanding of the theories, principles, and techniques of professional librarianship; a knowledge of literature resources; and the knowledge and abilities essential for providing effective library and information services.
You MUST submit a legible copy of your college/university transcripts to your online application. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable at the time of application. Official transcripts will be required if selected. Failure to submit the required legible documentation at the time of application will result in disqualification of your application.
Other: U.S. Citizenship is required. Library employees must be fully vaccinated by Monday, January 3, 2022. New hires must be fully vaccinated by the date of their appointment.
All initial appointments, permanent or indefinite, to the Library of Congress require completion of a one-year probationary period. In addition, all newly appointed Senior Level executives, from outside the Library as well as from within, must serve a one year probationary period in accordance with the Library of Congress Regulations (LCRs) 2017.2-1, Senior Level Executive System.

The Library of Congress is an equal opportunity employer. All who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply.
Compensation: Up to $199,300 per year.
Deadline: To be considered, you must submit your application via USAJOBS by 11:59 PM (ET), December 21, 2021. Vacancy announcement is VAR001747.
How to apply: Candidates are required to apply online at the following link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/621950400

This will include submitting your resume, SF-50 (for current/former federal employees only) and appropriate supporting documentation if claiming Veterans Preference. A cover letter contextualizing your experience is welcome though not mandatory. Please carefully review the Required Documents section and follow all instructions under the "How to apply" section on USAJOBS to ensure you are considered for this position. Failure to complete all mandatory sections of the on-line application form or failure to submit all required documents will disqualify applicants from further consideration.
Note: 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.

For further explanation of the application requirements and/or how to apply, please contact JDG Associates.

Darren DeGioia

JDG Associates, Ltd.

1700 Research Boulevard

Rockville, MD 20850

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darren.degioia@jdgsearch.com



Company Details

Washington, Washington DC, United States
ClientThe Library of Congress (LOC), founded in 1800, is the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation.  It is the country’s first established cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with more than 170 million items on approximately 840 miles of bookshelves.  The collections include more than 38 million books and other print materials, 3.6 million recordi...