Careers in Federal Libraries How to Find a Federal Job Ms. Helen Q. Sherman 2011 Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) Virtual Conference January 19, 2011 Webinar: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Series: Four-digit code that represents a particular job function
Grade: Level of employment that determines the salary
General Services (GS) Examples:
GS-1410-09 (straight 09)
GS-1410-09/11 (promotion potential)
GS-1412-15 (highest GS level)
Position Classification Standards for Each Series
*1410 – Librarian Series
1411 – Library Technician Series
1412 – Technical Information Specialist Series
1420 – Archivist Series
1421 – Archives Technician Series
1499 – Library & Archives Student Trainee
Other possibilities, depending on individual’s related education and work experience for a series, e.g., 0301, 1720, 1082
Tip: Review the job requirements to determine if you are qualified before applying.
Position Classification Standard: Librarian Series, GS-1410 Tip: Each series has specific guidelines. * Note: Classified refers to determination of qualification standards for a position in an occupational series – NOT to information with controlled access.
Librarian, Supervisory Librarian, Reference Librarian, etc. Tip: Titles may be added for specific functional areas.
Position Description (PD) Tip: The Position Description (PD) summarized in a job announcement is based on factor levels for the position.
Differences in Factor Levels from Entry Level to Experienced Librarian
Factor 1, Knowledge Required by Position
Level 1-6 950 Points:
“ The librarian provides reference services where needs are relatively easy to determine from client interviews or written requests, and the bibliographic source materials are readily accessible…”
Level 1-8 1550 Points
“ The librarian serves as an expert…;”
“… an interagency or federal expert…”
“… a senior staff librarian for a library system…”
Tip: Be aware that each position has specific factor levels.
Differences in Levels for Supervisory Experience
Factor 2, Supervisory Controls
Level 2-3 275 Points:
“ The supervisor defines the librarian's scope of responsibility and the objectives, priorities, and deadlines.”
Level 2-5 650 Points
“ The supervisor and higher-level authorities consider the work as technically authoritative and normally accept the librarian’s recommendations without significant change.”
Tip: Do not submit your resume for all job applications. Review each announcement carefully; prepare your application to highlight your qualifications for the job.
Understanding KSAs as the Foundation of a Position
K nowledge: Organized body of information, usually of factual or procedural nature, which, if applied, makes adequate performance on the job possible.
S kills: Proficient manual, verbal, or mental manipulation of data, people, or things. Observable, quantifiable, measurable .
A bilities: Power to perform an activity at the present time.
Tip: An employer will expect you to have specific knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job.
KSA Essay or Narrative Requirement Eliminated in 2010
Sample Essay Questions of Prior KSA Requirement
“ Knowledge of principles, concepts, and techniques of library science.”
“ Ability to plan and manage a program for a library’s _______ (Reference Services, Document Delivery, Cataloging, etc.)
“ Ability to lead and supervise a diverse workforce.”
“ Ability to communicate effectively in writing.”
“ Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.”
Tip: Although you may not be required to submit well-written essays on these or similar topics, you should be prepared to include specific, relevant, and truthful examples of your knowledge, skills, and abilities in your application and be prepared to discuss them during your interview.
Occupational Questionnaires Included with Applications
Multiple Choice Questions
E.g., ‘I have performed the job of ______________
As a regular part of my job with supervision
As a major part of my job, usually independently and without review by supervisor
To review the work of personnel under my supervision
As a recognized expert in the field, to train other divisions or the federal community
Combination of Questions & Essays
Tip: Answer questions honestly. They may be used as the basis for your interview or queries to your references.
Note Job Description & Specific Duties in Announcement
Note Qualifications and Evaluations
Sample from Announcement: “Specialized experience is experience in information management/sciences; evaluation of technologies to acquire, apply, search, communicate, generate, and utilize information resources; and program/project management and supervisory experience.”
Tip: Use relevant terminology in your resume. It will be reviewed by a personnel specialist or computer.
Guidelines for Including KSAs in Your Application
Highlight relevant accomplishments in a cover letter.
Include your competencies and major accomplishments in your resume.
Develop talking points about your KSAs for the position and be prepared to use them as appropriate when responding to questions during the interview.
Tip: Use the combination of methods to prove that you have the KSAs to do a good job.
Postings in College Bulletins or Listserv Announcements
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:10 PM
To: Military Librarians Division
Subject: [sla-dmil] Position opening: Head of Information Services, Italy
Looking for a change? Here's a great career opportunity, interesting work with excellent benefits in a lovely part of Italy!
The NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) is seeking applicants for the position of Head, Information Services within the Technical Support Division. The post holder manages and provides information services in support of the scientific, technical and administrative functions at NURC. He/She also manages the intellectual property of the Centre, printing and publishing operations, and facilitates the distribution of information/products between NURC and NATO commands and agencies, as well as national distribution centres.
Details at http://www.nurc.nato.int/employment/vacancies.htm
FEDLIB List http://www.loc.gov/flicc/about/listservs.html
FEDLIB: Federal Librarians Discussion List
Moderated mailing list for staff of libraries and information centers in US federal government
Other subscribers welcome to join
Postings include FLICC/FEDLINK* news, meeting announcements, discussion on federal library topics, and job announcements from the federal community
*Federal Library and Information Center Committee/Federal Library and Information Network
Tip: Join FEDLIB for a heads-up on federal job openings posted by members. Do NOT reply to the list; use URL or Point of Contact provided in the message.
WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: Federal Career/Career-Conditional employees, Transfer, Reinstatement Eligibles, 30% Disabled Veterans, Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) and other individuals eligible under special appointment authorities
See more information on USAJOBS.
Career & Career-Conditional http://www.usajobs.gov/ei/careerappointments.asp (PDF Fact Sheet available)
Transfer http://www.usajobs.gov/ei/transfers.asp (PDF Fact Sheet available)
Required official transcript – sometimes as attachment, mailed separately, or requested later
Applicant’s responsibility to submit
Specific instructions on announcement
Tip: Do NOT send attachments unless specified. The announcement will specify if documentation should be submitted with resume or if applicants will be contacted for additional documentation. Additional documents may be required later by Human Resources or the agency.
Security Clearance Check (Process explained & started if necessary. Delays reporting date.)
Submission of proof of current salary
Permanent Change of Station (PCS) paid by new employee (unless advertised otherwise)
Position subject to probationary period (usually 1 year)
Tip: If starting salary is lower than existing salary, you may request consideration of a higher step prior to acceptance. (Not guaranteed. Agency must follow regulations. Any variation requires justification & approval by agency.)
This overview is only meant to provide a starting point for your job search and cannot include all of the details about the recruitment process for a federal position. Personnel systems vary by agency, and some are in the process of changing.
Always read each job announcement carefully and print it for future reference. The information will NOT be available after the closing date.
Call the Point of Contact listed on the job announcement if you have any questions about the application process.
Careers in Federal Libraries: How to Find a Federal Job
Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government.
The views and opinions of the author expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government. This presentation should not be considered official or sanctioned by the author’s employer and shall not be used for advertising or endorsement purposes.