Government / Military

Though not always visible to the public, government libraries are present wherever there are lawmakers. The biggest concentration is in the Washington, D.C. area with the federal government. Federal libraries range in size from small libraries with (for example) one solo librarian to the massive Library of Congress with its many departments, responsibilities, and varied and large staff (LOC job openings).

The government needs information, and information specialists are key contributors, regardless of title.

Presidential libraries are federal libraries, as are military libraries on bases, military academies and intelligence schools. Federal prisons and VA hospitals also have libraries.

State governments also have libraries to support their legislative and gubernatorial staffs. Furthermore, records must be maintained and access provided to the many lawyers, advisors and lobbyists who work in this area.

Prison libraries are yet another form of government library,. They provide a mix of literacy programs, recreational reading, and access to legal resources.

See the following iSchool Career Webcasts for more information about federal government library careers:

A Day in the Life of a Prison Librarian:

Webcast with an Intelligence Analyst:

Webcast with Research Specialists with the Library of Congress:

Organization Position Location Responsibilities Qualifications Salary
Library of Congress:
Audio Transfer Specialist
Culpeper, VA
Create digital preservation and access files; Complete post-processing functions; Act as liaison to patrons and vendors; Troubleshoot technical issues Sound preservation skills; Knowledge of digital audio preservation technologies; Ability to plan audio preservation projects $52,668-68,465
Federal Reserve Bank:
Records Management Analyst
Dallas, TX
Monitor compliance with records management policies & procedures; Act as liaison to internal and external stakeholders; Track performance and report on records function Bachelor's degree in Library Science; 3-5 years in corporate or government records management (equivalent education/experience may be substituted); Certified Records Manager preferred Not stated
Nat'l Technical Information Service:
Business and Industry Specialist
Alexandria, VA
Analyze data management concepts; Manage info system upgrades; Collaborate to define data management concerns; Manage support staff; Develop educational briefings One year of experience with research lifecycle, supporting open access, and managing data; Knowledge of library science research requirements; Able to evaluate and implement information management tools $76,378-99,296
Department of the Navy:
Monterey, CA
Administer acquisition and licensing of library resources and services; Negotiate vendor contracts; Communicate license terms to library staff and patrons One year of graduate education in library science AND one year experience in library acquisitions and copyright OR Two years graduate education in library science $57,302-90,129
Mule Creek State Prison:
Ione, CA
Maintain and evaluate legal, other library materials; Train and supervise inmate workers; Review law library requests; Maintain order; Assist with reference and reading materials; Maintain collections One year of graduate education in library science; Obtain list eligibility by passing state exam specific to this position $48,048-66,336
Texas State Library:
Electronic Resources Coordinator
Austin, TX
Coordinate and evaluate electronic information programs; Administer eResource contracts to K-12 public school libraries; Assist with information services policy and development MLIS; Two years' experience acquiring, managing, and searching electronic resources in a library $45,000-50,000

Further Reading

The 3rd and newest edition of the Handbook of Federal Librarianship is now available on the Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) web site.  The handbook is an ongoing project of FEDLINK's Education Working Group whose members are primarily federal librarians and others who hold positions in federal libraries and information centers.  More than 40 federal librarians volunteered and contributed to the latest edition. Contents include information on federal libraries, reference/referral, resources/collections, management, copyright, and much more.

Advice from librarians working in the field of federal librarianship:

Careers in Federal Libraries:

An interview with a prison librarian:

How to create a Federal-style resume:

The Careers in Federal Libraries Google group!forum/careers-in-federal-libraries promotes Federal jobs for information professionals, and offers many current job listings.

The Careers in Federal Libraries Linkedin group presents useful and current information, and it provides a way to interact with working government information professionals and librarians: