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"2020 AFC Internship" Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
2020 AFC Internship
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
2020 AFC Folklife Internship
Open Period:
01/23/2020 - 02/28/2020


GS - 0099 01
USD $7,500 - USD $7,500
Work Schedule:
Full-time - Open.
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
Washington, DC, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Customer Service Center


Hiring Path:
• Open to the public
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
Anyone may apply - By law, employment at most U.S. Government agencies, including the Library of Congress, is limited to U.S. citizens. However, non-citizens may be hired, provided that other legal requirements are met and the Library determines there are no qualified U.S. citizens available for the position.
Security Clearance Required:
Not Required
Appointment Type
Appointment Type Details:
10 week Summer Internship - Starting Dates: June 8, June 22, or July 6, 2020. Internship extends for ten weeks from chosen starting date.
Marketing Statement:
The Library of Congress serves the Congress in fulfilling its duties and preserves and promotes knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people. It is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the world's largest library, with more than 158 million items in its physical collections (including books, manuscripts, prints, photos, film, video, and sound recordings) and over 37 million items online. Located primarily on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the Library is the home of the U.S. Copyright Office, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Law Library of Congress, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

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 currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate school are invited to apply for consideration, as are community scholars or other individuals with experience working in the heritage sector.

Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Not Required


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 project names for 2020 are listed below. For further information on any project, please contact the American Folklife Center: or 202-707-5510.

#01 – AIDS Memorial Quilt records: Assist archives staff with processing the AIDS Memorial Quilt records. The collection includes correspondence, administrative records, printed material, photographs, and audiovisual material that document the creation, marketing, and exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.  Also included are records related directly to persons listed on the quilts, including correspondence, photographs, tributes, epitaphs, news clippings, and artifacts submitted by panel-makers to add context about the lives of the persons in the quilt. The intern may also be asked to assist archivists with a handful of other collections needing rehousing or audio logging.

#02 – Reference and Researcher Support: Assist archives reference staff in providing reference services and developing subject guides (LibGuides) related to AFC’s archival collections. Conduct research using primary and secondary resources for a variety of Library users. Assist with displays, group presentations, and other public engagement initiatives.

#03 – Web Cultures Web Archive collection engagement: Work with AFC staff to design a strategy for 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.

#04– Chicago Ethnic Arts Collection and Story Maps: 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 the collection, identifying and gathering digital assets, developing curatorial narratives, and creating Story Maps. Training on the platform will be provided. Source material will come from the online collection:

Qualifications and Evaluations


Conditions of Employment

  1. Projects require basic knowledge of Microsoft Office programs.

  2. MUST be first time participant in the AFC Folklife Internship Program.

  3. Program participants from previous years not eligible to reapply.

Education Requirements:

Completed application packages will be forwarded to selecting officials in American Folklife Center (AFC) who will interview with promising applicants, based on the application package and desired skills.


1. Familiarity with concepts relevant to preserving and presenting folklife and cultural heritage. Internship is open to non-students and students alike, so there are multiple ways to demonstrate qualification:

- through completion of substantive coursework in fields such as folklore, ethnomusicology, American studies, anthropology, heritage studies, or library and archives management of cultural materials; or

- equivalent experience working in the field with communities on cultural heritage documentation, presentation, and/or preservation

2. MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR FULL TEN WEEK PERIOD at $750 per week. (NO EXCEPTIONS)(Note: The start and ending dates have changed to coincide with the beginning of the pay period cycle.) You may choose to start on June 8, June 22, or July 6, 2020, and the internship will extend for ten weeks from chosen starting date.

3. Appointment is subject to a favorable evaluation of a personnel security/suitability investigation.

4. Resume (either uploaded or created using the Resume Builder).

5. If applicable: latest transcript from the current or most recently attended college or university. We will accept an unofficial copy. Transcripts must be issued by the college or university, and must include your name, the name of the institution, and the courses and course dates. Screenshots, Word or other text documents, and stand-alone course lists are not acceptable. 

6. Cover letter stating professional objectives and relevant professional skills; include language abilities if relevant. The cover letter should clearly identify your top 2 project choices and why you have chosen them.

7. Contact information for two (2) references who can speak to your knowledge, skills, and abilities when it comes to professional aptitude in project-driven work environments.

8. Demonstrate an acceptable level of understanding and ability in the following:

  • Knowledge and experience implementing archives and cultural heritage principles, tools, and technologies.

  • Knowledge and experience multi-format ethnographic collections.

  • Strong organizational skills.

  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively to different audiences.

Benefits and Other Info

Benefits URL:
Review our Benefits
Agency Benefits:

Interns are temporary employees of the Library of Congress and are not eligible for most Federal Employee benefits and privileges. However, they are protected by worker's compensation laws and eligible for the transportation subsidy program for qualified individuals who use the Metro System, Virginia Rail Express, MARC commuter trains, and county and commercial buses and qualified commercial van pools to commute to their jobs at the Library.

Other Information:

The Library of Congress is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants must submit a complete application package that is received by the closing date of this announcement. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis. Applicants with disabilities may be considered under special hiring procedures and must submit an appropriate certificate of eligibility when applying for this position. The date of certification must be within one year of the vacancy closing date. For more information contact the selective placement program coordinator at 202-707-6362 or email The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States and is part of the Legislative Branch of the Federal government. As such, all positions are in the excepted service. Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation. The Library reserves the right to fill a lesser or greater number of vacancies indicated during the life of this vacancy announcement.    

How to Apply

How to Apply:

Please carefully follow all instructions under the How to Apply tab to ensure you are considered for the position. You are required to apply online for this announcement. Mailed or e-mailed documents WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. You must complete the entire application process, including submission of all documents BEFORE this announcement closes. To do so, complete the following steps. 

Step 1: If you do not already have one, create a resume on USAJOBS. Although you must enter your Social Security Number for USAJOBS, this information will not be provided to the Library of Congress.

Step 2: Review the Job Announcement. We recommend you go to the end of the Qualification and Evaluation section of the job announcement to preview the online questions that you will answer in Step 4. You may wish to customize your USAJOBS resume to ensure that it supports your responses to these questions.

Step 3: Click on the "APPLY ONLINE" button to the right of this announcement. Follow USAJOBS' instructions to access your account and submit your resume. You will be redirected to the Hiring Management website to complete the application process. If this is your first time in Hiring Management, you will be asked to answer questions related to your eligibility for Federal employment. You will be able to update this information and save it to our account for future announcements.

Step 4: Once you have completed the eligibility questions, you will be taken directly to the vacancy application questions. Answer all questions honestly and thoroughly.

Step 5: Hiring Management offers three options that will electronically attach your documentation to your online application once you finish answering the questions in the job announcement. (1) You may select a document that you have already uploaded to USAJOBS for a previous announcement. (2) You may electronically upload a document directly from your computer to your application. Be certain to review your complete application for confirmation the document uploaded and click on "Finished" to be returned to USAJOBS.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have multiple documents of the same kind, e.g. 2 undergraduate transcripts from different schools or 2 SF-50s, etc., be sure that they are all in the same file on your computer or in your USAJOBS profile before uploading them. If you try uploading them individually, only the last one sent will be visible in our system. Likewise, if sending them by fax, be sure and include both of them behind the respective fax cover sheet and send them as one fax. If you send them individually with the same cover sheet, the last one sent will overwrite the first one. Finally, if you upload a document, e.g. your undergraduate transcript, do not also fax that same document (or fax another undergraduate transcript), because whichever one you send last will be the only one that is visible in our system. If you have any questions about this information, please contact the person on this announcement BEFORE the closing date.

Step 6: Click on "Submit" after you have completed your application. Once you have submitted your application, you can check your status online through your Hiring Management or MY USAJOBS account. Your complete online application and any required supplemental documentation (e.g., SF-50, etc.) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of the announcement. It is your responsibility to ensure that all documents are received on time and that the materials are readable. Failure to do so will result in your application being excluded from consideration for this announcement. If you are experiencing any technical difficulty with the online process, you MUST CONTACT THE POINT OF CONTACT FOR THIS ANNOUNCEMENT BEFORE THE CLOSING DATE. For all technical issues please contact, no later than 4:30pm EST of the Closing Date. REQUESTS FOR EXTENSIONS WILL NOT BE GRANTED.


Required Documents:

If any documents are missing, your application will be disqualified.

1. REQUIRED - Resume.

2. REQUIRED – Contact information for two (2) references who can speak to your knowledge, skills, and abilities when it comes to professional aptitude in project-driven work environments.

3. OPTIONAL/IF APPLICABLE- Latest transcript from the current or most recently attended university or college. We will accept an unofficial copy. Transcripts must be issued by the college or university, and must include your name, the name of the institution, and the courses and course dates. Screenshots, Word or other text documents, and stand-alone course lists are not acceptable. 

4. REQUIRED - Cover letter stating professional objectives and relevant professional skills; include language abilities if relevant. The cover letter should clearly identify your top 2 project choices and why you have chosen them.

Next Steps:

Please review our evaluation process under "How You Will Be Evaluated." You may check the status of your application for this position at any time by logging onto the USAJOBS "My USAJOBS" tab and clicking on "My Applications". You will receive final notification via e-mail when this vacancy has been filled.