Library of Congress Reviews

Updated April 14, 2015
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  1. Graduate Intern at the Congressional Research Service - Domestic Social Policy Division

    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern

    I worked at Library of Congress as an intern

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Very smart, humble people. Great mentorship. Staff treats interns like peers.

    Cons

    Sometimes not enough work for interns. Lots of independent work, which may be frustrating if you're a social person.

  2. OK Place to Work, But Needs Improvement Sooner Rather than Later

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Library of Congress

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Generally, employees have a fair amount of autonomy, and the pay and benefits are not bad for many positions. Employees seem to be friendly, although many are fairly introverted. The location is, I think, pretty good, given that it is right in the middle of Capitol Hill, and the buildings are some of the most beautiful in DC.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, LOC needs a lot of improvement. While employees have a fair amount of autonomy, this appears to often be a result of lack of management and oversight rather than an effort to encourage creativity. Also, many employees abuse their autonomy by not doing much.
    Management often looks away from employees' bad behavior, so some employees do very little work while some do a lot of work with no apparent discernment among management with regard to pay or advancement based on merit. People seem to often move up pay-wise and position-wise based on time in service. Also, upper management appears to change quite a lot for reasons that are often unclear.
    Personally, I think my pay and benefits are pretty good, but I have heard many complaints about pay from other employees. The impression I get is that the majority of LOC employees are between GS-9 and GS-12, but I don't really know for sure, and I don't know how that compares to other federal agencies.
    LOC provides little, if any, professional development. An employee organization does provide $300 in support for education for certain classes, but I have not heard of a single person receiving financial support to take professional development or graduate school courses.
    Finally, LOC seems to be unwilling to make significant changes to procedures, policies, etc.

  3. Clerical Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Library of Congress

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great Location, Great People, Opportunity for growth

    Cons

    Horrible Commute if you do not live in the City

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  5. Great experience!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Graduate Student Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Graduate Student Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Library of Congress as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, substantive tasks (nothing administrative), personable and friendly staff, extremely positive networking environment; cover travel costs

    Cons

    The summer is off-time for Congress is not the best choice for an internship here; no compensation

  6. Great Place and People To Work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Library of Congress

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Care for employees, friendly atmosphere. Great location.

    Cons

    Traffic and parking. Busy with tourists.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more training.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Old institution, not in touch with the present

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Reference Specialist
    Current Employee - Reference Specialist

    I have been working at Library of Congress full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    access to a multitude of books, special collections, & rare items; availability of good lectures and concerts; good work/life balance; good medical benefits, ample sick/vacation time

    Cons

    (applies to my area, can't speak for other divisions) mission and priorities are unclear- are we a library, an archive, or an entertainment venue? poor leadership and management; poor accountability; not enough staff turnover, stagnation of ideas and work create an non-evolving culture; technology to do work lags far behind educational institutions; continuing education outside the library not encouraged; low morale

  8. Helpful (2)

    No direction from managment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Information Technology Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Information Technology Specialist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Library of Congress

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Unless you really screw up, you can't be fired. Health benefits are pretty good.

    Cons

    Management doesn't lead. Every manager involved with IT is just "acting" (i.e. non permanent appointment), and thus are unwilling to change anything.
    Our small group has tried to adjust to the cut/leaving of 22 people in one year, and improve our software used to archive and preserve digital objects. But each time we submit a proposal to change and improve our software we are simply told "no" with no explanation as to why.
    Rules that make no sense, but must be followed to the letter. Managers enforced these rules instead of questioning them

    Advice to Management

    DO SOMETHING!!!! Make some choices, act like the managers you are. Let us workers actually change processes and procedures so that the Library of Congress remains *the* place for everything American! Stop following rules that make no sense, and instead empower employees to fix the broken system.

  9. Helpful (1)

    Wonderful Learning Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Library of Congress full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    The Library was a great place to work. Great people, great supervisors, and someone always will to help. Work/Life balance is VERY important and upper management is always looking for ways to improve. There's also a lot of mobility within the organization - you can request to have a detail in another part of the library.

    Cons

    Depending on your role, the work can be a bit isolating but other than that, I can't really think of anything else.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Excellent growing experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Program Support Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Program Support Assistant in Washington, DC

    I worked at Library of Congress as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    This opportunity really helped to get an understanding of what is it like to work at a federal agency. I'm really glad I had the chance to work and also learn about the Digital Preservation programs, and the importance these programs have on the preservation of our past and present digital date.

    Cons

    I wish I could have stayed longer and was offered a permanent position.

  11. Not everyone is a librarian

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Liaison Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Liaison Specialist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Library of Congress full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Stable, except for when there are budget debates in Congress.

    Cons

    Archaic. The mean age of the library employee is somewhere around 58 years old. Poor management and leadership. Lots of retirement in place. Some people work really hard where others are hardly working. The organization needs to be overhauled but no one wants to go through the effort. Salaries are arbitrary and rest largely with your manager and not your actual work load.

    Advice to Management

    No one really reviews staff position descriptions every year to make sure they are accurate. Promotions shouldn't be given to the longest standing person for surviving the longest. People who work hard should be acknowledged and managers shouldn't be so lazy about submitting paperwork.

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