Every little bit of experience that you can get will add up and help you.

ConDev5378A Hunting Dog, 1945, Washington County, NCThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in academic libraries at the following levels: Entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I did an internship as an undergrad at my undergrad institution to make sure that I actually wanted to spend the money on grad school. That internship I worked on reference, digitization/preservation, collection development, and services assessment. I also did editing for a professional journal. My second internship was at a small private college where I worked on collection development (specifically weeding and replenishing the business reference collection), reference, and information literacy/tutorial creation. Getting a lot of different experiences and meeting a lot of people can really help when you go to look for jobs as you’ll have at least a little bit of experience with all of the different hats librarians wear.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Is full time; is in reference, information literacy, acquisitions or technical services; is in my home area.

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs: LIS-JOBS-LIST and IST-JOBS-LIST.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

My routine is to go over the job ad and highlight specific things that they are looking for. Then, because I’ve written so many of them, I go over previous cover letters that secured phone or in-person interviews to see what I can re-use that showcases how I fit those qualifications. If there’s nothing already there, I develop it so that it is. I then go over and update my resume if necessary. I proofread everything twice and have a friend in the field also go over it for suggestions and proofing.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Other: Explanation of how things (budget, organization, project management, etc.) work in that particular place.

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Considering that at my current place of employment had one part time position open and received 40+ applications (two from people who held PhDs), and another place had a full time position that paid less than $25,000 per year and they received 120+ applications, I don’t think they have to try too hard. People in my area are absolutely desperate for librarian work.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Be honest and communicate with applicants. If a position opens, be honest about the time frame that it will take to complete the hiring process. And once it is complete, at least let those who didn’t make the cut know in a timely fashion.

For those they do interview and or eventually hire, it would be wise to try to consolidate everything that they need from the applicant into one day. Stretching the process out over several days, several weeks apart can be very stressful for applicants.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking and excellent performance. I got my first internship because my academic advisor knew a library director personally and vouched for my hard work. That director hired me for my first professional position, part time, when I finally completed library school. He in turn gave a great recommendation to another director, who also hired me part time. They both gave fantastic recommendations to a third director, who just hired me for my first full time position. I did my part by always doing the best job I could, but it was my supervisors’ recommendations that gave me the interviews that actually led to jobs.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

I just want to pass on this small piece of advice to job seekers. Every little bit of experience that you can get will add up and help you. I have been working part time at two places for almost two years, but it was finally enough be able to secure a full time position. Just keep trying and good luck!

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Suburban area

Fill in all of the easy information first

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F13This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in public and school libraries at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I volunteered in a school library for a year before graduate school. I student taught in two locations. I did practicum work in various libraries. I have substitute taught in many different schools and grade levels.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Northeastern US and is willing to move within [a] 100 mile radius.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Consistent Schedule, working with students (k-12), in a library.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, INALJ, BOCES website, school websites, newspaper.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Fill in all of the easy information first. Review and think about any additional questions. Take a break. Fill in the remainder of the application. I spend 30 minutes to a few hours.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Advertise more widely for school library positions.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Advertise available jobs for school library positions, and when calling to offer an interview tell candidates what grade levels they are interviewing for.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

If I knew, I’d have a job…

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

How many interviews have you had for a library position and for how many jobs? 11 interviews for 4 positions.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under City/town, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US

True to who librarians should be and not what corporate America is trying to push us into becoming.

Keene High School, (Keene Academy), Keene, New Hampshire

 

This anonymous interview is with a  library worker who has been a member of a hiring or search committee.

 

This person works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a city/town in the Northeastern US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ No

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Archives
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Common sense. To work in any library you must have a feel for your work, that intangible feeling for the job as a librarian.
True to who librarians should be and not what corporate America is trying to push us into becoming.
Yes the job should evolve, but as with teachers, the basics never get old or outdated.
Learning how to garner information from secondary sources and books, is a skill. I thank Mark Schwartz formerly of West Thomson for all his seminars and training…

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Everything! too many to name.

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

volunteer AND or do an internship in all libraries. And if you can, try both in corporate and public venues.

Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?

Try to like what you do! if not Don’t do it.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, City/town, Northeastern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Library schools need to update the curriculum for children’s and YA librarians

Blumengart School Children 1963

 

This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. 

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in a suburban area in the Midwestern US

 

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

3

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships
√ Other:  child development; business writing; public speaking; evaluation techniques, including community needs assessments;

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Evaluation, including the whys and hows of community needs assessments; comfort in outreach to various racial and ethnic groups; public speaking; how to be an effective advocate with elected officials and policy makers, not just the general public who Loves us. (the professional needs more political hacks and I mean this in the best sense of the term)

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

How to adapt classroom learning to the policies and procedures of the hiring organization..best practices evolved in the field and evaluated locally or nationally, i.e. ALSC/PLA’s Every Child Ready to Read do not necessarily conform to some outmoded class work.

 

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Other presentation
√ Other publication
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

St. Catherine’s University
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Illinois, Champagne Urbana
San Jose State

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Get involved in your state ALA chapter…great networking opportunities; follow what’s going on in ALA divisions in your area of interest; attend conferences if possible. Initiate a practicum or internship in your area of interest. Sumit an article for publicaton that’s related to your practicum.

Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?

Library schools need to update the curriculum for children’s and YA librarians. Less focus on programming and more intensive work on project management, budget, grant writing, etc…all the skills a manager needs to be successful.

Do you hire librarians?  Tell us your answer to, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Make interviews more casual.

Picnic lunch on a hunting party, Queensland, ca. 1912This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic, public, and special libraries at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I have had one internship at a university library.
I volunteer at a local Church library.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Location, type of environment, pay.

Where do you look for open positions?

City websites (for public libraries), ALA Joblist, TLN Job board, SLA Michigan Chapter Job Listing, MLA Jobline & Careers.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Polish Resume, Compose Cover Letter, Research Company. Usually I spend about an hour or two over the course of a couple days (depending on how much time I have).

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be very clear in their posting about what is expected and required of a candidate.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Let applicants know if they got the position in a timely manner, give feedback on interview. Make interviews more casual.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Saying all the right things in an interview!

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Suburban area

Make applying for the job easier by accepting resumes through email

Czar Ferdinand hunting (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in academic, public, and special libraries at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Interned at an Academic Library, worked as a Student Supervisor during grad school at another academic library, volunteered as an instructor at a public library, currently volunteering at a medical library.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Location, organization’s ideas and reputation, opportunity for growth in the position.

Where do you look for open positions?

Indeed, professional listserv, ALA, SLA.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Read the job description, write the cover letter, and make the reference list. I usually spend no more than an hour on it.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be flexible.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Make applying for the job easier by accepting resumes through email instead of having to create an account and try to remember all the different passwords for each job you’re applying for.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I don’t know. If I did, I’d probably have a full-time by now :P

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

Digital Collections and Grant Writing are the biggest.

This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Public services librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Library Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Digital Collections and Grant Writing are the biggest.

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Budgeting and outreach.

 

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Conference presentation
√ Professional organization involvement

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

URI
Simmons

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

No

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Do as much hands on work as you can. Put the theory into practice in whatever way you can find-internships, volunteering, part-time work.

Do you hire librarians?  Tell us your answer to, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School