This interview is with Regine Kelly, who is currently employed as an adjunct at a private college. Ms. Kelly has been job hunting for six months, in Academic, Public and Special libraries, at the following levels: Reference and Instruction, Supervisory, Senior Librarian, Assistant Library Director or small library Director. Here is how she describes herself:
I am a service-oriented librarian and an experienced teacher of information fluency skills in both the college and public library spheres. I have experience in access, circulation and reference and have managed and scheduled students, civil service para-professionals and librarian assistants. I have project-management experience in exhibitions and events planning. I have managed facilities projects having to do with the physical plant. I am a writer and poet with two college aged sons.
Ms. Kelly is in an urban area of the Northeastern US, and is willing to move.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
I wish to be able to work hard as a librarian—helping patrons with research, reference and teaching information fluency skills. I wish to be encouraged to professionally develop and add to or change duties as needed (with support if necessary.)
I would rather not to be subject to random political agendas brought on by cuts to library budgets.
I would like to work for a skillful and reasonable mentor, supervisor, boss, head librarian or Dean.
Where do you look for open positions? (e.g. ALA Joblist, professional listserv, LinkedIn)
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?
I prepare and adjust when needed.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
When would you like employers to contact you?
√ 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?
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
√ Other: Being able to present an information fluency class.
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Employers have the advantage and need to post in the right places and be honest about the position that is really open. Accurate job descriptions.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Make the hiring process transparent. Offer the applicant a cool drink of water and show her where the ladies room is.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Presentation of self and skills, service oriented attitude, friendliness.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
I am an adjunct at a college very close by where I live
I need a full-time job with benefits
I have public and academic experience and my greatest desire is to be able to work hard as a librarian, teaching information fluency, critical thinking and not be constantly worried that the College Administration is going to seize the library as in a “land grab,” or gut the staff. Librarians teach critical thinking skills and the increasingly larger amount of information available makes critical thinking and finding skills more essential than ever before.
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!