here in Ghana there is only one library school

School Children in Keene New Hampshire2This 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:

all rounders as all of us have to do a range of tasks/duties

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a suburban area in Ghana.

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)

2

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

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

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 deal with people – colleagues and users

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

√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement

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

here in Ghana there is only one library school

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

not sure about some of the Nigerian library schools

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

try to get some practical experience

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 0-10 staff members, Academic, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Personality and competence

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F12-2This 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 libraries at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory, department head, senior librarian.

This job hunter is in a city/town, in Midwestern US and is willing to move to specific locations/regions.

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

In my area of interest; location; “fit” of the institution

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, listservs, state association website

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?

Depends on my interest in the job. If I am very interested in the position, I will spend a good deal of time writing the cover letter/supplementary materials, having it read for content and grammar by 1-2 people, and revising as needed. Probably ~5 hours total. If I am only moderately interested, but feel the position is still worth pursuing to a minor degree, 1-2 hours, tops.

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?

√ Email

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 clear on expectations of the position in the description and requirements

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

Timely feedback/responses…don’t leave people hanging

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Personality and competence; though for getting an interview, knowing someone at the institution is a huge leg-up.

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, Midwestern US

Personally I think there is a lack of training in instruction, including theory and instructional design.

Sydney Primary Schools (N.S.W Rep. Team), 1922 who beat Q'ld [Queensland] Reps. 2 Matches to 1This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian. When asked what role they have served in terms of hiring, they responded that they have “sat in on interviews and given feedback.”

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural 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)

3

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

√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Reference
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

Personally I think there is a lack of training in instruction, including theory and instructional design.

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 of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum

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

Do as much as you can and find the ways to fill in gaps while in grad school and after graduation.

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 Academic, 10-50 staff members, Northeastern US, Rural area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Experience does not guarantee performance or determine potential.

Hunting Party Near The Writing-On-Stone Royal Northwest Mounted Police Detachment Galt Museum and Archives on the Flickr CommonsThis 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 less than six months. This person is looking in academic, library vendors/service providers and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

1.5 years as a research assistant to the department chair, 1 academic year as a practicum student in an academic library, 1 academic year as a paid virtual reference librarian for the university where I received my MLS

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Northeastern and is willing to move anywhere with some limitations

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

Position description, ocation/school, and salary.

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, listserv, Indeed.com, college websites

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?

Revise resume/CV, revise cover letter or create new one based on the position, gather references, update e-portfolio and LinkedIn (if necessary), review materials, submit application.

Anywhere from 1-4 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 acknowledge my application
√ 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?

√ 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

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

Have an open mind to those newer to the profession. Experience does not guarantee performance or determine potential.

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

Be open and communicate with applicants.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Having a connection

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!

Leave a comment

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

Work/Life Balance

HUNTING TRIPThis 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 six months to a year This person is looking in public and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Internships and volunteering in reference and outreach services in public libraries.

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?

Career Growth, Ability to use degree, Work/Life Balance

Where do you look for open positions?

Indeed, INALJ, NJLA

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?

I customize my resume and cover letter to highlight my skills relevant to the position. I also research the library/organization/company beforehand and add any other relevant info from my background. I spend about 45 minutes to an hour.

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?

They can scout out profiles on linkedin, ask within professional organizations for referrals, and advertise through as many sites as possible.

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

Get back to applicants quickly, no matter what the news.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Answering questions concisely during the interview.

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

Not at this time.

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!

Leave a comment

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

striking up a good rapport.

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 school libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Southern US and is not willing to move.

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

Support & recognition
Time = Money
Results & satisfaction

Where do you look for open positions?

district websites, listservs, face to face networking

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

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

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

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?

Cast a wide net

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Making a good first impression & striking up a good rapport.

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!

Leave a comment

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

‘dream jobs’ – exciting places, good vibe from the website, language about potential projects and responsibilities that excite me

Goose hunting in Klamath County, Oregon, OSU Special Collections via Flickr CommonsThis 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 public libraries at the following levels: entry leve. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Internship during graduate school in the Adult Services Department of the public library where I currently work as a substitute librarian.

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

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

Position responsibilities (reference, readers’ advisory, collection development)
‘Feel’ of the institution
Salary compared to local cost of living

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, Government Jobs, state and regional lists

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?

It depends on the job, and how excited I am about it – if it’s something that fits my minimum requirements (full-time, public library, enough to live on) but it doesn’t really speak to me, then I’ll spend perhaps one to two hours. For ‘dream jobs’ – exciting places, good vibe from the website, language about potential projects and responsibilities that excite me – I may spend eight to ten hours over the course of several days making sure that my cover letter is perfectly tailored, extra questions are thoroughly answered, etc.

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 acknowledge my application
√ 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

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: Time to speak informally with hiring panel, either before or after – less of an assembly line feel

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

Be specific about expectations, requirements versus preferences, if education substitutes for experience, etc. – don’t refer to “position meets requirements of State Classified Level IV-A…” and then expect the candidate to track down what that means, exactly. The more detail an ad gives about the specific responsibilities, projects, and potential for growth in a position, the better.

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

Give a clear timeline whenever possible – knowing the interviews are going to take so long, and then reference calls will be made, and then an offer, and then other candidates notified by such and such date is much better than just waiting with no contact for weeks after.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Experience is key to getting the interview – the best cover letter detailing all of a candidate’s non-library experience and how that relates to librarianship doesn’t seem to hold up to the worst cover letter of someone with professional experience. Once you’ve got the interview, being able to demonstrate how that experience fits the position being considered is key.

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

Perhaps a question about how well we feel our MLIS program prepared us for the job market – in my case, not well at all! The support for finding volunteer positions/internships was minimal, and the faculty were tremendously out-of-touch about the reality of the professional outlook. The required classes all seemed to reiterate the same theories ad nauseum, and there was no institutional support for taking classes from other departments such as business, marketing, even museum studies. I love the field, and desperately want to be in it full time, but my degree felt like a waste of time and money.

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!

Leave a comment

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