it would be nice to know what happened to the last person

Fall costumes seen at United Hunts Meet (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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 More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, at the following levels: Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager, Director/Dean. 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?

Adequate Salary & Benefits
interesting work
mutual respect

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist
Higher Ed Jobs
Chronicle of Higher Ed

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?

15-30 minutes – choosing which of 3 CVs, an tailoring cover letter.

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?

√ 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?

openness and communication – also, it would be nice to know what happened to the last person (retired? promoted? moved on? won lottery?), but that is something you usually find out during your on-campus visit.

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

simple communication and acknowledgment. I hate when I find out that some place I’ve interviewed has hired someone by seeing the new name on their library staff web page, rather than being contacted or e-mailed to inform the unsuccessful finalists.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I wish I knew

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

I appreciate this site and INALJ. thank you.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

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 Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

At this point, I’m leaning towards blood sacrifice

Mark Hall is a former middle-and-high school teacher who entered librarianship about 7 years ago. He just finished his MLIS through University of North Texas, and works as a “Library Service Specialist” with a Houston-area public library system.He has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months, in academic and public libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, and Branch Manager. Mr. Hall is in an urban area, in the Southern US, and was willing to move anywhere

but then I got married to someone with a tie to the area

Mr. Hall reviews books as The Library Ogre .

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

Right now
1) Close by. Personal reasons but I can’t leave the city right now.
2) Work seems matched to my skills and experience.
3) A salary I can live on.

Where do you look for open positions?

TLA Joblist, websites of local employers

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?

Somewhat depends on my confidence of the job. I will tailor my resume and draft a cover letter (if required), plus work through their application, double-checking that I meet the requirements.

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

√ Other: Only insofar as experience requirements go

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)?

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

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

Be clear. If you’ve got standard salary ranges, make those easily accessible (a link in the post would be great). Be clear about your needs and requirements, and your preferences.

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

Communicate. Tell applicants what’s up so they can prepare or cross you off their list of people they’re waiting to hear from.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

At this point, I’m leaning towards blood sacrifice.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

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 Academic, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Public, Southern US, Urban area

Don’t get locked into a self-defeatist rut while searching for your first job

aaron dobbs
Aaron W Dobbs is the Scholarly Communications, eResource Development, & Web Librarian at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Northeastern US. In addition to librarianating, he was elected to two consecutive years as University Curriculum Committee Chair, facilitating development and approval processes supporting the Shippensburg University curriculum. He has served on or led 11 hiring committees over 20 years in academic libraries and has presented on leveraging prior experiences when launching a library career. He hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Instruction and Reference Librarians (with an extra specialty or two). Everyone at MPOW is Instruction and Reference first, plus extra responsibilities as library needs change.

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?

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Programming (Events)
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√Field Work/Internships
√Instruction
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: The remaining category choices are also good, if one can fit them in somehow

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

For straight through school (UG straight to MLIS) grads, there seems to be some lack of perspective. Perspective meaning experience working a full-time, 35+ hour per week job. To anyone anywhere I would say work a job doing anything manual labor or customer service oriented. Work a crappy job and learn just how crappy it can be – and learn how to succeed on that job. It will suck, but that experience will help when you go for a library job.

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 the applicant has the skill, and the drive to improve at it, 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)?

Customer service, treating people well, professional demeanor (not worried about looks so much, but hygiene and respectful/respectable public persona count for a lot). We will be happy to sharpen people skills, but the applicant also needs to bring some basic humanity to the position.

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

√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Other publication
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Other: library experience and teaching experience (for academics) is a major bonus

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

It’s not so much the school as what the student can demonstrate understanding about and/or experience with through coursework and related experience. There are LIS school rankings available (take them with a grain of salt; “top 10″ is more indicative than “number 5″ for example). Ditto on coursework delivery mode (f2f vs online); it’s more about the understanding than the delivery mode. The student who is wildly successful at any library school will likely be wildly successful on the job, too.

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

I’ve met a billionty graduates from most (if not all) the LIS schools. Those from the “top 10″ or upper half have generally been impressive, those from the middle and lower end of the pack have generally been quite good, too. There are exceptions in both directions – duds from top 10 schools and stars from the bottom of the pack. I believe it depends more the individual than the school.

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

Take time to relax and socialize with your peers. Use the local public and your academic library. Join the student ALA chapter and the state library association. Go to the local conferences and the local extracurricular educational trips. Apply for the ALA Student to Staff program which gets you to an ALA Annual in exchange for 10-20 hours of conference-related work. Apply for travel grants from vendors. Work in a library somehow, if you can – internships, practicums, volunteering, job shadowing. Keep track of your class projects and see if they can become something publishable. Anything helps.

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

“Librarian” jobs are increasingly hard to find. It’s easier if you can relocate (often to very “out of the way” places or to large urban areas) a couple times. “Librarian” skills are not limited to working in actual libraries – the skill sets are compatible with all sorts of information-industry jobs (which often pay more than library jobs). Don’t get locked into a self-defeatist rut while searching for your first job (I did this and it was really all from my perception of failure from not getting interviews nor offers – it certainly did not help me) the library job market is brutal – more brutal than it was in the mid-1990s which was bad enough.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses to this survey, or specific analysis of the responses discussing online school, the amount of coursework students should take, and preferences/reluctance for candidates from certain schools.

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

Practice listening – It’s the most important skill you will need to work on a team

Alstead School House and Students, Alstead, New Hampshire

 

This anonymous interview is with a public 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:

adult services librarians, library clerks (who sometimes have their masters degrees).

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a suburban area in the Western 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?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

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

Interpersonal skills, knowledge of government agencies and budget planning, booktalking.

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)?

ILS management/use, Reference

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

√ Library work experience
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

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

UCLA

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

No – I’ve had both good and bad from the other major library school in California.

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

Work or volunteer while you are in library school. Try to find a working mentor or manager to work alongside. Practice listening – It’s the most important skill you will need to work on a team to help the public and respond to your community.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under 100-200 staff members, Public, Suburban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Being liked

HUNTING TRIPThis 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 more than 18 months. This person is looking in academic and special libraries, archives, library vendors/service providers, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Worked in a special library for 6 years, Interned at library school’s cataloging department, graduate research assistantship, graduate assistantship to the Executive Dean

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is willing to move to a connecting state.

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

Location, Upward Mobility, Ability to Use my Training

Where do you look for open positions?

IU SLIS listserv, LinkedIn, INALJ, WebJunction, Chronicle of Higher Ed, University job banks

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?

Usually, 2-3 hours for each application. I read the job description, begin a cover letter with the reasons I would be the best fit for the position, reread the description and list my demonstrable skills with their requirements and desires. Adjust the CV if needed. Proofread and check for formatting errors.

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
√ Other: If there is a significant delay in the hiring process.

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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Request recommendations, communicate with prospective employees before meeting with them

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

Make it faster, update the candidates

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being the person they want to work with… Really, I think it all boils down to personalities and being liked.

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, Midwestern US

online listings that are so aggregated in RSS feeds that I’m not even sure where they’re from anymore.

hunting in the cascadesThis 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 and archives, at the following levels: supervisory and department head.

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

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

Location, responsibility (ie. is it a supervisory position– I’m looking for one that is), creativity and innovation within the library.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, SAA, and oodles of other online listings that are so aggregated in RSS feeds that I’m not even sure where they’re from anymore.

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?

At this point, I have a strong standard cover letter so I’m not spending a ton of time on the application. Maybe a couple of hours so that I can make sure I’m tailoring my letter to the institution and position responsibilities.

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

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

I think that HR folks should do a better job of networking in the field and essentially head hunting. I also think that being more frank about benefits, salary, and potential for advancement would encourage good candidates.

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

Definitely better communication. *Please* tell me that you received my application. And, if I don’t make it to/past a certain stage (phone interview, on campus visit, etc.) please tell me. True (and terrible story), I recently had a great on campus interview and the hiring manager wanted to check my references. I was thrilled, if a little nervous because I hadn’t told my current supervisor that I was looking. So, I had that hard conversation and gave my supervisor’s information to the hiring manager— and then I never heard another word. Obviously I didn’t get the position, but it would have killed them to send me a form letter or email confirming that and thanking me for my involvement in the process? Really, once you’re a finalist, that just seems decent.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking and knowing people in your field.

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

Budgeting, general management

School Children in Keene New Hampshire

 

This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been member of a hiring or search committee.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Southern 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?

√ Vocabulary Design
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships

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

- Project Management
– Budgeting, general management

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
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement

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

University of Michigan
University of Illinois

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

San Jose State

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

Get 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

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Southern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School