Remember that a rejection letter/email is not a personal rejection.

School girls in AlgeriaThis 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:

Reference/Information Literacy Librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a suburban 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?

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ 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?

I’ve had several applicants who were seriously lacking in soft skills.

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

√ Other: I like to see that they’ve had some experience in a library, but I don’t care how they got the skill.

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

Local practices

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

Drexel University; University of Pittsburgh

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

Make sure you get some Library experience through an internship/externship or volunteer!! Real experience will round out your educational experience and make you a more viable candidate.

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

This is some advice for students or other job searchers:

Remember that a rejection letter/email is not a personal rejection. The Library that you applied to probably had a good number of candidates and you just didn’t make the cut. The person sending the letter doesn’t have enough time to send each person a detailed letter explaining why that person isn’t being interviewed.

Sending a bitter letter back to the contact person demanding to know why you weren’t interviewed won’t help you get this job. (They already sent you a letter telling you they hired someone else.) It WILL, however, result in your name being filed away in the “we never want to interview this crazy person” column in the contact person’s memory.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom 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, Northeastern US, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Get rid of stupid trick questions

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 less than six months. This person is looking in academic, archives, library vendors/service providers, public, school, and special libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience.

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

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

Uncivil work environment
Not assigned challenging work
Administration not supportive of advancement

Where do you look for open positions?

Indeed.com

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?

30 minutes-2 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?

√ Other: all are good ways

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
√ Being able to present

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

Look at experience
Desire to keep learning while on the job
Customer service/people-oriented personalities are a must

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

Get rid of stupid trick questions like:
What is your greatest weakness or strengths?

Focus more on past experiences and allow the interviewee to explain in the best details certain projects he or she was involved in and enjoyed.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Patience, determination to keep applying. Networking. Telling as many people possible that you are looking for job and the finer details you look for.

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

no

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, Midwestern US, Urban area

I’m not saying go in for an interview in jeans with a bad attitude

President Roosevelt is now hunting in the Louisiana canebrakes. (LOC)This 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 less than six months. This person is looking in academic libraries at the following levels: branch manager.

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

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

Salary
An interesting work place
A prestigious place to work

Where do you look for open positions?

Indeed, Regional job listservs, SLA, ALA, Dice, Hound,

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?

Read qualifications/requirements for a job, tailor resume and cover letter to a particular job using some of the language in the qualifications, send. I spend between 15 mins for a job I’m not really that interested in to 3-4 hours for a job I’m really interested in.

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

√ Yes
√ No
√ Other:

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Have a detailed job description, don’t throw in a lot of preferred but not mandatory requirements, not throw in job requirements in the interview that have nothing to do with your career

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

Not have a application process that takes forever and asks you to basically replicate your entire resume one fact at a time. That is SO annoying. If you’re not going to look at one of them, make it clear which one you should spend more time on.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Just keep applying. If you think, “this place will never hire me,” so you don’t apply, they won’t. Sometimes it’s just the right place at the right time. That is the only thing that really matters. You could be the best candidate, the best dressed, the most professional, but if your interviewer is in a bad mood or doesn’t like your sense of humor, none of that matters. I mean, you still have to try your best, I’m not saying go in for an interview in jeans with a bad attitude, but I have worked in enough places in my life to understand that sometimes total idiots get hired and there is never a good reason.

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

Get a job in the library while in school and keep the job

School children learning to dance, Longreach, Queensland, ca. 1928This 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:

Instruction, reference, cataloging, archives.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern US.

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

√ Other: For the most part, yes. But I believe most of what you need comes from experience.

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?

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ 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?

Communication skills, presentation skills, getting along well with others, troubleshooting, working with the public.

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)?

Probably supervisory skills, budgeting (unless I am hiring for a higher level position). Learning the culture of the institution.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Professional organization involvement

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

I get a bit concerned when all I see are short (1-4) month “internships” and no real library work experience. Get a job in the library while in school and keep the job. Attend staff development, library colloquia, etc.sessions. Learn how to network.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom 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, Midwestern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

My job hunt hasn’t been painful, so I found that question loaded.

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 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 archives at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory.

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

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

Good use of the skills I already have
Opportunity to learn/advance/expand on those
Institution whose mission I support

Where do you look for open positions?

Archivists Listserv
ArchivesGig
Libjobs

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?

-Read the job description really carefully
-make sure that my resume is up to date, and edit it to highlight what’s being sought in the job description
-Write draft cover letter that covers each of the requirements in the description, and highlights anything especially appropriate that isn’t obvious from the resume
-Set the cover letter aside for 24 hours or so, then revisit it to tweak and edit
-check with my recommenders that I can use their contact info if required in job description
-Reread cover letter and resume a couple more times
-Send letter, resume, and any other supporting docs required

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

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?

Describe the position as specifically as possible: duties, skills needed, expectations, staffing (other team members, levels of supervisors involved), location of work, salary.

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

Acknowledge that an application has been received.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being the no-brainer match for the position; doing your homework about the organization, its mission, staff, history, etc.; behaving professionally at all levels of the process: responding to notices, interviews, follow up.

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

My job hunt hasn’t been painful, so I found that question loaded.

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, Urban area

it would not have taken me 3 years to get a PART-TIME job

Hunting party, probably Christchurch district, [ca 1915]This 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 public and special libraries, at the following levels: senior librarian.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Southern US and is willing to move anywhere within a certain area –

I limited my applications to that area.

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

Security, challenges and pay.

Where do you look for open positions?

Local papers, ALA Joblist, LinkedIn, County/State/City joblists, any online media I could think of, friends and family.

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

√ Other: I want to see it but am resigned to having to find it on my own, if I can.

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

It depends on what they want, minimally two to three hours, sometimes depending on the complexity of their requirements up to eight or ten.

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

√ Other: I hope not!

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?

√ 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?

Be honest in their descriptions. I won’t apply for a job for which I am unqualified, but when I apply for a job where I exceed all the desired qualities, I find it extremely frustrating to hear nothing and then find out someone got the job who on the face of the description is far less qualified than I am.

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

Just keep the applicants informed. I can understand not wanting to send personal emails or make personal phone calls, but there must be some automated packages out there. In a few instances I have gotten emails that told me my application was received and I would hear from the employer again only if I were selected for an interview. Some simply said application received. Some say call to find out where the process is – if you put that in – answer your damn phone or respond to the messages left on your phone. I have gotten notices that I did not receive a position as well. I would so love to see some information in that type of email as to why another candidate was chosen but I do understand how dicey that situation can become.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Hah – if I knew that it would not have taken me 3 years to get a PART-TIME job. I do like this job and it pays well, so I don’t have to work full-time, but I would rather be FT.

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, Suburban area

Any that are not accredited

School Reading RoomThis anonymous interview is with a special 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:

research librarians; technical services

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?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior

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

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

any that are not accredited.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom 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 0-10 staff members, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School