Full time schedule, room for innovation, digital responsibilities.

Greg BemThis past June, Greg Bem returned from nearly a year working on libraries in Cambodia and received his MLIS from the University of Washington iSchool. He is currently the coordinator for the Student Media Center located within North Seattle College’s library, and library volunteer at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, though he is seeking full time employment as a librarian or digital preservationist..He has been looking for a new position for less than six months, in academic, archives, library vendors/service providers, public, school, and special libraries, and Internet library support and systems, at the following levels: Entry level , Requiring at least two years of experience, Branch Manager, Marketer/Communications Officer. When asked about experience with internships/volunteering, Mr. Bem said:

I have interned for four different libraries, and volunteered at over ten organizers doing library-related work.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in Western US, and is willing to move

internationally only.

He can be found on Twitter @bembrarian and keeps record of his conceptual arts projects at gregbem.com

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

Full time schedule, room for innovation, digital responsibilities.

Where do you look for open positions?

Indeed.com, local job boards, and INALJ

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?

I refine my resume first, then write the cover letter. I usually spend 2 hours to prepare for each submission.

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 another role I should apply for within the organization (that would be a better fit).

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: Preparation of the served community/communities.

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

Not be too specific in their application profile, and to be genuinely excited about who they’re trying to hire.

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

Promptness is a big quality in my book.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Having not been too successful recently in getting a library job, I am not entirely sure; however, I think that clear communication and honesty/integrity are qualities applicants need to maintain.

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

I’m really glad you’re doing this!

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, Urban area, Western US

Get experience working or volunteering in what interests you.

Public Schools Athletic League (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been and a member of a hiring or search committee.

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban 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?

√ Cataloging
√ Vocabulary Design
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

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

Get experience working or volunteering in what interests you.

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 200+ staff members, Public, Urban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Doing what we librarians do best

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F12-1This 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 academic, archives, library vendors/service providers, public, school, and special libraries, at the following levels: senior librarian.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is willing to move, preferably in the state in which the job hunter lives now, but moving elsewhere will be considered if the position and other personal factors are right.

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

I’m looking for an interesting, fulfilling job in a public or school library, doing what we librarians do best: connect our patrons with the riches of libraries’ resources; connecting people to their communities; and keeping up with technology as it applies to libraries.

Where do you look for open positions?

publib, Wisconsin online job searches, networking, in-person contacts at libraries, etc.

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 check my resume to ensure that it highlights relevant and pertinent experience for the prospective job; update cover letter as needed; research the library or other employer to prepare for a potential interview, etc. I generally spend two to three hours applying for a position.

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?

They should post job opportunities on library list servs such as publib; advertise at universities with library science programs; advertise on the ALA website; and post positions on state employment websites.

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

Employers should make very clear what the experiential expectations are: i.e., they should have expected qualifications and experience unambiguous on the job descriptions.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I’d love to know.

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

print the job listing, assuming it’s online

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F12-3This 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 special libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

As part of my library school experience, I was required to do a semester-long internship called a Professional Field Experience. I had to fill out a PFE agreement, signed by the professor and site supervisor, indicating what my activities would be and how I would fulfill specific objectives of the library program. I chose to do the internship at a small public library, where I performed weeding & collection development in the 500s (Dewey) and worked on organizing a collection of older books left by the library’s founder.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Northeastern US and is willing to move depending on the area.

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

in no particular order: variety of tasks/duties; health benefits; full-time hours

Where do you look for open positions?

emails from NH and CT library job pages; RSS feeds from ALA Joblist, MA and ME state library job sites, RSS from RI state library job list; NH library listservs

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?

print the job listing, assuming it’s online; modify my resume (and references if requested); send with cover letter or email.

I typically spend 10-15 minutes; right now most of my positions are similar, so my materials don’t require a lot of modification.

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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Other: ability to ask questions that didn’t come up during the interview

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

Be honest and specific about requirements and duties in the job posting.

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

For the interview phase, only select candidates who have a serious chance of getting hired.

Also, for unsuccessful candidates, let them know the position has been filled and — if possible — advice on what they could do to improve hiring chances elsewhere.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Be honest throughout the process. Apply for positions that you are genuinely interested in, and let that enthusiasm show (while still being yourself) during the 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!

Leave a comment

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

Learn how to do the least desirable jobs (ie. instruction and web design)

school children in japanThis anonymous interview is with a special librarian.

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Western 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)

5

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

√ Cataloging
√ Grant Writing
√ Web Design/Usability
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Reference
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

The vast majority of the jobs that are out there require skills in instruction and website management which are not usually required courses in library school.

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)?

Local procedural variations.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Other presentation
√ Scholarly publication
√ Other publication
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience
√ Other: All of the above are helpful.

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

I’m not familiar enough with the different options to say.

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

Not that I know of.

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

Work-study, internship, volunteer as much as you can and for as long as you can! Learn how to do the least desirable jobs (ie. instruction and web design) because that’s how you often have to get your foot in the door. Don’t believe the lies your schools feed you about the job market and how much demand there’s going to be by the time you graduate.

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 0-10 staff members, Special, Urban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

be fearless in trying new things

school children in japanThis 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:

All types.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a city/town 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)

3

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
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ 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?

Management 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?

√ 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)?

Local policy and procedures; their community.

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

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

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

Volunteer at libraries, even if not part of an internship or practicum. See what the “real world” is out there. Learn about personality traits and how to communicate in such a way your ideas make a difference. Take a management class and web design. Learn collection development, information retrieval, and be fearless in trying new things.

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, City/town, Public, Southern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Politics as usual

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 less than six months. This person is looking in academic libraries, archives, library vendors/service providers, public libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory, department head, branch manager.

This job hunter is in a rural area in the Southern US and is not willing to move.

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

Competitive, merit-based pay
Clearly defined chain of command
Clearly defined duties among staff (tired of wearing 17 hats!)

Where do you look for open positions?

professional listservs
state library joblists

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

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

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)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Sometimes it’s all WHO you know…. rather that WHAT you know. Politics as usual.

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, Rural area, Southern US