Confirm with references that they are available

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 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 and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience.

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

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

1) Pleasant co-workers 2) Decent salary 3) Opportunity to innovate

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs, the NOCAL AALL job list, sometimes ALA Joblist, sometimes LibGig

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 re-write my entire cover letter, tweak my resume as appropriate, confirm with references that they are available, and do a final search of the job ad for keywords that I try to insert or refer to in my cover letter. I usually spend between two and four hours on it. I probably used to spend more time, but now I have a job and am looking for another one, so I have less time to spend than when I was unemployed.

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 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)?

√ Being taken out to meal
√ 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 don’t think they’re having a huge problem with that one, honestly.

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

It would be so much simpler if it were possible to email candidates who weren’t selected for a phone interview and inform these candidates that the search has moved on and that the institution can be crossed off the consideration list. Often phone interviews happen a full month (or way more!) before final consideration and really, it’s a kindness to let non-advancing candidates know.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

If I knew, I wouldn’t have so many failed applications.

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

Thanks for asking!

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

Have at least one presentation you can present at a job interview

Alma Public School - opening of new playground for infants departmentThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Instruction librarians, electronic resource librarians, web specialists

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?

√ 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?

√ Project Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Reference
√ 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?

Practice teaching/delivering instruction

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)?

Things specific to the population being served, specific processes used by our institution (analytics forms, teaching schedule, etc)

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

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

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (practicums)

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

Not really

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

Do practicums, internships, even alternative spring break. Step foot inside a library and work there. Practice delivering instruction and presentations in front of an audience. Have at least one presentation you can present at a job interview.

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

Great survey!!!!!

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

Get ready to roll with what the career hands out

Keene High School (old) Students, Keene, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires a variety of LIS professionals.

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

√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Reference
√ 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?

√ 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)?

Flexibility, those required of their own work environments,

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum

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

Don’t care.

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

Nope. It just depends on the individual.

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

Make connections with other students, utilize all different types of libraries, do as many internships or real life experience related activities you can. Get ready to roll with what the career hands out.

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

Job Security

Hunting with Texas Jim Mitchell and friends in the Florida EvergladesThis 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 a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic 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?

1. Salary
2. Opportunity to be creative and innovative
3. Job security

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, listservs, Indeed, college library websites

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

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

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?

√ 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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Confidence and being passionate about the job/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, Midwestern US, Urban area

Get a balanced education

Sydney Primary Schools (N.S.W Rep. Team), 1922 who beat Q'ld [Queensland] Reps. 2 Matches to 1This 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 “all” types of LIS professionals.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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?

√ No

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
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ 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

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

Organizational procedures and specific software packages.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Scholarly publication
√ Other: Depends upon type of library

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

University of Pittsburgh, Michigan, Drexel

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

Clarion university

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

Get a balanced education so you have a base knowledge in a variety of subjects to supplement your focus area.

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

Things in common with the hiring supervisor

digres hunting lodgeThis 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 academic, archives, and public libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I interned at the Brooklyn Public Library in the youth wing from Sept, 2012 to Dec 2012. I am also working as a part-time librarian at a public library in the Hamptons in the children’s department.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Children’s or YA departments in a public library
Job security
Set hours

Where do you look for open positions?

I’m on the Queens College Listserv, The LIU Listserv, INALJ, ALA Joblist and Metro Job Postings

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 have a cover letter and resume saved, I change the name of the library and position and try to include skills they are asking for in my cover letter. Depending if there is an application or not – it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour to apply.

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 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)?

√ Tour of facility

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

In this job market I’m not sure if it matters. I think they shoud interview many people, because meeting in person is very different from seeing someones qualifications on paper.

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

Make the interviewee feel comfortable from the get go and be honest with them – what are they looking for, the hours, the responsibilities…

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

A good personality, willing to go above and beyond, dress for success, things in common with the hiring supervisor.

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

Further Questions: How many people have been hired by your organization in the last fiscal year?

This week we asked people who hire librarians

How many people have been hired by your organization in the last fiscal year? What is the breakdown of roles (i.e. librarians, paraprofessionals, student/hourly, etc.)? Subjectively, is this figure standard or does it fluctuate year to year?

scott wiebensohnGreat question for this week!

As a growing company (Jones eGlobal Library) http://www.egloballibrary.com/ , we have tripled our librarian staff from 2 to 6 over the last calendar year. Everyone is full-time and salaried employee. The specific roles are blended and it seems that there is a primary and secondary librarian for every task. We also have lots of cross-training opportunities to even out the workload and fill in gaps if a specific team member is out sick or on vacation. It is difficult to say if the number fluctuates from year to year, and yet with our current workload and collaborative projects, five is a healthy number.

- Scott Wiebensohn, Manager of Library Services, Jones eGlobal

Samantha Thompson-FranklinThis past fiscal year we hired one librarian for a newly created position of Instruction/First Year Experience Librarian, and we hired two library assistants/paraprofessional staff. We have a small library staff (director, 5 librarians, 5 full-time support staff) and not a lot of turnover so it was unusual for us to hire 2 staff positions this past year. We normally hire approx.. 12-15 student workers throughout the course of the year, depending upon the students’ schedules from semester to semester.  Our student hiring numbers is typical for us.

- Samantha Thompson-Franklin, Associate Professor/Collections & Acquisitions Librarian, Lewis-Clark State College Library

Lake Forest (public) Library with 29.2 FTE’s hired 2 paraprofessionals for the new positions of Tech Instructors and hired 2 others to replace 2 who had retired and moved away; we also hired 2 part time professionals to replace 2 who moved on to full time positions at other libraries. This was not a standard year with a number of people retiring and 2 new positions; it does fluctuate.

- Kaye Grabbe, Lake Forest Library

Laurie PhillipsWe had staff cuts this past year, due to lower than expected enrollment. We were not able to replace staff who left and we chose not to fill a faculty librarian position that had been open. We’ve had some staff turnover since then and have been able to fill those positions. We did hire a part-time librarian to fill in for two librarians out on parental leave in the spring. We generally only hire when someone leaves. When faculty are tenure-track or tenured, turnover is less common. In the coming year, we have an interim dean of libraries, so we have an extraordinary faculty position to replace her. We will also have an opening for an entry-level tenure-track position coming up soon. Stay tuned if you’re a job hunter!

- Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

J. McRee ElrodWe have 20 cataloguers, two of whom have training other than the MLS, e.g, IT for one. Turnover is slight, only about two replaced per year.
 
 
 
- J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging

Jacob BergWe hired two part-time staff, both of whom are in MLIS programs. We plan on hiring two more this fiscal year, and our hiring fluctuates based on our budget and current needs.
 
 
 
- Jacob Berg, Director of Library Services,  Trinity Washington University

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email us at hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  If you liked reading, you’re going to really love COMMENTING.

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Filed under Further Questions