Tag Archives: librarians

Further Questions: How often does your library communicate with applicants throughout the process?

This week we asked people who hire librarians:

How often does your library communicate with applicants throughout the process–from notification of receipt of application onwards? A common refrain in job seeker surveys on Hiring Librarians is that job seekers want more communication throughout the hiring process (i.e. at each stage). Is this realistic? Why or why not? An insight into your processes may give job seekers better expectations for what to expect.

Thank you all for your responses! This is can be a difficult issue for job seekers who have never been “on the other side” to understand. The last respondent, Melanie Lightbody, asks job seekers: How often do you expect to be communicated with and what types of communication would work for you? If you are (or have been) a job seeker, please reply in the comments OR email a response to hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com for inclusions in a future post. Inclusions can be anonymous–just mention that! Thanks!

Laurie Phillips

This is particularly relevant for me right now because I am currently chairing a search for a tenure track librarian. I email each applicant to confirm receipt of his or her application or to let them know if there is a problem with an attachment, etc. After that, there is very little communication unless the person reaches the next round. We do not routinely contact people who don’t make the cut at each round. We really can’t because we haven’t finished the search. I email anyone we have interviewed to let them know that we have offered the job to another candidate. I used to call people at that level, but I was told that applicants prefer email. In an academic search, even the top candidates won’t hear from us until at least a week after the job closes. We generally don’t do a final review of applications until after the job closes and we’ll set a meeting for about a week later to go through all of the applications together. After that, we start calling people for phone/Skype interviews. I suppose, if someone contacted me, I could give them the general plan for the search, but not much else. If you’re interested in working for me, check out the ad: http://library.loyno.edu/blog/?p=3691
- Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

Celia RabinowitzI was director at my previous institution for ten years. We communicated at regular stages throughout the process and they included: (1) acknowledging receipt of an applications – this shifted from paper to email at some point, (2) notification to applicants who were eliminated very early in the search because they did not meet minimum qualifications. This is where it gets tricky. Generally we don’t want to send notifications to people not included in the phone interview pool if we think we might want to include them once we do the first round. And then we don’t want to notify phone interview candidates that they are not coming to campus until after the in-person interviews just in case we want to go back to that group if we need to. This may account for gaps in communication that can be frustrating or in responses to requests for information that seem deliberately obtuse. We would hate to lose a good candidate among many so we might opt for “stringing” someone along for a bit.

But I think it is very important to notify candidates at any point when it is clear that they are no longer a viable applicant, and we always contact every candidate who does not move forward or who is not selected. This may be easier at a smaller institution. We had two recent searches and received in the range of 40-60 applications for each.
- Celia Rabinowitz,  Dean of Mason Library at Keene State College in Keene, NH.

If we advertise for a position, we respond when we invite a number of applicants for interviews; once the position is filled, we send something to all applicants that the position  has been filled.

I would also like to send an email or a post card to let applicants know that their application has been received. We don’t do this because we seem to get a very large number of applications especially when we have a full time position to fill. With e mail this should be easier.

- Kaye Grabbe, Lake Forest Library

Melanie LightbodyCandidates are communicated with at each step of the process.  Some of the processes take weeks and weeks, however, especially if there are many applicants.

1)      Candidates apply for the open position on our website.  There should be notification that they’ve submitted their application automatically generated.

2)       The application closes and then when HR can schedule the time, the initial culling is done.    When that is done, the candidate is notified whether or not they meet the minimum qualifications.  Sometimes there is quite a delay at this step.  I believe they are notified if they don’t meet the MQs.

3)      All candidates who meet minimum requirements are scheduled for an oral examination.  This may take a month or more to set up. This is generally an oral interview with set questions.  Currently, we do most of these by telephone. Candidates are notified of their score within a week or two +.  Those who score too low are out.  Those who score high enough are put on a hiring list which is good for six months to a year.

Now there may not be any more communication for quite a while, depending on when or if they are scheduled for a final interview.  The lower the candidates score the less likely it is they’ll be called right away or at all.  This may be our last contact with the candidate.  The email/letter they receive basically tells them that, I believe.

4)      The top several candidates are invited for a final interview.  They are notified one way or another.

Here is my question back to job seekers:  How often do you expect to be communicated with and what types of communication would work for you?

- Melanie Lightbody, Director of Libraries, Butte County

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Further Questions

Few have actual coursework or background in instruction.

Keene High School (old) Students, Keene, New HampshireThis 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:

subject and instruction librarians

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)

3

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

√ Cataloging √ Library Management √ Collection Management √ Web Design/Usability √ Metadata √ Research Methods √ Reference √ Readers’ Advisory √ Information Behavior √ Outreach √ Instruction

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

Few have actual coursework or background in 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?

√ 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)?

Our own policies and procedures and philosophy

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

√ Library work experience √ Professional organization involvement

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

Get as much experience or instruction in as many areas as possible so that you can figure out what areas you prefer and which ones you feel most confident in.

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

Library schools should spend more time on handling cuts to library budgets.

N.S.W Primary Schools' Rugby Leauge Football Team v Queensland Brisbane, 1932This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Branch Manager
Youth services/computer classes instructor

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Mid-Atlantic 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
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships
√ Other: HR employee rights and personnel policy

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

Engaging the communities
Collaboration with other agencies
Focus on teen programming

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)?

Procedures specific to my system
ILS of particular system
time records

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Other: know how to do cataloging, circulation , collection development

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

UNC-G
UNC-CH

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

NCCU

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

get a part time job in a library – any library

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

Library schools should spend more time on handling cuts to library budgets. I see many MLIS managers not doing anything because they do not know what to do.
Accounting, projections and coming up several different budget options yields the best outcomes.

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, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Researcher’s Corner: Tenure and Promotion Experiences of Academic Librarians of Color

I’m happy to share this post, written by Ione Damasco and Dracine Hodges.  It is based on their survey study of academic librarians of color.  It provides a clear description of some of the obstacles and challenges for academic librarians of color, and recommends solutions.  If you’d like to look at a more in-depth account of their research, it is freely available online.  Please read:

Damasco, Ione & Dracine Hodges. Tenure and Promotion Experiences of Academic Librarians of Color. College & Research Libraries, vol. 73 no. 3 279-301. http://crl.acrl.org/content/73/3/279.full.pdf+html


Inspired by our own experiences as faculty librarians of color on the path toward tenure, in 2009 we decided to undertake a research project that would qualitatively explore the experiences of academic librarians of color who were either seeking tenure, or had completed the process for earning tenure and/or promotion. After reading some studies that explored the unique, and often challenging, experiences of teaching faculty of color, we wondered whether those experiences would be echoed by their librarian counterparts whose professional lives were governed by tenure and promotion policies. We felt it was especially important to explore these issues since the recruitment and retention of librarians of color had become a focal point for our profession. Unfortunately, we did not find much research that looked specifically at academic librarians of color, so we deliberately chose to conduct our research from a critical race theory standpoint. By taking this approach, we placed the experiences of librarians of color at the center of our research, rather than in relation to the experiences of White academic librarians.

Our research was guided by three specific questions:

  • What are the obstacles to earning tenure and/or promotion from the standpoint of librarians of color?
  • What initiatives, resources, programs, etc. are in place to ensure tenure-track librarians of color successfully achieve tenure and/or promotion?
  • What is the relationship, if any, between the tenure and/or promotion process and the retention of academic librarians of color?

In order to answer these questions, we constructed a survey designed to look at the key areas that impact academic librarians of color trying to earn tenure and/or promotion: tenure policies and processes, scholarly activities, service, professional development, perceived obstacles to earning tenure or promotion, and organizational climate. The full study is available to read online at http://crl.acrl.org/content/73/3/279.full.pdf+html

The survey started off with an examination of tenure policies. Were they being distributed to new hires in a timely manner? Did these librarians have a clear understanding of the expectations and criteria outlined in their policies? Then we asked about specific activities that typically make up the bulk of the work by which academic librarians are evaluated. We looked at the scholarly/research and service activities of the respondents to our survey. Were they actively engaged in research and writing activities? What types of scholarship (articles, presentations, poster sessions, etc.) were they producing? How much time did they spend on scholarship, beyond their day-to-day duties? Service at different levels (library, institution, statewide, regional, or national) is also often a big component of tenure evaluations, so we asked respondents about the amount and type of service work in which they were engaged, and how their service compared to their colleagues.

The survey then asked about the different types of professional development the respondents had undergone. We asked about formal and informal mentoring relationships, continuing education opportunities, leadership development programs, peer support programs, and writing support, such as workshops on research methods or how to write for publication. Respondents shared with us how important they felt those types of opportunities were, versus how effective they actually were. Disappointingly, we found a disparity between how highly these programs were valued by respondents and how ineffective they actually found many programs to be.

As we conducted our literature review for the study, we found several studies that have shown teaching faculty of color have often experienced working in hostile or “chilly” workplaces. These faculty have also expressed feelings of isolation and lack of support from their colleagues. Furthermore, this type of racial climate can negatively impact retention rates for faculty of color. We wanted to see how academic librarians of color characterized the climate and culture of their organizations, and how that impacted their experiences trying to earn tenure. The survey asked respondents to comment on the climate and culture of their libraries to explore these issues. Was racial discrimination an issue at their libraries? Did the respondents perceive unfair differences in the ways in which they were treated or evaluated? Did they have access to the same resources and networks as their White counterparts? Respondents shared with us very mixed experiences, ranging from explicit racist attitudes from colleagues or supervisors, to race not being seen as a factor at all in their work or interactions with colleagues. Notably, however, was the number of librarians who stated they were asked to engage in library diversity initiatives or undertake additional liaison work to diversity groups on campus beyond the library, presumably because of their race. The additional burden of diversity service expectations could surely negatively impact their ability to manage their time and workload effectively.

We also asked respondents to share with us what they thought were obstacles to earning tenure, as well as commentary about their overall experiences with the process. Several topics came up repeatedly throughout their comments: the challenge of conducting research and writing for publication, the need for better mentoring relationships and more peer support needs, and the role of race as a part of their tenure experiences. Issues of time management, research and writing skills, and mentoring are certainly not limited to librarians of color; racial climate and racial perceptions are factors that are implicitly interwoven into their lives in ways that can complicate those issues.

Summary of our findings and recommendations
The initial intent of this research was to study the experiences of librarians of color engaged in tenure and promotion activities. However, our investigation also revealed challenges librarians of color faced during the process. Some of the challenges such as the difficulty of balancing day-to-day workloads against research and writing for publication are typical for all librarians pursuing tenure and promotion. However, there were also issues unique to librarians of color such as obligations to perform service to provide “diversity” at their institutions. Many respondents also shared their struggles with both subtle and overt occurrences of racism. The survey findings also stressed the unfortunate need for many library faculty of color to develop survival skills in order to navigate these issues.

Our findings allowed us to highlight specific areas where leaders of academic libraries with tenure and promotion tracks might improve the supporting processes and subsequently the organization’s culture. Recommended activities include:

  • Regular policy and process assessment for strategic alignment and transparency
  • Follow-up of mentoring or peer support program participants to gauge program effectiveness
  • Creation of opportunities to develop successful grant writing skills
  • Recognizing contributions of librarians of color engaged in diversity research and service activities.

Even with informative findings and recommendations resulting from this study we recognize the need for additional research. One goal would be to provide a more granular view of the range in experiences of librarians in specific racial and ethnic categories as well as White academic librarians. Another focus could be the exploration of other facets of diversity such as gender and ability as an added layer of complexity created for academic librarians of color. There are many opportunities to create richer scholarship for the profession on this topic—not only as it relates to recruitment and retention of librarians of color, but also to better inform leadership and practices that create professional equity.


Ione DamascoIone T. Damasco, Cataloger Librarian, University of Dayton

After graduating with a B.A. in English from Ohio State University and holding down various jobs (including working in a bookstore!), I finally found my calling as a librarian and earned my M.L.I.S. from Kent State University in 2005. Since then, I have been working as a Cataloger Librarian at the University of Dayton. I happily earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2011. I am mostly focused on cataloging, metadata and digitization projects, as well as collection development for several subject areas. Over the years I have served on many different committees, worked on a variety of projects, and implemented several public programming grants. I have also engaged in several research projects that have emerged from personal experiences I had as a newer librarian. Those projects resulted in two co-authored articles on the role of practicums in cataloging education, and most recently, a large survey project that resulted in a co-authored article on tenure and promotion issues for academic librarians of color. I am very committed to issues of diversity in the field, and plan to continue conducting research on the intersections of diversity, librarianship, and higher education.

DracineDracine Hodges, Head, Acquisitions Department, University Libraries, The Ohio State University

I am a tenure-track faculty member and Head of the Acquisitions Department at The Ohio State University Libraries. I provide leadership in the procurement of collections materials in all formats and oversight for related policy and procedures. I am also an active member of the ALCTS division of the American Library Association where I’ve served on multiple committees and presented at the ALA Annual Conference. I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had as a participant in the Minnesota Institute and ARL’s Leadership & Career Development Program. My research interests include the e-book market, usage-informed collection development, and diversity in academic librarianship. I received my MLIS from Florida State University and BA from Wesleyan College.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Guest Posts, library research, Researcher's Corner

I wrote an article!

I just had a piece published based on the Hiring Librarians Job Hunters survey!

Check out Library Leadership & Management (Vol. 38, No. 4). The article is called What Candidates Want: How to Practice Compassionate Hiring. I hope you enjoy it – you readers were the inspiration and you survey takers are the foundation.  Please leave a comment to let me know what you think!

If you want to read more things I’ve written about Hiring Librarians,

there’s a piece on LibFocus called Our Wonderful World: Making Connections Courtesy of Information and Communications (November 2012)

and a piece on LISCareer called Lessons from Hiring Librarians.

Writing

 

1 Comment

Filed under Op Ed

the management class was worthless and there was NO interaction with campus librarians or library managers from the local public library

Keene High School (old) Graduating Class of 1875, Keene, New HampshireThis 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:

children’s, reference/adult librarians

This librarian works at a library with 200+ 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)

4

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

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations

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

Interpersonal skills; dealing with masses of people, difficult customers, culturally diverse patrons.

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)?

Policy and procedures; budgeting, accounting, HR stuff,

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

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

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

Get an internship or practicum or part time library job!
Be interested in libraries as a profession. Read the professional literature. Know the current issues in your specialty (public or academic, etc).
Develop skills that make you desirable. Can you create spreadsheets for schedules or budgets? Do you have web design skills? Are you involved in professional associations? Do you have lots of experience working w/a population in your area (elderly, foreign language speakers, writers, etc?)

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

Library schools have been moving to the online model of instruction but in the case of our local school, it seems to coincide with the watering down of the curriculum a LOT. If libraries need motivated, tech savvy leaders, our local school is not turning them out.

And even when I was in library school 8 years ago, the management class was worthless and there was NO interaction with campus librarians or library managers from the local public library. Wasted opportunity.

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 200+ staff members, City/town, Public, Southern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Real life experience will trump classroom knowledge if all else is equal.

Public Schools Athletic League (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Children’s librarian
Reference Manager
YA librarian
Director
Assistant Director

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

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: Supervision

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

Experience or coursework in Supervising staff
working with and handling a budget

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)?

dealing with the public
library procedures
creating reports

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

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

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

none to me

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

no

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

take the practical classes that will give you real world experience or knowledge.

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

Only that real life experience will trump classroom knowledge if all else is equal. Get out and work in a library either as paid staff or as a volunteer.

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 50-100 staff members, City/town, Midwestern US, Public, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Information Architecture and Knowledge Management aren’t covered well in many programs

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:

librarians for a branch library (all levels – entry through supervisor and youth librarian)
Library Assistants
Pages

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

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Marketing

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

Library Management is consistently lacking and was when I was in library school.
Reader’s Advisory – especially for public library-focused students – is important, especially in youth and teen areas and is not taught well in many places.
Technical skills are getting better, with many schools requiring blogging or web site development, but both Information Architecture and Knowledge Management aren’t covered well in many programs.

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 coursework 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)?

Customer service, staff interaction (especially as we’re seeing younger and younger LIS and IS graduates, for whom this is the first job), the specific ILS that the library uses

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)?

No real preference – it all depends on the candidate.

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

University of South Florida

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

Do as many internships and get as much practical experience as you can. Theory is an excellent start, but nothing beats experience.

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, Southern US, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Further Questions: Do you like hyperlinks included in resumes for sample or demonstration purposes?

This week we asked people who hire librarians:

Do you like hyperlinks included in resumes for sample or demonstration purposes? How have you seen this done well (or poorly)?

{Question suggestion via Twitter – we are always open to question suggestions… email hiringlibrariansquestions at gmail dot com or contact us on Twitter @hiringlib.}

Laurie Phillips

We’re fine with it. I send all of the applications to each of the search team electronically so they can click on links for that sort of thing. It’s nice if someone has an example of a project that is applicable. Remember that the committee members may print out your application for the initial screening meeting, so that may be lost. But committee members will review applications before and after that meeting. I can’t recall if I’ve seen someone do this.
- Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

When we were hiring a new Graphics person, we found candidates used this feature and it was very useful. Don’t know how it would work for other positions.

- Kaye Grabbe, Lake Forest Library

I have seen applicants do this in their publishing and presenting section which I find helpful given we are hiring for faculty positions. I have also seen this done throughout an applicant’s CV to show general, non-scholarly work which I think is distracting an inappropriate. Some applicants will provide one link to a professional blog (or similar) where they have non-scholarly work in one place which is acceptable, in this case, however, it is work that the applicant has selected which has not gone through a peer review process like a presentation or publication would have.

- Julie Leuzinger, Department Head, Eagle Commons Library, University of North Texas

J. McRee ElrodYes, so long as they are well labeled.  They are excellent for lengthy resumes, and in our case, sample MARC records which have been prepared.
- J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging

 

 

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Further Questions

That reference class by Bill Katz not only taught me resources, but behaviors by librarians and our customers.

Blumengart School Children 1963This 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:

searchers

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area. The respondent did not list a geographical location.

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
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Metadata
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ 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 is huge, no matter where you work, or what your job turns out to be. Being able to break down a project into the individual bits, delegating where possible, and seeing others’ strengths to use for your project are vital.

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 want to see the skill, not just hear about it.

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

individual site/group processes. I expect them to build upon what they learned in school. That reference class by Bill Katz not only taught me resources, but behaviors by librarians and our customers.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other: some experience with the tools they’ll be working with in their new job

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

learn some programming to understand IT, people skills to understand management needs later on, and expose yourself to as much as you can

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

Be open to those ‘other’ opportunities that come up. Volunteer for all sorts of cross functional teams once you’re in a job, and learn from everyone. If you’re not an extrovert, try to channel one when you can. Smile.

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, Special, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School