Tag Archives: librarians

If unsure about job, submit a query by email or phone to increase understanding.

The North's Leading Dog Food Specialist, Grainger MarketThis 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 / technology / outreach services

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a rural area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meeting all job requirements and demonstrated understanding of position through cover letter message.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Some are weeded by HR. Committee sets priorities for position. Rubric is loosely created.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Lack of relevant experience or inability to translate transferable skills to the position applied through cover letter.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: If requested

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

If unsure about job, submit a query by email or phone to increase understanding.

I want to hire someone who is

Both experientially and educationally suitable for an academic library position.

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 100-200

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 3-4

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Yes, and more the latter.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: Only if our definition and how we convey it doesn’t demonstrate relevance

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

But remember you can say “no” to a job, and that is a hard skill to master.

Woman at a market stallThis 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:

cataloguers, librarians, systems librarians

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

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Challenging to define. To some extent depends on position. In this state institution, our hiring goes through human resources general e-mail before it comes to us. The quality of what is passed on to us varies considerably, and our state application form is useless and barely gathers any useful information – it also doesn’t allow attachments.
At bare minimum, I’d say candidates should submit a complete resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter. Do your best to make sure references can actually be contacted! If you have military or retail experience, remember that some of your supervisors may not be able to give telephone references. Choose people an interviewer will actually be able to reach.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Application materials are e-mailed through an HR manager or generalist first. My understanding is in the past, they did more rigorous evaluation. Recently, they seem to have shifted to sending us everyone, even candidates who do not meet minimum qualifications. Internally, when there is a vacancy, we form a search committee, usually 3 people. Suitable candidates are reviewed by the committee and decisions are made about who will be invited for an interview. I don’t see it elsewhere on this questionnaire screen, but the HR bottleneck drives me crazy – they are friendly, but not very useful and they aren’t adding value to the process. They also limit what we can say on the public postings, which is frustrating and leads to advertisements that aren’t very enticing.
I also hate to say that we have no money to bring in candidates to interview. I hate that is the case, but we can barely fund our own staff to travel. I would recommend aspiring candidates figure out how (or if) they can deduct job interview expenses from their taxes – I was able to do so in the past. I chair many of the search committees and I am up front with candidates about the interview expenses being on them, to give them an option to withdraw.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

For my boss (our director), being fired from a previous job (which is a question on our state application) is a red flag.
Most recently, because of the deluge of applicants we are having e-mailed to us from HR, some applicants are not meeting minimum educational requirements, and we cannot interview them.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Be honest.
Be prepared. “Don’t just tell them – show them.” Make a rudimentary portfolio with samples of your work, even if your work was for your MLS program. Point to the portfolio during the in-person interview when asked a relevant question. Take screen shots of electronic products you created, if any. If you have to give a presentation, stick to the time limit!
Show interest in the institution if you really want the job. Read an annual report or two. Know what programs a university offers. Know what public a public library serves, even if you use Census data. Most of this stuff is free on the web.
Write a thank-you note to your contact. I don’t care if you do this by snail mail or e-mail, though purists will argue over which is better. The effort is the important thing for me. I have interviewed 2 librarians in the past year who didn’t follow up after the interview.

I want to hire someone who is

prepared

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 3-4

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Depends on how the human resources advertisement is worded. If a minimum number of years of experience is listed as required, we are expected to adhere to that as a search committee. However, we have recently (in the last 5-6 years) hired candidates who were fresh out of an MLS program.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

I’m not sure how to answer. Everything professional – doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc. – seems at risk now, with the economy. Libraries beat themselves up about being closed, but I think that’s a symptom of the larger economy. Hospitals, malls, and long-time businesses are closing and/or merging…with job loss. I also see a trend towards part-time, rather than full-time positions, which typically won’t pay enough for people to support a family of 4.
I think the smartest thing we can do is continue to keep doing the best work we can, highlighting our value, demonstrating excellent search skills, and developing collections & services to meet the needs of our users. We are reflections of who we serve, and our society has to make improvements before professional work improves.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Try to keep chin up. Even most librarians who have full-time jobs have had less-than-positive hiring experiences. I probably could fill a wall with the rejections I’ve gotten in the past, but I also haven’t been content to stay in the same job for a long time. Try to be the kind of candidate you would want to hire. Put some effort into each interview, whether by phone, Skype or in-person. On the other side of the job search, if you get an offer you want, celebrate it, if only for yourself. But remember you can say “no” to a job, and that is a hard skill to master. Listen to your gut.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Southern US, Special, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Depending upon candidate pool we may still consider if strong in other areas

Condiment Stand in Center MarketThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring or search committee, and a director. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

public service librarians, branch managers

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a suburban area in the Western US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 51-75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

possess the skills and experience we are seeking

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

committee

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

poor application materials, not a match (skills/experience)

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: if asked

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

take care in reading description and preparing materials

I want to hire someone who is

enthusiastic

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

yes – noted as requirement but depending upon candidate pool we may still consider if strong in other areas

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Special skills, perspectives and philosophies gained through the MLIS/MLS process are valuable.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area, Western US

Respect and value a coworker even though that person might not hold a college degree

Crockery and S. Murray, Grainger MarketThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager . This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference, cataloger, children’s, YA

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ more than 75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Held the MLS degree

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

No.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Someone they’ve listed as a reference either refuses to give them one or gives them a bad or qualified one.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

I’m looking for librarians who are team players, who want to help people find information or learn to use the Internet effectively, who respect and value a coworker even though that person might not hold a college degree, who enjoy working with people, who are kind to others, and enthusiastic about their work.

I want to hire someone who is

People-oriented.

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Being able to find information fast is more important than ever.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, Rural area, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015

The profession continues to adapt to new emphases in service broadly defined

Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E N Clopper. Location Indianapolis, Indiana.This 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 and instruction, catalogers, archivists, technologists, managers, acquisitions

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in a suburban area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

having all the qualifications listed as required in the announcement

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

University HR screens for required qualifications, then a library search committee convened for the particular position under review evaluates applicants

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

better qualified candidates whose experience and knowledge more closely meets the desired qualifications

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

pay close attention to the position description and demonstrate how her experience, qualifications, and aspirations match our advertised needs

I want to hire someone who is

proactive

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are the same number of positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

no

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

the demand for the management of operation of libraries is still strong and the profession continues to adapt to new emphases in service broadly defined (collections can be a service)

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

the most recent searches I’ve been involved with have been for high-level specialized positions in IT and archival collections, which may explain why the pool was so small

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

locals are given extra point

Market day, Killarney 2This 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:

only supervisors are expected to be professionals. all other library staff require HS degree only.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Western US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ Other: 8

And how would you define “hirable”?

fit the qualifications and had good references

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

first pass is by city HR officer, then to library hiring committee. Evals are judged on meeting minimum requirements, locals are given extra point

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

not qualified or do not have the minimum qualifications listed for the job. example: job ad requires nights and weekend, applicant states on their application form that they are only willing to work weekdays.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

expand the area of recruitment, our library is rural so we have to expand to state and national advertising

I want to hire someone who is

adaptable

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

official requirement that they have at least 1 yr practical experience for entry level librarian.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: maybe

Why or why not?

Depending on the governing/financial makeup of the library we see more and more the city pushing to hire more business type staff than traditional librarians. They look for a degree in business management, social work or public service.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Bring strong technology skills, we often will accept less practical librarianship experience if the candidate is very tech savvy.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015, Western US

Being able to articulate a personal value proposition that relates to my position

Market day, KillarneyThis 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:

Youth Services and adult reference positions

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Northeastern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Hirable means:

1) having appropriate credentials (MLS or equivilent) and education (taking at least 1 class in the area I’m hiring for)
2) having appropriate experience (either working, volunteering, or doing an internship in the area I’m hiring for)
3) Being able to articulate a personal value proposition that relates to my position – too many cover letters tell me what a candidate wants to do with his/her career, not what he/she can do for my library

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

I am the director of a very small library. I look at the applications and have the final say, but I included all full-time staff (1 librarian, 1 paraprofessional) in the resume review and interviewing process.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Lack of MLS or equivilent

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Obtain skills and abilities that go beyond the MLS – graphic design, web design, writing, fundraising

I want to hire someone who is

cooperative

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

We don’t require experience, but we would look at someone with experience first. However, experience can also be an internship or volunteer experience – it does not have to be a paid position.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: Changing & constricting

Why or why not?

Since many librarian positions are government (municipal, state, federal) jobs, and there is considerable pressure to eliminate government jobs, it stands to reason traditional librarian positions are shrinking. There is always the possibility that librarian positions will reinvent themselves, but right now it’s hard to see how that will happen.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Northeastern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area