Tag Archives: librarians

As I review applications, I’m always asking myself, “What’s in it for us?

Clothes Market, but where Kildare TownThis 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:

I’m involved with the hiring of everyone in our organization. We only require a professional degree for our branch manager positions.

This librarian works at a library in a rural area of the Western 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?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Met the minimum education and experience requirements.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

We have a hiring committee that reviews the applications. We do not use a rubric. We begin with applicants that meet the minimum education and experience requirements for the job and then narrow the list down to those we want to interview. Decisions are using based upon quality of application, prior library experience or experience in a similar field, type of education. A strong cover letter without typos, spelling, or grammatical errors is always a plus.

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

Applicants who do not receive an interview either do not meet the minimum education and experience for the position or have less education and experience than other applicants. A poor application that is full of mistakes or is difficult to understand will also disqualify an applicant.

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?

Speak in terms of what you can offer the organization rather than what the position will offer you. As I review applications, I’m always asking myself, “What’s in it for us? How will this person help our library?” Applicants who clearly answer these questions with an application that is customized to the advertised position are usually given an interview.

I want to hire someone who is

inspiring.

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?

√ 2

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?

√ 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?

We are looking for at least one year of library experience for our entry-level professional positions.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: Changing more than dying

Why or why not?

Librarianship is always changing. It seems even more now than ever before. People will always be needed to turn the lights on and manage the inventory; however, much of this can be automated. Professional librarians will be needed to oversee operations, organize programs and special events, and advocate for the library in their communities. If anything, the profession is shrinking and will be more competitive as fewer and fewer position will be available. The profession will not die, but I expect it is not going to be as big as it is today.

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 Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015, Western US

Hiring Librarians LIVE!

Hello!

I’m doing a “fireside chat” with Stephen Flynn from Open Cover Letters, and you’re invited!

It’s online, so you can attend from the comfort of your own home.  It will take place on Tuesday, February 10th at 7 pm pacific standard time.  Steve and I will each talk about our work for about 20 minutes, and then we’ll do a Q & A free-for-all.

It is being hosted by SJSU Connext, the SJSU iSchool student-alumni association (thanks for having us!), but ANYONE CAN ATTEND, for the low low cost of FREE.

Information and link to join are here.

And also on Facebook.

Hope to see you there!

YOUR PAL,

EMILY

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under News and Administration

The candidate fell short on one category.

Housewives league at Wash. MarketThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring or search committee, and a human resources professional. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Primarily Branch Managers/Assistant Managers, specialty positions, and Administration to some extent.

This librarian works at a library in the Midwestern US that serves urban, suburban, and rural areas.

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”?

Have had reasonable experience with the essential responsibilities of the position.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

For salaried positions, applications are initially scanned for minimum qualifications by HR representative, then passed to hiring managers for the position for their consideration. Rubrics are used to narrow the pool to those who appear to have the most skills/experience/education necessary to be successful in the position.

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

Reasons vary based on position; may be degree requirement, may be lack of supervisory experience, may be because there were enough candidates that fulfilled all or most of the requirements and preferences to complete the interview selections and the candidate fell short on one category.

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

√ Other: When requested, but not as a general rule.

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

Develop application materials that speak to the needs of the position they are applying to. One size does not fit all. Explaining how skills/experiences are transferable is wise.

No typos, grammatical errors, incomplete applications.

I want to hire someone who is

passionate

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 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, there are no experience requirements for Page positions.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

No. There continues to be a need for Librarians as Libraries continue to morph to meet the needs of their customers.

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 Midwestern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015

missing no more than one-two of the required qualifications

Fruit and vegetable vendors, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WashingtonThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

technology/web librarians

This librarian works at a library in a suburban area in the Midwestern US..

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

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meet the basic qualifications of the specific position, missing no more than one-two of the required qualifications, possessing most of the desired attributes.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Hiring Manager and Assistant Director evaluate initial applications.

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

Skill sets inadequate or too different from the skills and experience required for the position.

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

√ Other: In certain circumstances, feedback requested may be provided.

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

Identify the positions you are targeting and what requirements you may lack. Set up a plan to develop your skills/experience to meet those requirements.

I want to hire someone who is

independent.

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?

√ 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 fewer 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?

We generally post for 1 year of experience, but often do hire right out of school, especially if the applicant has interned or worked with us in a part-time capacity.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: changing, but not dying

Why or why not?

Librarianship is at it’s heart an information profession, which goes beyond the traditional models of service offered. Traditional library services and librarian roles are coming into question as we seek the most effective use of resources. Librarians prepared to step outside the library, to specialize in “areas of practice” and to think strategically about their roles will succeed. Librarians caught up in day-to-day minutiae or allowing themselves to be tied to a “putting out the fires” model of service will not do as well.

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 Midwestern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015

Further Questions: How does your organization value or consider membership/involvement in professional organizations during the hiring process?

This week we asked people who hire librarians

How does your organization value or consider membership/involvement in professional organizations during the hiring process? Is there a difference when hiring for an entry level role vs. a position requiring more experience?

Laurie Phillips

We do place a high value on involvement in professional organizations but low value on just being a member. We want to see your committee involvement or presentations at the conferences for the professional organization.
For an entry level position professional involvement can be minimal such as a committee member as opposed to the committee chair or volunteering to work the registration booth.

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

Marleah AugustineMembership in professional organizations can be a bonus and show commitment to the field when hiring for a professional position, but it is not mandatory. However, once a candidate is hired, they are expected to join relevant professional organizations and to be actively involved.

For entry level positions, I would be very surprised to see any applicants being a member of a professional organization. It would definitely set someone apart.

- Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

Usually I look for more than membership–involvement is a supplement to a well-rounded education and not a substitute. Continuing education is crucial for everyone.  Involving yourself in professional or community organizations gives you a broader base from which to draw experience, network, gather ideas, and learn about who you are throughout the community, the profession–all of it.
But also, depending on the position–not being involved–would not necessarily disqualify someone–once employed, the hire would be encouraged to learn and grow in the community and the profession as opportunities arise.
-Virginia Roberts, Director, Rhinelander District Library
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

We are in the information age

Fish 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:

All types-Technical services, children’s, research, technology, marketing, subject liaisons, etc.

This librarian works at a library 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”?

Professional dispositions and alignment with our university’s doctrinal statement

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

weeded out by hiring manager; evaluated by internal committee; phone interview; then background check

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

Credentials and experience

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?

Personable and demonstration of professionalism

I want to hire someone who is

personable.

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?

√ 3-4

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 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 experience for entry level positions

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We are in the information age and librarians are the ones who help to manage it and teach others how to evaluate, select, and use the vast amount of information available in a variety of formats.

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 Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

Power Point is dead and shows how behind the times you are.

Astor Market - Demonstrating CoffeeThis anonymous interview is with an 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:

Adult, Teen, Youth and Cataloging Librarians.

This librarian works at a library 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?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

They had more than 2 years experience and had their MLS or MLIS.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR screens for the minimum qualification, sends the apps to the hiring committee and then usually 5-10 applicants are chosen for interviews.

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

They do not have their MLS.

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 up on the latest technology and library trends

I want to hire someone who is

Innovative

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?

√ 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?

√ 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?

√ 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, it is a requirement.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Younger librarians, i.e. Millennials, tend to be more technologically savvy and innovative. They aren’t afraid of change, initiating change or coming up with new programs to pull in new users. Those librarians who value continuing education will grow in their profession regardless of age and will mentor Millennials through management and coaching.

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

Bring examples of your work, for example in Prezi or Animoto presentation style. Power Point is dead and shows how behind the times you are.

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 Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015, Western US