Talk to Library Schools and Professors That May Know Good Candidates

Meagan SchiebelThis interview is with Meagan Schiebel, otherwise known as Miss Meg. She will graduate from the SLIS program at UW-Madison in May with a concentration in public libraries and youth services. Miss Meg works as a storytime librarian and has a summer LTE job in the children’s department of a public library. She has been looking for a new position for less than six months, in public libraries and other youth services positions, at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she describes her experience with internships/volunteering:

I did a 120 hour practicum during the summer in a children’s department of a local public library. This included planning storytimes for all ages and book clubs for elementary age children, collection development and management, readers’ advisory, and helping with special events.

I also have done a 40 hour reference practicum at both an adult reference desk and a children’s reference desk.

Currently I work as a storytime librarian and do 1 storytime weekly at a local public library.

Meg enjoys spending time outside, weather permitting, and exploring the area on her bicycle. She is in a city/town in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere. Check out her new website, Miss Meg’s Storytime , or learn more about her via LinkedIn

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

The ability to be creative
New experiences
Professional development opportunities

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA listserv
local state library listserv

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 start out by looking up the library’s website and the wikipedia page for the town (since I’m looking nationally). If I still want to apply after looking up that information I start by making a cover letter. I have a couple templates that I use for cover letters that I usually combine and tweak to make a new cover letter. I use the language in the job description to help me make a cover letter that is specifically for that job. I usually end up spending about an hour.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Outsource– talk to library schools and professors that may know good candidates for their position.

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


What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being yourself and being able to take your experiences and tell the hiring staff why that will help you be the best person for the job.

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

Maybe a “how far are you willing to travel” question (my answer would be anywhere!)

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!


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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Public

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