Monthly Archives: November 2013

Further Questions: Does HR screen applications before they even get to you?

Holiday schedule today here at Hiring Librarians! Here’s a Twitter question. This week I asked people who hire librarians:

Does HR screen applications before they even get to you?  If so, do they use a program that screens for keywords or do they use some other method?  Do you give them any instructions on what you are looking for?

Jacob BergYes, we have HR screen applications based on the desired qualifications.

Usually this is because we’ll ask for an MLIS or someone in an MLIS program, and HR can filter those folks, which gives library staff more time to consider those who fit the bill.

-Jacob Berg, Director of Library Services,  Trinity Washington University

 

angelynn kingYes, HR screens them manually for minimum qualifications.

Then they come to the committee.

-Angelynn King, Head Librarian, Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus

 

For faculty librarians, HR does not screen applications before we see them.  Our library has our own HR department, who would be willing to screen but don’t insist on it.  In the searches I’ve been involved with the chair of the search committee, or search committee members, have done the screening.

– Anonymous

 

Our HR does not screen for the professional librarian positions, which means we even get a lot of job applicants without their MLS or who are otherwise not qualified. Now if we tried to hire someone who did not meet the minimum qualifications, HR would not let us.

For support staff positions, HR does screen the applicants. Most of this screening is looking for years of experience or education.

I know the job market is very tight right now, but I strongly encourage you to not apply for positions you are not qualified for. The library community is a lot smaller than you might think so applicants who apply for every open position could get a bad reputation among hiring managers.

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

 

Laurie PhillipsOur HR does not screen applications for faculty (librarian) positions. They do for library staff, but our faculty processes are different. The search committee chair develops a worksheet, based on the required and preferred qualifications.  Each person on the search committee goes through each application carefully and fills out the worksheet indicating the qualifications on the list that the person has. They then give the application a yes, no, or maybe vote. The committee goes through all of the applications together, about a week after the closing date, and makes a decision on whether each candidate will move forward to the next round. This is one of the reasons why, in our case, it is not helpful to contact the chair of the search committee before the closing date. At that point, we haven’t even been through all of the applications, so there would be nothing to say.

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

 

Christine Hage - Dark backgroundWe are a medium sized library and don’t really have an HR department. The applications are mailed to the manager that has posted the job. We don’t use any programs to scan the applications.  We just read them. Our instructions are included in the job posting and if they aren’t followed (cover letter, resume, answers to posed questions, formal online application), it doesn’t bode well for the candidate. If you can’t follow instructions in the application process, I’m not sure the candidate would follow them on the job. Following instructions is just as important as carefully wording the cover letter and answers to our questions. We are looking at grammar, layout, spelling and content.

– Christine Hage, Director, Rochester Hills Public Library

 

No, HR does not screen for us; we are in charge of our hiring process from start to finish.

We can set up screening questions in the hiring software the College uses, (i.e. do you have a master’s degree in library science from an ALA accredited institution? Would you be available to start work on October 1?) and then the applications are diverted to separate folders based on the score of the answers as determined by us (e.g. 50% or better goes in qualified, or only 100% sends an application into the qualified folder).

But we don’t use such criteria-based screening questions.  The one time we did use them people who were not qualified just said yes to everything, and some people who we would have counted as qualified excluded themselves by the way they interpreted the questions, so we ended up looking at all applications in all folders anyway.  Now we use the screening questions more like a phone or other preliminary interview, and we ask substantive questions about applicants’ experience or views, or about the area of librarianship (Access Services, Reference, etc.).  This works better to screen candidates than the other method did for us.

– Ann Glannon, Associate Director, Wheelock College Library, Boston, MA

 

Samantha Thompson-FranklinOur College HR office screens all applications for campus faculty positions using a program called Applicant Pro. They do an initial screening to make sure that the applicant meets the basic qualifications as outlined in the job ad and then notifies the search committee chair person. Beyond that the search committee does the more in-depth screening.

– Samantha Thompson-Franklin, Associate Professor/Collections & Acquisitions Librarian, Lewis-Clark State College 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 me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  Peg you better look around.  How many nights you think you can run that body down?  How many nights you think that you can comment what you been commenting?

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Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Public

Instruction and data use are increasingly part of librarians’ jobs

Sydney Primary Schools (N.S.W Rep. Team), 1922 who beat Q'ld [Queensland] Reps. 2 Matches to 1This 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:

Subject liaisons

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 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?

√ 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?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Instruction

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

Instruction and data use are increasingly part of librarians’ jobs, yet there is no adequate professional preparation for these endeavors.

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)?

Specific procedures and processes are site-specific. Unfortunately, most of our hires have to learn about pedagogy, instructional design, and research methods after they arrive on the job.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Professional organization involvement

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

It is shocking to me that someone can assist a patron in finding a book but they don’t even understand how that information got into the system

School Children In Anzac AlbertaThis 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:

Technical Services

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Western 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
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

Yes. I have found that if a student has focused on public access (youth services, circulation, reference) they have taken little or no course work in cataloging or other technical services aspects. It is shocking to me that someone can assist a patron in finding a book but they don’t even understand how that information got into the system or how the system works to begin with! This is mandatory, regardless of what you do.

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)?

The specifics of your particular institution.

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 preference. It is the skill and education, not where they got it.

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

No, unless it wasn’t accredited.

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

Get as much experience as you can! It is the hand-on, real life experience that makes you stand out from another student with the exact same degree.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Academic, Urban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

I don’t hire based on school.

Westmoreland School House Number 9, 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:

Instruction, reference, administrators, cataloging/tech services

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural 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
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Reference
√ Outreach
√ Instruction
√ 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?

√ 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)?

I think most skills are learned on the job.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Conference presentation
√ Other presentation
√ Student organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

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

I don’t hire based on school.

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?

Talk to people and network. Find a mentor who is a practicing librarian and can give you advice and help. Use your student discount to attend conferences.Try out new ideas and make mistakes.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

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

Sleaveless is Inappropriate, Unless You are Michelle Obama ;)

Working Wardrobes Women's Day of Self Esteem by Flickr user HKA, Inc. Public RelationsThis anonymous interview is with a Public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a City/town in the Southern US

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

Counts as a suit
Is totally different
I do not know and/or care
Other:

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

Other: sleveless is inappropriate, unless you are Michelle Obama 😉

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

Other: completely up to the interviewee

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

too much cleavage is distracting. torn or ripped clothing would not be impressive.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
Nose Ring (nostril)
Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
Earrings
Multiple Ear Piercings
Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

I don’t really care how a candidate dresses

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

dress pants & nice shirt or blouse

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

Casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code?

Flip flops
Short skirts/shorts
Tank tops

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

Name tags

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Working Wardrobes Women’s Day of Self Esteem by Flickr user HKA, Inc. Public Relations

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, Southern US, What Should Candidates Wear?

Author’s Corner: Extra-Help Librarians

Today’s author’s corner is near and dear to my heart.  My first librarian job was as an extra-help librarian, and I still work one day a week in a temporary part time status.  It’s a particularly weird thing to be – you’re not quite in a place to claim that you’re affiliated with your work place, and yet you are a “real librarian.”  It also seems to be an increasingly common status, as libraries continue to try to do more with less, and extra help workers don’t usually get expensive things like paid time off or health insurance.  That being said, there are some real advantages to working in this classification, and Celma de Faria Luster has written a book that aims to help you be successful at it.  I’m so pleased to be able to present this guest post, which should give you an idea of the tone and content of her writing. 

(And to piggy-back: If you are interested in this type of work, I have a couple pet projects that you might check out.  First, there is a Facebook group, second, my research partner, Sarah Naumann, and I put together a website exploring the use of on-call library workers in the SF Bay Area, and third, if you work in the area, BayNet libraries hosts a discussion list for on-call issues.) 

 extra help librarians


Frankly, who can differentiate librarians’ categories when interacting with them in the workplace? Personnel departments have the key to this information. It is relevant to learn about the various employment categories when seeking opportunities in libraries. The Extra-Help Librarian position can be a good way to start out in a library or to stay connected to the profession. Fundamentally practical, it has its own characteristics, challenges and benefits. Some of these aspects are commented on below.

Who are they?

Librarians in this category are known as substitutes, on-call, temporary as needed, hourly, adjunct and a few other titles. The terminology varies, depending on the type of libraries as well as Human Resources preferences and the definition of classifications.  Labor Unions can also have an influence on how the category is structured. We can further divide the category into new librarians, retirees and transitioners. Each one of these groups has specific needs and goals.

What do they do?

A vast array of responsibilities is performed by these professional. Traditional library duties are commonly part of what Extra-Help Librarians do, such as covering reference desks, providing information and instructing patrons on how to use computers. It is very common for them to work on specific projects following clear guidelines, such as weeding and archives. A library’s mission and immediate needs determine the work delegated to them.

Why are they needed?

There are many reasons that Extra-Help assistance is required. Vacation, illness, sabbatical, maternity leave, the addition of new courses and yet unfilled positions generate a need for temporary workers. Depending on the nature of the need, the demand for Extra-Help Librarians can be short term- for a few hours or a few days- and also long term involving extensive projects, classes or unfilled positions.

What type of libraries do they work for?

Not every library has a support system in place to respond quickly to their staffing needs. It is common, therefore, to find public, academic and school libraries using these professionals continually. Our research focused on these three specific areas. These libraries have established systems created to respond to foreseeable and also unpredicted personnel requests.

How to get this job position?

First and foremost, word of mouth still is a very predominant way to learn about openings. Networking and enlisting with personnel agencies serving libraries are useful strategies. Bigger libraries usually create an Extra-Help Librarians pool, releasing job postings and following regular hiring procedures. Ordinarily, one can seek job postings through job sites, listservs, association job lists, libraries website or in other ways. It is important to analyze the job description. Separate the required from desired qualifications and connect them to your skills when applying for the position. Check the documentation needed. These differ by the type of libraries. Public libraries often add a supplementary questionnaire while an academic library’s diversity statement is normally a standard document. Make sure the application is submitted properly, whether electronically or by mail. Applicants can be disqualified when they overlook instructions in the job posting.

What are the steps in the hiring process?

These depend on the type of libraries, their size and structure. Identify these factors and how they interelate to determine how hiring is done or call the library directly to find out. Public and School libraries links with the city or county can result in the use of their own employment department or the city/county Human Resources Department. Academic libraries occasionally refresh their adjunct librarians pool with the support of Academic Affairs/Human Resources Departments. Overall, the Extra-Help Librarians hiring process does not differentiate much from other librarian categories. Initial screening involve documentation review, then telephone interview followed by in-person interview – combined with presentations. The length of the process is commonly longer in academic settings. Wages are usually pre-set and non-negotiable, even though experience and field specialization should be emphasized and compensated.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

As any other category, Extra-Help librarians offer advantages and disadvantages. It clearly offers a lot of challenges. To those candidates that handle unpredictability well it is a great position. Variety, flexibility, independence and broad learning opportunities are some of the positive aspects that it provides. On the other hand, it usually does not offer basic benefits such as medical and dental. It can be stressful to keep up with a job’s schedule and locations, especially when covering various branches. Income is not predictable since there is no guarantee of work.

Why consider this position?

It all goes back to personal goals. In a public library, there are opportunities to cover adult and children’s information desks. This can offer new graduates the chance to test these areas, acquire experience and sharpen their skills. Flexibility and additional income can be attractive to retired librarians and for those caring for family members. Those looking for permanent jobs can check out libraries from the inside and be able to apply for other internal positions. Extra-Help Librarians motivation, experience and work ethics make them desirable employees.

The Extra-Help Librarian category offers immense potential to librarians that have an interest in broader perspectives. It is a rewarding investment, trust me.


 

Celma de Faria Luster has worked in Northern California for over seven years as an Extra-Help Librarian and for almost two years as a part-time librarian. She is Brazilian and has lived in the United States for over two decades. In 2006 she got her MLIS from San JoseStateUniversity. Her book “Extra-Help Librarians: A Guide For Success At Public, Academic and School Libraries” was published last September. She just participated in the CLA 2013 Annual Conference in Long Beach, CA.

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Filed under Author's Corner

shadow librarians in various positions

Hill School, May DayThis 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:

subject liaisons, public services

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a 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?

√ Project Management
√ Reference
√ Instruction
√ 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?

√ 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)?

instruction, customer service

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?

be active in professional organizations early, work part time in a library, definitely do an internship in a field that is related to your chosen career path, shadow librarians in various positions

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Timestamp: 8/9/2013 7:16:54

Title:

This 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:

Support staff; have been on hiring committees for a specialist reference librarian and a children’s librarian

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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)

3

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

√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Portfolio/ePortfolio

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

Interviewing skills, communication skills, customer service

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)?

Skills that apply to a particular integrated library system (SirsiDynix, Koha, etc.)

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)?

We prefer candidates from ALA-accredited programs, but that’s not a given. We have a university that offers an MLS in our state and is ALA-accredited, but all graduates from there that we have interviewed, have interviewed terribly and we could not tell that they had the skills we were looking for.

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

(see previous question)

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

Find a part-time or volunteer position in a library and get some hands-on experience. It gives you much more to talk about in class, and you can apply what you learn more immediately.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Rural area, Southern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Your Monthly-ish Reminder: Interview Questions Repository

Have you been on a library interview recently?  Or are you prepping for one?

Sounds like you could use The Interview Questions Repository!

If you’ve had a library interview recently, help this resource grow by reporting the questions you were asked:

http://tinyurl.com/interviewquestionsform

or by sharing this link widely with your friends and colleagues.

If you are about to go on an interview, use the spreadsheet:

http://tinyurl.com/InterviewQuestionsRepository

to help you prepare.

Top tip: Switch the spreadsheet to list view, in order to be able to limit by answers – you can choose to only look at the phone interviews at public libraries, for example.

Bottom tip: For respondents, you should be able to edit your answers, if you think of something to add, etc.

You will also always be able to find these links in the sidebar to your right —>

If you’d like to respond to any other surveys, or otherwise participate in this blog,

this page

will give you links and options.

Thanks for reading, readers!  Thanks for contributing, contributors!

If you think a repository of questions  that people have been asked in library interviews is a useful tool, please help keep it dynamic and relevant by sharing this post with at least one person today.  Thanks!

OH YEAH AND.

In other news, my husband and I are so close to having just purchased our first house (stupid forever-taking escrow).  This means I am *extra* busy, living out of boxes and organizing my stuffs.  I think I’ve got posts scheduled far enough in advance that you shouldn’t notice any interruption of Hiring Librarians service, but on the off chance you do…. that’s why.  Please forgive this poor new homeowner (new homeowner!).

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Filed under News and Administration

Etiquitte is Hardly the Most Important Component of Their Job, But it is Part of the Job

Dressed by Flickr user phonikinsThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Suburban area in the Northeastern US

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

Probably not (but it’s ok if the candidate does wear one)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

I don’t care

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Anything that stretches the lower bounds of business casual is a disqualifier. Short of that, a candidate remains in the running… though their presentation will be factored in to our decision

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on
Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
Nose Ring (nostril)
Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
Earrings
Multiple Ear Piercings
Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Other: make them look comfortable in their own skin but not unaware of social conventions

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I take it as a reflection of their understanding of and commitment to etiquette. Etiquitte is hardly the most important component of their job, but it is part of the job.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

One step above the dress level of the position for which the candidate is interviewing.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

Casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code?

Other: It’s not codified, but understood

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Dressed by Flickr user phonikins

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Northeastern US, Public, Suburban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

MANAGEMENT

Alstead School House and Students, Alstead, New HampshireThis 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, access services, cataloging

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a city/town in the Western 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
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Outreach
√ Marketing

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

MANAGEMENT

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)?

circ, some readers advisory, customer service

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

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

The school does not make the difference, the candidate does.

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

see above.

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

find a job! even if just volunteer, find out if you really want to BE a librarian.

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

again….management skills!

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School