Stats and Graphs: 179 Responses to the Original Survey

So it’s been a slow year for the original survey. The last time I posted statistics (October 2012), there were 160 responses, 50 of which had been collected in the prior six months, with the remaining majority having been collected in the first month (March 2012).   There are currently 179 responses.

Distribution of Responses Over Time

number of daily responses

You can see in the chart above that responses spiked after the What to Wear survey, and have been at a very slow pop since. Even with the relatively small increase from last year, it’s been long enough that I’d like to post statistics from this survey again.

This post uses responses collected from the survey’s launch, on February 24, 2012 to November 30th, 2013. The charts and tables in this post are automatically generated by the Google Form.  So there are a few problems, including the truncation of labels on the charts.

Please remember the limitations of this project, which is more for FUN than for SCIENCE. The survey responses are a result of non-probability sampling. I have no way of knowing that the people who responded actually have anything to do with library hiring – they are mostly anonymous, even to me. In addition, these charts and tables mash together the disparate hiring practices of academic, public, school, special and other library organizations (hence the conflating of resume/cv).

As with most career sites, I think job hunters should completely disregard anything stated here when appropriate. You’re a unique person, and so is the organization that wants to hire you.

That being said, here are the aggregated:



How many pages should a cover letter be?

pgs cover letter

Only one! 88   49%
Two is ok, but no more 47   26%
As many as it takes, but shorter is better 30   17%
As many as it takes, I love reading 1    1%
Other 13    7%

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

pgs resume

Only one! 6    3%
Two is ok, but no more 48   27%
As many as it takes, but keep it short and sweet 88   49%
As many as it takes, I want to look at every accomplishment 17    9%
Other 20   11%

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

app doc format

.doc 4    2%
.docx 2    1%
.pdf 56   31%
No preference, as long as I can open it 103   58%
Other 14    8%

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

obj statement

Yes 14    8%
No 91   51%
I don’t care 60   34%
Other 14    8%

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

submit cover letter

In the body of the email only 3    2%
As an attachment only 69   39%
Both as an attachment and in the body of the email 33   18%
I don’t care 54   30%
Other 20   11%


What library/institution type do you hire for?

type of institution

Academic library 78   44%
Public library 55   31%
School library 4    2%
Special library 15    8%
Archives 6    3%
Other 21   12%

How many staff members are in your library?

number of staff

0-10 47   26%
10-50 68   38%
50-100 25   14%
100-200 21   12%
200+ 16    9%

Are you a librarian?

r u lib

Yes 161   90%
No 7    4%
It’s complicated 9    5%

Are you now or have you ever been:

now or have you ever been

a hiring manager 152   86%
a member of a hiring committee 142   81%
human resources 8    5%
Other 6    3%

People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

Thank you again to all the people who hire librarians that responded! 

We will continue to collect responses. If you hire librarians, and you’d like to take this survey, the link is:

Thank you again for reading!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Have you noticed any interesting commonalities among the longer interviews? Is there advice you agree or disagree with? Did anything particularly surprise you?  

And what should we ask about next?  Here at Hiring Librbarians, question suggestions and survey ideas are always welcome. And the comments are always open.



Filed under Original Survey, Stats and Graphs

8 responses to “Stats and Graphs: 179 Responses to the Original Survey

  1. Pingback: Put those customer service jobs, like barista or store clerk, on your resume, especially if you held those positions for a long time | Hiring Librarians

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