Further Questions: What do you ask for in the application packet?

Here’s another question inspired by a reader. I asked people who hire librarians:

What materials does your organization ask for in the application packet? Is this different for different positions?  Are there materials on that list that are only there because of tradition or HR?  Are there materials you wish you could ask for?

Marge Loch WoutersSince we field over one hundred applicants per professional position, we simply ask for a resume, cover letter and three references. Life is short, time is precious and we can’t afford a lot of extra paper or website viewing during our initial selection process!

Once we winnow down the field to a manageable 15-20 candidates, we proceed to send out essay questions (pick 2 of 3 to answer) and initial Skype interviews to bring us to a final 3-4 for an in-house interview. This is the point where we drill down pretty deeply to look at the candidate’s history and social media presence. References are contacted after the interviews. We decide and offer! Extra materials from candidates (grants written, programs done, work samples, etc) are invited at the in-person interview only and are not returnable.

– Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Coordinator, La Crosse (WI) Public Library


Laurie Phillips

We ask for


cover letter,

and contacts for 3 references.

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


For full time or any professional position, we require a cover letter, a resume, references. For most part time positions, we ask for our application.

– Kaye Grabbe, Director, Lake Forest (Public) Library, Lake Forest, IL.


For our professional positions we require a CV, a cover letter, and 3 references. They also have to fill out an online information form. Applicants also have the option to add their veteran status. This is pretty standard as far as the library and HR request. We have also started requesting a philosophy statement that has to do with the position they are applying for, large percentages of qualified applicants do not include this statement so we do not interview them since this is a pretty basic form of following directions and being attentive to details.

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


Jason GrubbWe have an employment application we require for every position. Management positions require a resume and cover letter in addition to the employment application. Candidates are welcome to submit additional documents. I always like to see a resume even if it is not required. Much of what we do is tradition. We should probably take a look at what we are doing and make some adjustments such as requiring a resume for every position and allowing our employment application to be submitted electronically. Currently it is a pdf file that must be completed, saved and emailed as an attachment.

– Jason Grubb, Director, Sweetwater County Library System

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!  If you’re changing color due to emotions engendered by something you read  here, you might be a comment-chameleon.  So comment, comment, comment-chameleon!

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Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Public

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