This interview is with Carrie Fishner, the Director/Librarian at the Franklin Free Library. At the time she completed the survey, she had been job hunting for more than 18 months. She was looking in academic and public libraries, for entry level positions and those requiring two years of experience. She was in a rural part of the Northeastern US, and was willing to move if there was a job for her spouse. She says of her job hunt,
I had a very long job search as I am geographically bound due to family obligations. While I always thought and planned to work in the academic library field, I ultimately accepted the position as Director and solo-librarian of a small village library in upstate New York. While quite different from my previous experiences, it has been challenging and fun so far! I get to do everything from cleaning to collection development and circulation to the summer reading program.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Full time status preferably, support for continued development, and interaction with patrons/students
Where do you look for open positions?
INALJ, NYLA job list, regional library consortium websites, higheredjobs.com
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Only for certain kinds of employers
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I go over the job description and highlight where I feel I match the qualities/have something specific to point to. I do as much online research as I can to try and tailor my cover letter to the specific job. I would say an average of 1-2 hours per application packet.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
When would you like employers to contact you?
√ 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)?
√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Be as honest about the job as possible. Don’t just post generic ads if you are looking for something in particular.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Communicate with candidates as much as possible
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
I have yet to figure this out! I have turned down one offer in almost 2.5 years, and unfortunately it was the only one I have gotten.
Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!