Researchers’ Corners: A Guide for the Evidence-Based Job Hunter

I’m so grateful to the authors on this list, who took the time to work with me to create a post that shared their recent research into LIS careers and hiring.  This list is in order of appearance on Hiring Librarians, from first to most recent.  Click on the underlined heading to go to the Hiring Librarians guest post, an informal summary of the research.  The citation will lead you to a more formal account.

Evidence-Based Strategies for Interview Success

Meghan Hodge and Nicole Spoor surveyed 430 people who hire librarians in order to discover the qualities and characteristics of a successful interview.  In this guest post, they summarize research that appears more formally in:

Hodge, Megan and Nicole Spoor, (2012) Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview: What do hiring committees really want?, New Library World, Vol. 113 Iss: 3/4, pp.139 – 161, 10.1108/03074801211218534

The New Archivist’s Job Search

Shannon Lausch describes research into what a job search for a new archivist actually entails, attempting to answer “how long is the average job search?”  “Is relocation usually necessary?” and “What kinds of jobs are applicants ultimately finding?”  This post summarizes research reported at the 2012 annual conference of the Society of American Archivists (SAA):

Goldman, Rebecca and Shannon M. Lausch, (2012). “Job search experiences and career satisfaction among recent archives program graduates.” Conference presentations. Paper 4.

Entry Level Job Opportunities for Academic Librarians

Eamon Tewell combed through 22 different sources (including national, regional, and local listings) to collect and analyze a total of 1385 job advertisements from the years 2010-2011.  A more formal account of this research can be found:

Tewell, Eamon. (2012). Employment opportunities for new academic librarians: Assessing the availability of entry level jobs. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 12(4), 407-423. 10.1353/pla.2012.0040

Education, Training and Recruitment of Special Collections Librarians

Kelli Bruce Hansen analyzed 88 job announcements for entry-level special collections librarians, in order to better describe employers’ expectations.  Her guest post provides a brief account; the full reporting of her research can be found in:

Hansen, Kelli. (2011). Education, Training, and Recruitment of Special Collections Librarians: An Analysis of Job Advertisements. RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, 12(2), 110-32.

Entry-Level Reference Skills in Academic Libraries: Ad-ing Them Up

Robert Detmering and Claudene Sproles looked at 192 ads for entry level reference librarians, and use their findings to describe what employers really want.  A more formal account of this research was published here:

Detmering, Robert and Claudene Sproles. (2012) Forget the desk job: Current roles and responsibilities in entry-level reference job advertisements.  College & Research Libraries 73(6), p. 534-555.

Does Choice of School Matter? Becoming an Academic Law Librarian

Ashley Ahlbrand and Michael Johnson examine online profiles of law librarians (primarily from institutional websites) to compare the ranking of the librarians’ alma maters to the ranking of the librarians place of employment.  Further discussion of their results is available here:

Ahlbrand, Ashley and Michael Johnson. (2012). Degree pedigree: Assessing the effect of degree-granting institutions’ ranks on prospective employment at academic law libraries. Law Library Journal, 104(4), 553-68.

Art Librarians’ Professional Paths

Eamon Tewell reports on a survey of 280 professional art librarians, attempting to answer “Was art librarianship a career goal for most professionals currently in the field?” “Why do individuals choose a career in art librarianship?” and “What factors contributed to current professionals successfully obtaining a position as an art librarian?”  Further details of his research are available in:

Tewell, Eamon. (2012). Art librarians’ professional paths: A careers survey with implications for prospective librarians. Art Libraries Journal, 37(1), 41-45.

Job Trends in Music Librarianship

Joe Clark examines 9 years of job announcements for music librarians, identifying trends in areas such as amount and type of jobs.  More details are provided in:

Clark, Joe C. (2012). Job Trends in Music Librarianship: A Nine-Year Analysis from the Music Library Association’s Job List. Notes, 69(1). 10.1353/not.2012.0131

Comparative Employability of ALA and CILIP Accredited Degrees

Dana Hamlin (née Goblaskas) describes her examination of the similarities of competencies required by ALA and CILIP accreditation, and summarizes results of surveys of both job hunters and employers.  She finds that although educational requirements are similar, it remains difficult for graduates of CILIP programs to have their credentials recognized in the US and Canada.  Her research is more formally described in:

Goblaskas, Dana. (2012). Assessing the Transferability of Library and Information Science (LIS) Degrees Accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). Library Student Journal, p.5.

Reference Competencies from the Academic Employers’ Perspective

In this second researcher’s corner focused on academic reference librarians, Laura Saunders talks about the competencies academic employers identified as the most important.  This guest post discusses research also described in:

Saunders, Laura. (2012). Identifying Core Reference Competencies from an Employers’ Perspective: Implications for Instruction. College and Research Libraries, 73(4).

What are the Qualifications for an Entry-Level Music Librarian?

In Joe Clark’s second guest post, he elaborates on his research into 9 years of music library job postings, this time describing common desired competencies.  More details in:

Clark, Joe. (2013). What Employers Want: Entry-Level Qualifications for Music Librarians. Notes, 69(3). 10.1353/not.2013.0009

What Not to Do During the Interview

Melissa Laning and Emily Stenberg analyzed 36 essays detailing personal job hunting experiences (all found in The Chronicle of Higher Education between 2007-2011), and came up with three common interview errors.

New Academic Librarians’ Perceptions of the Profession

Laura Sare and Stephen Bales detail some of the aspects that new librarians find satisfying and dissatisfying in their first jobs.  More aspects are described at:

Sare, Laura, Stephen Bales, and Bruce Neville. (2012). New Academic Librarians and Their Perceptions of the Profession. portal: Libraries and the Academy (12)2. 179-203.

What Skills and Knowledge do Today’s Employers Seek?

Dr. Linda Main describes the results of research conducted by SJSU, detailing emerging job trends and providing tips for job hunters to keep on top of these trends.  More information is contained in the report:

State University School of Library and Information Science. (2013). Emerging Career Trends for Information Professionals: A Snapshot of Job Titles.

Tenure and Promotion in Libraries, Part I – Louisiana Libraries

Lori Smith and Penny Hecker describe criteria used by Louisiana libraries to determine if a librarian will get tenure, and include their personal experiences.  This is an informal account of research published as:

Smith, Lori and Penny Hecker. (2012). Tenure and Promotion: Criteria and Procedures Used by University of Louisiana System Libraries. Codex: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL (2)2.

Tenure and Promotion in Libraries, Part 2 – Resource List

Lori Smith and Penny Hecker provide a resource list for those interested in learning more about tenure and promotion in academic libraries.

Experiences that Influence the Outcome of Recent Grads’ Academic Library Job Searches

Ashley Rosener, Lindy Scripps-Hoekstra, and Max Eckard report four experiences that increase the likelihood of a new graduate finding an academic job.

Eckard, Max, Ashley Rosener, and Lindy Scripps-Hoekstra. Factors that Increase the Probability of a Successful Academic Library Job Search, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(2). 107-115.

Tenure and Promotion Experiences of Academic Librarians of Color

Ione Damesco and Dracine Hodges report on their survey study of academic librarians of color. They provide  a clear description of some of the obstacles and challenges for academic librarians of color, and recommend solutions.

Damasco, Ione & Dracine Hodges. Tenure and Promotion Experiences of Academic Librarians of Color. College & Research Libraries, 73(3). 279-301.

Who’s Retiring From Library Work, and Who Isn’t ?

Eric C. Shoaf takes a deeper look at what exactly is happening with those boomer librarians, what this means for recent graduates, and how it affects the profession as a whole.

Shoaf, E. & Flowers, N. Library Worker Retirement Plans: A Large Survey Reveals New Findings. Library Leadership & Management, 27(4), .

Comparing Reference Service in Academic and Public Libraries

What skills do you need to be a good reference librarian? Laura Saunders and Mary Wilkins Jordan uncover similarities between what public and academic libraries want.

Saunders, L. & Jordan, M. Significantly Different? Reference Services Competencies in Public and Academic Libraries. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 52(3), 216–23.

Education and Training of Access Services Librarians

Michael Krasulski looks at how a Head of Access services might gain the skills necessary to the position.

Krasulski, M. (2014). “Where do they come from, and how are they trained?” Professional education and training of access services librarians in academic libraries. Journal of Access Services, 11(1), 14-29

Job Ads and Academic Standards and Proficiencies

Melissa Gold and Meg Grotti look at the relationship between the skills we have determined are essential to librarianship via written standards, and the skills that are sought in job ads.

Gold, M. L., & Grotti, M. G. (2013). Do Job Advertisements Reflect ACRL’s Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators?: A Content Analysis. Journal Of Academic Librarianship, 39(6), 558-565. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2013.05.013

Is there research that I’ve missed?  Tell me what should be added to this list!



Filed under News and Administration, Researcher's Corner

2 responses to “Researchers’ Corners: A Guide for the Evidence-Based Job Hunter

  1. Pingback: Library Links: On the hunt | Beta Librarian

  2. Pingback: Researchers’ Corners: A Guide for the Evidence-Based Job Hunter | Lisa C. Chen

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