Monthly Archives: August 2014

Working with special needs patrons

School Children In ParaguayThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Librarians: adult, teen, children.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an suburban area in the Northeastern 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
√ Grant Writing
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships

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

Lacking are:
-Working with special needs patrons.
-Good tools for Readers’ Advisory
-Collection management-weeding, filling in
-Database analysis tools
-Marketing programs presented by the library

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)?

Learn on the job the layout of the new library, what the collection contains, the needs of the population.

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?

Get as much outside experience as possible.

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

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Northeastern US, Public, Southern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

computer science skills; sociological skills; history

Keene High School (old) Graduating Class of 1875, Keene, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

system librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a city/town in Portugal.

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
√ 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
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships

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

computer science skills; sociological skills; history.

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)?

decision making; social commitment and social responsibility; evidence based management; problem solving.

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

√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Other presentation
√ Scholarly publication
√ Other publication
√ Student organization involvement

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

Get involved in the world around them and try to understand it.

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

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

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

Underline specific qualifications and duties

Hunting Party in the Pinelands by the Florida State ArchivesThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for a year a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic, archives, and special libraries, at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I did 2 summer internships while in grad school: reference and archives. I worked almost full time through grad school so I was unable to intern during the semester, and only one day per week during the summer.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

professional responsibilities
interesting institution
location

Where do you look for open positions?

ACRL, Higher Ed Jobs, METRO, ALA Joblist, Indeed, SLA, NYFA Classifieds, lisjobs.com, INALJ, Archives Gig, Code4Lib

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

1-3 hours. I print out the job announcement and underline specific qualifications and duties, then make sure to address each in the cover letter.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ 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?

√ Email

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
√ Being able to present

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communicate during each step of the process.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

personal connections

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

At least 2 hours per application

Hunting party on the shore State Library and Archives of FloridaThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year.This person is looking in academic libraries for supervisory, department head, and senior librarian positions.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is

looking to move to a specific area

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

location, salary, responsibilities

Where do you look for open positions?

list serv, higheredjobs.com, ala

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

at least 2 hours per application

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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
√ 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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

I think that my overconfidence is pushing it

Hunting Party in the Pinelands by the Florida State ArchivesThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in academic and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Work prior to MLS:
2 years, as a page
4 years, student doing reference work

Work during MLS
2 years, circulation
1 year, business reference/supervisory
1 year, archive reference
3 months, tech services – special collections/rare

Internships:
Business Reference Internship, worked with wiki’s and chat & in-person reference

Paley Center for Media, NY – worked with reference department

Small Academic Library Internship, worked across departments for 1 semester. Met with director weekly, had a series of mini projects ranging from creating & manage budgets, collection development, weeding, A/V, cataloging, archives, and reference services

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere:

after summer 2013 (started looking Spring 2012).

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Location
Fit
Long-term employment

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA JobList
si.all.open (university of michigan ischool open listserv)
newlib list serv
sla-dbf
indeed.com
glassdoor.com
lisjobs.com
libgig.com
inalj.com (& linkedin)
http://www.libraryjobpostings.org

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Other: Yes, but I will apply regardless.

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Around 4 days to 1 week on a cover letter. The more cover letters I do, the less time it takes to complete a cover letter. Overall, I do not spend more than an hour or two customizing/updating my CV. I normally finish additional forms beyond these after the fact. I absolutely hate additional sections that weren’t specifically outlined in the job description to talk about.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Other: No, but I think that my overconfidence is pushing it.

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ 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
√ Other: If I am probably not going to get an interview, but they would like to keep me in mind in case everyone else drops out!

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

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
√ Being taken out to meal
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Other: Informal talks with new librarians

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Give a due date for applications.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

More communication for applicants, even in knowing internal deadlines/schedules would be helpful. Waiting for a rejection that comes 8 months later is dreadful!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Already having a job as as a full-time librarian.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

I think it would be good to know if people are still looking for employment, if unemployed in a library field. And if they are employed in another field in the meantime. And if that field is relevant to their future career.

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US

Most straight (public) librarian jobs aren’t compensated at a level to support an MLS, but management positions do

Alstead School House and Students, Alstead, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring or search committee, and a human resources professional. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

non-MLS positions; public service librarians, children’s librarians, etc.

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a suburban 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)

3

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

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

I think working in a library is the best way to gain many skills needed to work in a public library. I think more MLS programs should stress management and supervisory skills, and include the kinds of education one gets from an MBA. Most straight (public) librarian jobs aren’t compensated at a level to support an MLS, but management positions do — an MLS should better prepare students for library management and leadership.

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)?

Working with an ILS, local practices, the concrete day-to-day minutiae.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation

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

No preference.

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?

Do internships/volunteer/work in the field(s) you find interesting. Connect with professionals in your area of interest to identify what skills/experiences you should gain.

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

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 100-200 staff members, Public, Suburban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

You cannot be a successful librarian if you are introverted and are afraid to move outside of your comfort zone.

School Children in Keene New Hampshire2This anonymous interview is with a special 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:

law librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 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?

√ Yes

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
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

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

Some lack refined speaking and presentation skills; Lack of an outgoing personality – you cannot be a successful librarian if you are introverted and are afraid to move outside of your comfort zone.

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 Culture
The People
Practice or Subject areas unique to the organization.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Other presentation
√ Other publication
√ Professional organization involvement

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

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

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

Online-only schools. Attending live class (with some online courses, of course) shows effort and a willingness to move outside one’s comfort zone.

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

Spend at least a year in a quality internship or practicum program. The experience is invaluable.

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

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

1 Comment

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

Minimize written requirements unless they are key to the position.

Hunting with dogsThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in academic, archives, library vendors/service providers, public, school, and corporate libraries, at the following levels: supervisory, department head, senior librarian, branch manager, director/dean.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Salary, Responsibility, Challenge

Where do you look for open positions?

MAME MI, ALA Joblist, listservs, and Linkedin

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

All of my materials are gathered so I spend 30-60 minutes tailoring things to the specific job.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be honest and clear about compensation and responsibilities.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Minimize written requirements unless they are key to the position.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Having a vision that exceeds expectations of the employer.

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US

Further Questions: How has library school changed in the past decade?

This week we asked people who hire librarians

From your perspective, how has library school changed in the past decade (or since you graduated, whichever you prefer to consider)? What areas of knowledge or experience do you see lacking in recent graduates applying for positions in your organization? Is there a difference between applicants from traditional and online programs? As a new crop of librarians-to-be start classes this fall, your advice can help them plan and prepare for the future.

Marleah AugustineI don’t typically hire for full librarian positions, but in my experience hiring part-time support staff, who are essentially clerks and pages and do circulation and basic reference duties, I have seen some differences in who applies for these openings. I’ve noticed that more applicants are emphasizing their skills in technology, as well as customer service skills. In the past, it seemed as though folks felt it was enough to state that they “enjoy reading books” in order to be hired at the library, but what I really need are people who aren’t afraid to talk to patrons no matter what, won’t back down from a challenge, and can motivate themselves to complete tasks.
– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

J. McRee ElrodLack of practical cataloguing skills taught in the class room and practiced during field work.

 

 

 

 – J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging
 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 us at hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  If you liked reading, you’re going to really love COMMENTING.

2 Comments

Filed under Further Questions

My resume typically stays the same for every application

digres hunting lodgeThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in academic libraries, library vendor/service providers, special libraries, at the following levels: entry level; requiring at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Is the position worthy of my degree or can anyone do it?
Salary
Hours

Where do you look for open positions?

listservs
joblists
web sites of well known companies in my area

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 read the description a few times and note the keywords. I have a template for a cover letter that I’ll change based on the job description. My resume typically stays the same for every application. I change my references based on the job description.

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ 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

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US