Monthly Archives: September 2014

The best thing is to learn from your mistakes and bring that new knowledge to your next application process.

Hunting Giraffe, Kalahari.' Author of work: Lulu Farini. via National 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 six months to a year. This person is looking in academic and public libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience : Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I have worked a public and academic library in varying capacities, but mostly circulation. However each experience provided me with an opportunity to utilize reference skills, different software and hardware, and my educational background.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Southern US and is willing to move anywhere, depending on the salary.

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

-Good teamwork
-Environment that is open to new ideas and is less rigid
-Specific job tasks

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, Texas Library Jobline, HigherEd, Indeed.com

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?

Break down the requirements to see where my skills, knowledge, and abilities fit in. Highlight those that match. One job position asked for a KSA (Knowledge, skills, and abilities) statement and I have found that very useful to set up for other applications. I spend half a day to 2 days working on an application packet.

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?

√ Other:To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage

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)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Please be specific on what kind of candidate is best suited for the position. I have seen one job posting for two or three different positions with very little description for each. Note not just the requirements but common tasks this position needs. The same job positing was listed on the city website with a very general librarian posting information. This does not let potential candidates know what you want and most likely result in several unnecessary applications.

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

Again please list what you want. Be succinct and clear as to what the job entails and the abilities needed to performed that job. Do not put up generic postings if it is not entry level.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

It is a combination of luck, experience, and knowing people. Its not just one thing. The best thing is to learn from your mistakes and bring that new knowledge to your next application process.

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!

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

in a well established and secure school district.

Goose hunting in Klamath County, Oregon, OSU Special Collections via Flickr CommonsThis 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 more than 18 months. This person is looking in academic, archives, library vendors/service providers, public, school, and special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory.

This job hunter is in a rural area in the Northeastern US and is not willing to move.

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

That it isn’t too far of a commute.
Decent pay.
That it is in a well established and secure school district.

Where do you look for open positions?

Monster, UB listserv, E1b.org, My local newspapers

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 type a cover letter and tweak my resume to fit the job..ie..my objective. And get my letters of recommendation in order. I have all of this ready to go at anytime so it takes only about ten minutes to type up a new 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 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

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

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

Advertise in multiple venues.

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

Be honest about what type of person they are looking for.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I haven’t figured it out yet. Hence why I’m still unemployed.

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, Rural area

Read the library literature, as horrid as much of it is.

Work with schools, Hudson Park Branch : children gathered around librarian who is reading in the park, ca. 1910sThis anonymous interview is with an academic 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:

I’ve served on search committees for all types of librarians: collection development, music, cataloging, reference, discovery/IT, etc.

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a city/town in the Southern 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)

4

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

√ Cataloging
√ Vocabulary Design
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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 of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement
√ Other: Needs vary depending on position & status (tenure-track or not)

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

Get a library job during school or volunteer at one — ideally do so before going to grad school to ensure you like the actual work. Work at or at least visit multiple libraries; talk in depth with librarians. Read the library literature, as horrid as much of it is. Theory/history classes aren’t too helpful unless those topics will be your research/teaching foci. Socializing in a program track is good, but know doing so limits you & there aren’t that many jobs out there. If you want an academic librarian job, research, publish, present, attend ALA, & begin committee service now.

Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?

Think twice before embarking on this career. Budgets are being slashed year after year. We aren’t as valued (or needed) as before. Space is reassigned to non-library roles. The MLS degree is increasingly undermined and dismissed as unnecessary, even for library directors and reference librarians (a subject masters alone or even no degree is becoming ok). Patron demand is for instant access to everything for free, which just isn’t possible. We’re now expected to be more concierges (providing everything without effort or waiting) than guides. You’ll most likely spend much more time performing administrative tasks (budgets, statistics, schedules, HR issues, building renovations, outreach, fundraising, marketing, report writing, business analyses (SWOT, ROI, cost/benefit, time/process, etc) than you will helping patrons with research, building collections, cataloging, etc. You’ll also probably answer more IT questions than research ones. Long, stressful, often thankless days are ahead. Oh, I’m only 35 with about 10 years in the field, so am not exactly a Luddite curmudgeon pining for the library of my youth.

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

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

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Filed under What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Researcher’s Corner: Comparing Reference Service in Academic and Public Libraries

What do employers really want?  A lot of this blog deals with the translation between job ad speak and the real needs and wants of hiring managers.  I’m pleased to share the following post with you, because it represents another way of looking at the skills and competencies candidates might wish to cultivate, specifically – What skills do you need to be a good reference librarian?  I also find it pretty fascinating that there are so many similarities between what public and academic libraries want…


(This is a recap of our article “Significantly Different? Reference Services Competencies in Public and Academic Libraries” published in Reference & User Services Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 216–23, which won the 2014 Reference Service Press Award, which honors the most outstanding article published in RUSQ. )

Reference is reference – or is it?

It’s a commonly held belief that reference skills needed to be effective are necessarily different in public and academic libraries. However, there has been no research to either confirm or deny that idea. In 2011, we carried out a nationwide study looking at reference library work in academic (Saunders) and public (Jordan) libraries, and compared them for similarities and differences. These data will be of interest to professional librarians who are considering a change in setting and to hiring managers interviewing such candidates, as well as to library students who are in the process of planning their program and choosing a career path. The ideas shared here could also inform revisions or changes to reference courses and related areas of the library science curriculum and as such should be of interest to library science faculty.

We sent out surveys to a randomly selected sampling of 10 academic and 20 public libraries from each state. Every effort was made to identify the reference librarian or reference department manager at each library, but in some cases the invitation was sent to the library director, assistant director, or a public services librarian, asking them to forward it to the appropriate person. This is always surprisingly difficult in public libraries; too many websites have no contact information – leading Professor Jordan to wonder, in every study she does, how their patrons are contacting them. The surveys were essentially identical between the academic and public libraries, with different demographic questions. In addition to basic demographic information, librarians were asked to review a list of thirty-seven competencies in three categories and choose those they consider important. There were three categories of competencies: General, Technology, and Personal. They were then asked to list the three competencies in each list that they believe to be the most important. The list of competencies for the survey was drawn largely from the professional competencies and behavioral guidelines provided by RUSA, and was supplemented by competencies identified in the literature.

The General library skills, those skills traditionally associated with reference work, most frequently selected as important by our respondents were:

Academic Library

  • Search skills (95.6%)
  • Customer service (94.0%)
  • Familiarity with online reference sources (93.4%)
  • Traditional reference interview (75.5%)
  • Familiarity with paper reference sources (67.1%)

Public Library

• Customer service (97.1%)
• Search skills (95.6%)
• Familiarity with online reference sources (92.7%)
• Traditional reference interview (77.8%)
• Familiarity with paper reference sources (70.3%)

There was complete overlap here between the two types of libraries, with only a slight reshuffling of order of importance. These results suggest that the two types of libraries value the same skills, although they might prioritize them differently, and contributes to the finding that librarians who have worked in one type of reference situation should be able to transfer their reference skills to other venues.

We next asked the participants to identify the most important Technology skills from the provided list.

Academic Library

• Online searching (98.4%)
• Software troubleshooting (71.2%)
• Chat/IM (65.8%)
• Social media (65.5%)
• Web design (53.0%)

Public Library

• Online searching (98.2%)
• Software troubleshooting (77.8%)
• Hardware troubleshooting (64.4%)
• Social media (64.1%)
• Chat/IM (38.8%)

The two lists were similar, but somewhat more varied for technology skills. While online searching is equally important to both types of librarians, the numbers of respondents identifying each of the other competencies as important varied more widely: 65.8% of academic librarians identified chat/IM as important, while only 38.8% of public librarians did. Academic librarians selected web design as an important skills, but not public librarians; they selected hardware troubleshooting as important while academic librarians did not. These differences might reflect the difference in services and staffing in the different types of libraries. For instance, academic libraries might be more likely to have dedicated technology staff on campus who can assist with hardware and software troubleshooting, while public librarians might have less on-site tech support. Whatever the reason, the two types of libraries do seem to emphasize some different technology skills.

The third grouping of competencies was the Personal list, the soft skills reference librarians need to function effectively.

Academic Library

• Verbal communication (97.8%)
• Listening (96.6%)
• Approachability (95.3%)
• Comfort with instruction/teaching (92.5%)
• Adaptability/flexibility (91.8%)

Public Library

• Verbal communication (97.8%)
• Listening (97.1%)
• Approachability (94.8%)
• Adaptability/flexibility (88.9%)
• Sense of humor (87.2%)

As with general skills, there was a lot of similarity between the two lists. Regardless of type of library setting, verbal communication, listening, and approachability are crucial for all reference librarians as they will spend much of their day interacting with the public. It is reasonable that academic librarians identified instructional comfort as important so frequently, as it is such a significant part of many academic library jobs. In some academic libraries, reference librarians will spend equal amounts of time providing instruction and staffing more traditional reference service points. Public librarians commented the need for a sense of humor to effectively deal with the fast pace of work on the reference desk, and also to avoid being overwhelmed by the huge diversity of patrons who come into the library for help. Both instruction and sense of humor are important in both types of libraries, but as with certain technology skills, each setting seems to emphasize or prioritize one over the other somewhat.

There was a lot of similarity between academic and public libraries on the competencies they felt were most important for success at the reference desk, so were the least selected competences also comparable?

Academic Public

• Programming 8.5% (Technology)
• Foreign Language 11.9% (General)
• Budgeting 24.8% (General)
• Second Master’s degree 28.2% (General)
• Research/publishing 33.5% (General)

Public Library

• Second Master’s degree 5% (General)
• Research/publishing 12.5% (General)
• Programming 13.1% (Technology)
• Web design 22.4% (Technology)
• Foreign Language 28.3% (General)

It is often taken on faith that academic librarians will need a second Master’s degree to be employed; but this survey suggests that a second Master’s is not considered essential by most academic librarians. The data did suggest, however, that reference librarians in research universities were more likely to consider a second Master’s degree important than those in other types of academic libraries. Another Master’s degree was almost universally viewed as unimportant in public library reference work, as was research and publishing. Interestingly, only a third of academic librarians identified this as important; we did not ask whether respondents were required to publish to obtain tenure in their libraries, but presumably libraries with these requirements would be more likely to value it than libraries where it is optional. The lack of importance given to a foreign language might be surprising.Public librarians are required to deal with the entire spectrum of a community, including those with weak or non-existent English skills, and many academic institutions are seeing increasing numbers of international students whose English language skills can vary widely. This is an interesting area for potential follow-up study.

After looking at all these data, the main conclusion is that the differences between academic and public libraries are not as pronounced as people may have previously thought. The heart of library work is always going to be customer service, and that is emphasized in these soft skills such as communication, listening, and flexibility identified by librarians in both academic and public libraries. Librarians, and library students, hoping to be successful at reference work will do well to focus time and attention specifically on developing these skills to make themselves valuable regardless of the institution. The biggest differences seem to be in the areas of the harder skills, such as research and publication, certain technology skills, and assessment and evaluation. Librarians who aspire to move between academic and public reference desks would benefit from restructuring their resumes and the answers they use in the interview process to emphasize the skills of interest to the hiring libraries.

We thought this was a very interesting study, and hope it put to rest some of the misconceptions about reference work as well as helping to guide some training for good reference work. If your library would like us to come talk to you about this or other studies we have done; or if you would like us to do some other training for you, do not hesitate to contact us!


Laura SaundersLaura Saunders Laura Saunders received her PhD from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in May 2010.  She holds an M.S.L.I.S from Simmons as well as a B. A. from Boston University in English Literature and Italian.  She worked as a reference librarian and branch manager of the Career Resource Library for Simmons College from 1999 to 2003, where she provided reference and instruction services, as well as participated in collection development, Web page maintenance, and marketing of library services.  While completing her PhD, she worked as an adjunct faculty member.  Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Simmons College, teaching in the areas of reference, evaluation of information services, information literacy, and academic libraries. Her first book, Information Literacy as a Student Learning Outcome: The Perspective of Institutional Accreditation was published in June 2011. Her research interests include information literacy, assessment, accreditation, reference services, and the place of libraries in higher education.  She has had articles published in The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Library & Information Science Research, College & Research Libraries, and portal: Libraries and the Academy.  You may also recognize her from the Hiring Librarians post: Researcher’s Corner: Reference Competencies from the Academic Employers’ Perspective.

Mary Wilkins Jordan (425x640)Mary Wilkins Jordan came to Simmons College GSLIS from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she earned a PhD.

Prior to entering academia, Jordan worked in public libraries as a Director and administrator.

Her research and consulting work now focuses on ways to help libraries to function better and to serve their communities more effectively. She teaches Management and also Evaluation classes, as well as Public Libraries, Reference, and the Internship class, all with a focus on helping students acquire the skills they need to be successful in their professional careers.

Jordan also has a J.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and worked as an attorney before entering the library field.

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Filed under Academic, Public, Researcher's Corner

getting in touch with the career resources people at those schools would be a good start.

Hunting Season, 1918This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking in public libraries at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

academic library – outreach. small public library – youth services.

This job hunter is in a City/Town in the Midwestern US and is willing to move

to New England.

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

(public libraries)
programming, reference, and collection development duties in youth department
an administration that welcomes ideas from all staff and appreciates innovation
location.

Where do you look for open positions?

professional listservs, state library association, joblines, INALJ

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?

I compare the listing to my resume and make sure that I emphasize the skills and experiences that overlap. I research the library (and the people accepting applications, if possible) through social media and professional networking sites and incorporate some of our common interests into the cover letter. I let these sit for a day or two and come back to them with fresh eyes.
I probably spend about 3-7 hours on a job application packet.

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?

√ Phone

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?

If they have particular schools they have had good experiences with, getting in touch with the career resources people at those schools would be a good start.
Publicizing opportunities on relevant listservs.

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

make sure the closing date and qualifications and such are in the job description

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

having the necessary skills and showcasing them properly

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!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Public

here in Ghana there is only one library school

School Children in Keene New Hampshire2This anonymous interview is with an academic 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:

all rounders as all of us have to do a range of tasks/duties

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a suburban area in Ghana.

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)

2

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

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

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)?

how to deal with people – colleagues and users

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

√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement

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

here in Ghana there is only one library school

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

not sure about some of the Nigerian library schools

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

try to get some practical experience

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 0-10 staff members, Academic, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Personality and competence

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F12-2This 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 at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory, department head, senior librarian.

This job hunter is in a city/town, in Midwestern US and is willing to move to specific locations/regions.

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

In my area of interest; location; “fit” of the institution

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, listservs, state association website

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?

Depends on my interest in the job. If I am very interested in the position, I will spend a good deal of time writing the cover letter/supplementary materials, having it read for content and grammar by 1-2 people, and revising as needed. Probably ~5 hours total. If I am only moderately interested, but feel the position is still worth pursuing to a minor degree, 1-2 hours, tops.

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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Be clear on expectations of the position in the description and requirements

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

Timely feedback/responses…don’t leave people hanging

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Personality and competence; though for getting an interview, knowing someone at the institution is a huge leg-up.

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

Personally I think there is a lack of training in instruction, including theory and instructional design.

Sydney Primary Schools (N.S.W Rep. Team), 1922 who beat Q'ld [Queensland] Reps. 2 Matches to 1This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian. When asked what role they have served in terms of hiring, they responded that they have “sat in on interviews and given feedback.”

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural 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?

√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Reference
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

Personally I think there is a lack of training in instruction, including theory and instructional design.

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 of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum

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

Do as much as you can and find the ways to fill in gaps while in grad school and after graduation.

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

1 Comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Rural area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Experience does not guarantee performance or determine potential.

Hunting Party Near The Writing-On-Stone Royal Northwest Mounted Police Detachment Galt Museum and Archives on the Flickr CommonsThis 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 less than six months. This person is looking in academic, library vendors/service providers and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

1.5 years as a research assistant to the department chair, 1 academic year as a practicum student in an academic library, 1 academic year as a paid virtual reference librarian for the university where I received my MLS

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Northeastern and is willing to move anywhere with some limitations

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

Position description, ocation/school, and salary.

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, listserv, Indeed.com, college websites

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?

Revise resume/CV, revise cover letter or create new one based on the position, gather references, update e-portfolio and LinkedIn (if necessary), review materials, submit application.

Anywhere from 1-4 hours

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?

√ 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

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

Have an open mind to those newer to the profession. Experience does not guarantee performance or determine potential.

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

Be open and communicate with applicants.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Having a connection

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!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US

Work/Life Balance

HUNTING TRIPThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has 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 public and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Internships and volunteering in reference and outreach services in public libraries.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US and is not willing to move.

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

Career Growth, Ability to use degree, Work/Life Balance

Where do you look for open positions?

Indeed, INALJ, NJLA

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 customize my resume and cover letter to highlight my skills relevant to the position. I also research the library/organization/company beforehand and add any other relevant info from my background. I spend about 45 minutes to an hour.

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?

√ 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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

They can scout out profiles on linkedin, ask within professional organizations for referrals, and advertise through as many sites as possible.

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

Get back to applicants quickly, no matter what the news.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Answering questions concisely during the interview.

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

Not at this time.

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, Suburban area