My experience in libraries is that they’re rife with nepotism

Picnic lunch on a hunting party, Queensland, ca. 1912This 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 to 18 months. This person is looking in academic, public, and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Southern US.

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

Decent salary, decent location, a job fitting my skills and talents

Where do you look for open positions?

Too many to list here.

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 have the bare bones ready and adapt it to the particular job (particularly since I have academic, public, and other library experience). I get a friend to go over, and I send. It takes several 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
√ To follow-up after an interview

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)?

√ Other: None. I wouldn’t be there if I didn’t want the job. My mind is already made up.

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

Post salary. I won’t waste my time on something which may end up being $20k a year.

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

Be timely with letting individuals know they did or didn’t get the job. I once spent my anniversary waiting for a return call from a HR person who left me a message to “call me back about the job”. Hours later, I finally gave up waiting and called the next morning, and it took all of two minutes to let me know I didn’t get the job. She could have just e-mailed me or left a message instead of ruining my anniversary. It ruined me on the organization.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

In my organization, it’s to know someone who is involved in hiring, and have a history of being worshipful of the organization. My experience in libraries is that they’re rife with nepotism and would rather have incompetent boot-lickers than people who can do the job.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey!

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

1 Comment

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

One response to “My experience in libraries is that they’re rife with nepotism

  1. pigbitinmad

    ” My experience in libraries is that they’re rife with nepotism and would rather have incompetent boot-lickers than people who can do the job.”


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