This interview originally ran on January 29, 2014. A year two follow up with Lauren will post later today.
Lauren Read took the Job Hunter’s survey on December 29, 2012. Her responses appeared as Be Transparent as to Whether You Are Forward-Thinking & Innovative.
How long has it been since you got your library degree?
How many years of library work experience do you have?
How many years of work experience outside of libraries do you have?
10, excluding Summer jobs
How old are you?
What’s your current work situation?
marginally employed (16 hours weekly)
Are you volunteering anywhere?
No, although I have manned information booths at festivals– big patronage!
Your Job Hunt
How long have you been job hunting at this point?
I have been in pursuit of a full-time public library job for 5 years now.
What kinds of jobs are you currently applying for?
My focus is on public librarianship. I consider paraprofessional jobs if they are full-time and other types of libraries on a case-by-case basis. Most positions are Librarian I, although I fit the bill and interviewed for a branch manager position recently.
Approximately how many positions have you applied to?
Cumulatively, I am unsure. 110 in 2013
Approximately how many interviews have you gone on?
2013 was a record-breaking year for interviews: 12 (this year).
How do you prepare for interviews?
I peruse the library’s virtual branch (i.e. their website) to learn what materials, resources, programs, and services they offer. I print out and highlight through newsletters and annual reports, if they have them, noting any partnering organizations or other leads I may look further into. This process usually results in a healthy list of questions I will be asking. And I review those typical questions one is asked … one more time. Mirror-rehearsing is reserved for the day of.
Have you traveled for interviews? If so, who paid?
Yes. I consider my savings account “the interview fund.”
Have you declined any offers?
No. That’s crazy talk.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle in your job hunt? How are you working to overcome it?
I believe the obstacle to be competition. I try to stand out through my involvement in NCLA and local community involvement. Although I am willing to relocate, the latter quality will certainly apply to my future home.
Have there been any major changes in your job hunting strategy? Are you doing anything differently than from when we last heard from you?
Lately, I have been able to keep busy with applications while focusing on remaining a North Carolinian, but I am still largely open.
State of the Job Market
What was your favorite interview question? What was the worst?
I just love talking librarianese with my kin. I delight in “what would you do if” questions, but “describe a time when” questions are helpful to the panel though not my favorite to answer.
Any good horror stories for us?
I had to shake off an impression when I pulled into a public library parking lot (to interview) and saw the glaring sign for the gun shop/ shooting range right next door.
Has job hunting been a positive or negative experience, for the most part?
Naturally, I am beyond ready to move to the next stage already. But overall, as with any job, it’s one at which I have reflected on my improved performance over time. Most jobs don’t involve such narrow chances at “winning,” however.
If you took the Job Hunter’s Survey some time in the last year and are interested in doing a follow-up, even anonymously, please contact me at hiringlibrarians AT gmail.