Catherine Hollerbach is an Area Manager for Prince George’s County, a position she has held for 18 months. She says,
The 19 libraries of Prince George’s County, Maryland serve a diverse urban population of almost 900,000 people, providing access to books and technology, reference services, job resources, early childhood educational programs, literacy outreach, continuing education, and much more. We are currently updating our facilities, programs and outreach to meet the changing demands of a growing community.
The libraries are in an urban area or the Northeastern US. Ms. Hollerback has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. She hires
Adult librarians, children’s librarians, generalist librarians
Previously, Ms. Hollerbach worked in various position in bordering Anne Arundel County Public Library. She has a degree in Public Relations/Journalism and Master of Information Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. You can find her on Twitter @librariesrock. Job hunters take note, she says:
We are currently hiring librarians and support staff and I am looking forward to bringing in the next generation of dedicated and enthusiastic library workers.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
√ 25 or fewer
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
appropriate qualifications – education and experience
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
First they are screened by the hiring manager, then the supervisors look at them and decide who to interview.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Applicant does not have the required/relevant education or experience or if the application/resume are very poorly done.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
√ Other: We often do give feedback to internal applicants because we are mentoring them and encouraging them to apply for advancement . We do not give feedback to external applicants.
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
A well put together application and resume (no errors) relevant experience (even if it’s just volunteer), and special skills such as a foreign language.
I want to hire someone who is
How many staff members are at your library/organization?
How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ 7 or more
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ 7 or more
Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?
√ There are the same number of positions
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
No, there is no requirement, but it is an advantage.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
It is still relevant and much needed – it is just changing.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.