This 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:
due to several retirements, we’re hiring reference librarian, special collections reference librarian, metadata cataloger and branch librarian – all in one year. This is very unusual, typically we have only 1 or 2 hires a year.
This librarian works at a library in an urban area in the Southern US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
met the minimum qualifications
How are applications evaluated, and by whom? For example, are a certain number or type of applications weeded out by HR before they even get to you? Are there rubrics? Committees?
search committee reviewed all applicants, selected those for campus interview. Committee provided strengths and weaknesses of each candidate to the dean, who made the decision
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
does not meet the min. requirements
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
have the necessary skills
provide all requested info in professional manner
I want to hire someone who is _________
right fit for the job and the library
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?
Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?
√ There are more 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?
We look for someone with some prior experience while in library school – perhaps as an intern.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
It’s a changing profession and the savvy librarians are developing new skills that make them valuable.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.