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:
Public service librarians: research librarians, liaisons, scholarly communications, media.
This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a suburban area 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 qualifications listed.
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?
HR does not weed professional positions. We have a rubric that is directly tied to the job description’s required and preferred qualifications.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Inappropriate credentials are most common.
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?
Make sure they address the required and preferred qualifications in their cover letter, and make sure their CV accurately describes their experience.
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?
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-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 fewer 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?
√ I don’t know
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
We asked for research experience– we hired a new grad who worked at the research desk of a university during grad school.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
√ I don’t know
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.