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:
special collections librarians, archivists
This librarian works at a library in an urban area in the Western 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?
√ 26-50 %
And how would you define “hirable”?
Meeting the qualifications in the position announcement and making it through a first cut by the search committee.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Neither the university HR nor the library liaison currently weed out applications for faculty or staff. Search committees are established for both faculty and staff positions. The search committee goes through and weeds out those who do not meet the qualifications as laid out in a grid assigning points to the various required elements in the position description. Those who meet the qualifications are assigned points for the required and desired elements which are then used to develop a list of candidates for whom reference checks are performed and then a list of candidates are brought on campus for the interview.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Failure to meet minimum qualifications is the basic reason for disqualifying an applicant, and that is a tie between failure to have the required education or required experience. Most candidates are not disqualified but simply are not the well-enough qualified to merit a reference check because other candidates demonstrate that they have the qualifications we are looking for. Occasionally, reference checks lead to excluding a candidate.
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?
Read the position announcement and craft a letter and resume that indicate how the job hunter will be able to perform the duties of the position along with evidence of any “extras” that the person might bring
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?
√ 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 fewer positions
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?
√ Other: two tenure-track positions were replaced with non-tenure track faculty
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?
Professional experience cannot be required for entry-level professional positions. Experience in internships or practica is an advantage, and occasionally we get people with professional experience applying for entry-level positions. Sometimes these people are the right people and sometimes not.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarians will be needed to help students and much of the public discover what they need or want from e-resources and, for a long time, from print resources.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
1) Read the position announcement and apply only if you are qualified.
2) Proofread your letter of application and resume.
3) Research the institution to which you apply, at the very latest before you come for an interview.
4) Represent yourself honestly.
5) Finding a job is as much about you feeling you will do well at the institution and want to be there as about the institution wanting you. That is, you interview the institution as much as it interviews you.
Do you hire librarians? Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey
Or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.