This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee a human resources professional. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
Reference Librarians, Children’s Librarians, Programming Librarians and Branch Managers
This librarian works at a library in a suburban 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”?
They must meet the minimum requirements for the position (education, experience, etc.).
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
It depends on the position. Usually the direct supervisor takes the first pass through the applications, and narrows down the choices, then works with their supervisor to identify 3-6 candidates to interview.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
They don’t meet the educational requirements for the job, which are clearly stated in the job description. I have also disqualified candidates due to excessive spelling and/or grammatical errors.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
√ Other: If we interview them and don’t hire them, we do send a letter thanking them for the interview and letting them know kindly that they did not get the job.
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
READ THE JOB DESCRIPTION!! Be sure that they meet the minimum requirements for the position. Double check the application for spelling and grammatical errors, and be sure to use proper capitalization and punctuation on the application. Include a cover letter introducing themselves and telling the hiring manager why they might be the best candidate for the job – it isn’t always evident from their resume and application.
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 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?
We don’t require experience, but we do give preference to candidates who have some library experience, even if it that experience was as a volunteer.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarianship is changing, but it is not dying. The way that people access information has changed, and it is true that there is much more information easily accessible online. Our patrons need us more now than they ever have to help them navigate that wealth of information, and to understand the difference between good information and bad.
Do you hire librarians? Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey
Or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.