Power Point is dead and shows how behind the times you are.

Astor Market - Demonstrating CoffeeThis anonymous interview is with an public 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:

Adult, Teen, Youth and Cataloging Librarians.

This librarian works at a library in a rural area in the Western US.

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”?

They had more than 2 years experience and had their MLS or MLIS.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR screens for the minimum qualification, sends the apps to the hiring committee and then usually 5-10 applicants are chosen for interviews.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

They do not have their MLS.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Be up on the latest technology and library trends

I want to hire someone who is


How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 3-4

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?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Yes, it is a requirement.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Younger librarians, i.e. Millennials, tend to be more technologically savvy and innovative. They aren’t afraid of change, initiating change or coming up with new programs to pull in new users. Those librarians who value continuing education will grow in their profession regardless of age and will mentor Millennials through management and coaching.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Bring examples of your work, for example in Prezi or Animoto presentation style. Power Point is dead and shows how behind the times you are.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.


Filed under Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015, Western US

7 responses to “Power Point is dead and shows how behind the times you are.

  1. D S

    This librarian must be a very frivolous person.


  2. David

    I was thinking ill informed but frivolous works too.


  3. Powerpoint is absolutely not dead. It is a standard tool and you can expect most organizations to be able to show a presentation you have created in that format. You can create perfectly modern design slides with it. It’s portable, requires no internet connection, and can be made to comply with accessibility standards.

    If you are doing an interview with a presentation, it’s best if you can get clarification on exactly what hardware and software you will have, and if the library has preferences. Will you be able to bring your content on a thumb drive? Should you bring your own device? If so, be sure to have dongles to connect to VGA and HDMI.

    I will add: if the position is specifically FOR a media position that requires video or multimedia skills, then yeah, go with something more showy.


  4. As someone who works in a HS library, I can tell you these teens are so over Prezi. I hear “too flashy” “makes me dizzy” and other responses. PPT is the leader for a reason, it can do dazzling or do simple. And really if you need dazzling to enhance your presentation or portfolio perhaps the items within your portfolio and/or your presentation skills are what need sharpening.


  5. aebhel

    PPT is dead? That must be why every professional seminar I’ve ever attended has used it. Prezi and Animoto are useful for showcasing certain types of information in certain ways, but when you insist that people not use PPT because it’s been around for a while, you look like you just make grabby hands at any shiny new technology without considering it on its own merits. PPT is broadly compatible, does not require an internet connection, and is extremely flexible. If you’re specifically looking for a multimedia expert, that’s one thing, but making a broad prescription like that makes it sound a lot like you value flash over substance.

    And I’m three years out of library school, so this isn’t coming from a place of professional stagnation. It’s on us as librarians to use the best tools for our jobs and to give patrons the services they want and need, not to grab at every new thing that wanders by.


  6. Manny

    As a long time librarian, I am glad I read the comments, because I agree with commenters much more than I agreed with the interviewee.


  7. Pauline

    Echoing all the comments about PPT not being dead. I’ve seen and used Prezi, it does nothing for me but give me a headache. And I’ve never even heard of Animoto!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.