This week we asked people who hire librarians
How does your organization value or consider membership/involvement in professional organizations during the hiring process? Is there a difference when hiring for an entry level role vs. a position requiring more experience?
We do place a high value on involvement in professional organizations but low value on just being a member. We want to see your committee involvement or presentations at the conferences for the professional organization.For an entry level position professional involvement can be minimal such as a committee member as opposed to the committee chair or volunteering to work the registration booth.
– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans
Membership in professional organizations can be a bonus and show commitment to the field when hiring for a professional position, but it is not mandatory. However, once a candidate is hired, they are expected to join relevant professional organizations and to be actively involved.
For entry level positions, I would be very surprised to see any applicants being a member of a professional organization. It would definitely set someone apart.
– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library
Usually I look for more than membership–involvement is a supplement to a well-rounded education and not a substitute. Continuing education is crucial for everyone. Involving yourself in professional or community organizations gives you a broader base from which to draw experience, network, gather ideas, and learn about who you are throughout the community, the profession–all of it.But also, depending on the position–not being involved–would not necessarily disqualify someone–once employed, the hire would be encouraged to learn and grow in the community and the profession as opportunities arise.-Virginia Roberts, Director, Rhinelander District Library
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