missing no more than one-two of the required qualifications

Fruit and vegetable vendors, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WashingtonThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

technology/web librarians

This librarian works at a library in a suburban area in the Midwestern US..

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meet the basic qualifications of the specific position, missing no more than one-two of the required qualifications, possessing most of the desired attributes.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Hiring Manager and Assistant Director evaluate initial applications.

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

Skill sets inadequate or too different from the skills and experience required for the position.

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

√ Other: In certain circumstances, feedback requested may be provided.

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

Identify the positions you are targeting and what requirements you may lack. Set up a plan to develop your skills/experience to meet those requirements.

I want to hire someone who is


How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 100-200

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?

√ 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?

√ Yes

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?

We generally post for 1 year of experience, but often do hire right out of school, especially if the applicant has interned or worked with us in a part-time capacity.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: changing, but not dying

Why or why not?

Librarianship is at it’s heart an information profession, which goes beyond the traditional models of service offered. Traditional library services and librarian roles are coming into question as we seek the most effective use of resources. Librarians prepared to step outside the library, to specialize in “areas of practice” and to think strategically about their roles will succeed. Librarians caught up in day-to-day minutiae or allowing themselves to be tied to a “putting out the fires” model of service will not do as well.

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.


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Filed under Midwestern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015

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