Good customer service and tech-savvy librarians are needed and will revive the institution

Susan Riley
Susan Riley has been the Director of the Mamaroneck Public Library District since January, 2012. Previously, Susan worked in the Ossining (NY), Chappaqua, White Plains, Ardsley, Greenburgh, and Mount Kisco Public Libraries. Susan is very proud of her long career as a librarian, both in public service and especially in administration, and her professional involvement in ALA and 26 years of book reviewing for several journals. Susan grew up in Ossining and received a BA from NYU, a Masters degree in Library Science from CUNY (Queens College), and a Post-Masters Certificate in Public Library Administration from Long Island University. Susan has 3 children, 2 step-children, and 4 grandchildren, and lives with her husband Tom and two spoiled French Bulldogs. In her “spare” time, Susan likes to read, hike, bike, take yoga classes, knit, crochet, swim, and eat out at restaurants!

She has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring or search committee, and a human resources professional. She hires the following types of LIS professionals:

children’s librarians, adult services librarians, and teen librarians

The Mamaroneck Public Library District is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US.

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

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25 or fewer

And how would you define “hirable”?

Having the required job qualifications (MLS degree, etc)

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

I read all resumes submitted but we are a civil service library and must conform to their requirements anyway.

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

Too many typos (over 3), not qualified (ie no college degree or no MLS degree).

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?

Make sure s/he is qualified and that their resume is free of errors.

I want to hire someone who is

customer service-oriented

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?

√ 2

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

√ 1

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?

√ I don’t know

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

√ No

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

No experience required for entry-level.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: Maybe

Why or why not?

Traditional library services are on their way out but good customer service and tech-savvy librarians are needed and will revive the institution.

Do you hire librarians? Take this survey:

Or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

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Filed under Northeastern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

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