This anonymous interview is with an academic 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:
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members 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?
√ 26-50 %
And how would you define “hirable”?
Meeting the basic qualifications of the position (ALA-accredited MLS) and possessing some kind of technology strength
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Currently all applications are weeded only by the hiring committee. Although there is an automatic software that identifies whether candidates meet qualifications based on their responses (ie “do you have a MLS?”). We can still access the applications marked as not qualified to verify eligibility.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Complete absence of current technology experience (graphics software, experience with electronic books/digital media, spreadsheet or database manipulation experience)
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Learn a current technology and be able to demonstrate expertise in it
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?
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?
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
It is an evolving profession, as many are today. We are changing to compliment current technology widely available. We do not need to try to compete with technology; we just need to be able to assist patrons with or without that technology.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
Tech – learn it and communicate it on your Resume/CV! The more the better – graphics design is very popular so get some experience with it.
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.
One response to “Tech – learn it and communicate it on your Resume/CV!”
“there is an automatic software that identifies whether candidates meet qualifications based on their responses (ie “do you have a MLS?”)”
What should new librarians (yet-to-graduate, don’t technically have the degree yet) answer? Is saying yes a lie?
Also, why do you want libs to be graphic designers? Two VERY different skill sets.