This week we asked people who hire librarians
What “hot topics” would you ask candidates about in an interview right now (i.e. the new information literacy framework)? Or what topics have you recently included? What current issues in librarianship do you think candidates should be aware of and how can they best keep up on current topics?
My “hot topics” vary depending on the job, however, here’s what I usually look for:
General Public Service: Outreach and grant writing experience, familiarity and comfort with technology
Collection Development and Technical Services: Demand-driven acquisitions, RDA, cataloging experience
Reference: Traditional reference skills (being able to function without Google) but also technology experience-being able to work in both new and old reference styles is important-I like a librarian who can answer a reference question even if the network is down
And for all hires-customer service experience. We usually ask situational questions to gauge how someone would handle an issue with a problem patron, etc.
– Margaret M. Neill, Regional Library Branch Manager, Main Library, El Paso Public Library
– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging
Honestly, I don’t really care about “hot topics.” I care about how tuned in librarians are to research, who they read both in and out of the profession, and how they will fit with the rest of the staff. “Who influences your practice and why?” is a better way for me to get to know someone than “what are your feelings on X?”– Jessica Olin, Director of Parker Library, Wesley College
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