just librarians, plain and simple
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members 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?
√ more than 100, but less than 200
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
someone who met our characteristics of what we specified in the job description. We even had people apply who didn’t yet have their degrees. That job was specifically for someone with supervisory experience, and hardly anybody had that.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
HR doesn’t weed out any. They are evaluated by a committee using the position announcement.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
They don’t have any professional library experience at all.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
√ Other: sometimes
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
In your resume, don’t give me the generic “sat at reference desk, delivered instruction” when describing your reference & instruction experience. I already know exactly what a reference & instruction librarian does. Tell me HOW YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE.
Oh yeah, and get a crapload of IT knowledge too.
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?
√ Other: 0
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-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 more 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?
Even for entry-level professional positions, we look for experience, like an internship or a grad student job in a library. We have in the past specifically advertised for “new graduates” with 5 years or less since their MLIS. But even those, we were looking for someone with a little experience.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
In the sense that you need a “library degree.” That was just a hoop to jump through 25 years ago, and it’s a hoop to jump through now. I would rather hire somebody who has a ton of IT experience or has a PhD in education or who actually understands about research than a person who only has an MLIS. The MLIS is just for enculturation. There is NOTHING, and I mean nothing, unique about library knowledge. Give me a good, knowledgeable person, and I can indoctrinate them into librarianship on the job.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.