This anonymous interview is with a public 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:
reference and children’s librarians, branch managers
This librarian works at a library in a suburban area in the Western US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
√ 25 or fewer
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 51-75 %
And how would you define “hirable”?
Have required education and experience.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Interview committee of 3 people (staff who will work with new hire and branch manager) see all applications and evaluate them.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Applicants don’t have specific experience we are looking for.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
√ Other: always a thank you letter. Other feedback is given if requested.
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Be specific and complete in applications, resume and cover letter. In interviews, tell us what you can do and like to do. Give us enough information, but don’t be overly talkative. Be enthusiastic!
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?
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 fewer 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?
Experience is preferred but not required for professional positions. We have hired new librarians.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarianship doesn’t mean exactly the same thing as it did 20-30 years ago, but we still need librarians! Our knowledge base has changed, and we no longer work in a single area. We need to be more diversified.
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.