Children’s librarians, para-professionals.
This librarian works at a library with 200+ 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?
√ 25 or fewer
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 51-75 %
And how would you define “hirable”?
Has the degree, experience, interest required for the job.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
HR makes sure all applicants have the degree required or necessary experience required.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
No direct experience if there are more qualified applicants.
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?
Make sure to have experience–even if it as an intern, volunteer, etc. The last librarian I hired didn’t have a lot of experience as a librarian but she had shown so much hustle on her resume it showed how hard she is willing to work. Don’t have gaps in your work if possible. Even if you can’t find a full-time position in your field of choice right away, find somewhere you can work part-time or volunteer to keep your skills sharp while you look.
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?
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarians have been around for thousands of years in some capacity. I think we will be around because our communities rely on us for a variety of things–literacy, technology, etc. As long as we keep ourselves as a vital part of our communities and meet their needs, we will be around.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
Be positive! You can always train skills but you can’t change somebody’s personality. How you will fit in a department is just as important as your skills.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.