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:
reference, instruction, outreach, electronic resources
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern 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”?
meets minimum requirements, shows interest and enthusiasm for position, writes engaging cover letter
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
search committee reviews all applications, looks for required and desired qualifications, committee meets to see which candidates are top choices for all members
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
doesn’t meet minimum qualifications (example, no MLS if required or no teaching experience if required)
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?
tailor the cover letter to the job and let the potential employer know what they can bring to the job, rather than focus on what the job can do for them
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 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?
official requirement although many applicants can spin related experience to their advantage
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
definitely changing, but not dying!
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.