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:
our institution hires a variety of LIS professionals
This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in an urban area in the Western 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?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
Meet the qualifications for the position, successfully completed a telephone interview, and would be considered a finalist for the position and be offered an on-campus interview. The on-campus interview actually assists us in determining who is hirable.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
In some cases our search committee chair will weed out applicants that have not completed their application or do not meet the minimum requirements for the position, e.g. does not hold an MLS/MLIS. We rank candidates as search committee members. There is a search committee for every faculty librarian position posted. We do a national recruitment.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Did not meet minimum or preferred qualifications; strength of pool determined most qualified applicants for interview.
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?
Address the job posting in letter of interest; address how they are qualified for key areas of responsibility; proof read and customize letter / cv to appropriately match job posting.
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?
√ 7 or more
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?
√ I don’t know
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?
√ I don’t know
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?
√ Other: More the reverse; we are hiring more librarian positions when para-professional positions become vacant.
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
yes; in practice.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarianship is an evolving profession.
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.