been losing positions

View of street vendors at 7th and B Streets, NW (Ca. 1880) MarketThis anonymous interview is with a special 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:

Just librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in Canada.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

match many of the skills looked for as per job ad

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

evaluated by two librarians on staff – separate evaluations then discussion to see matches/mismatches before moving to interview stage

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

lack of qualifications as per job ad; overqualified for position – assumption was pay would be insufficient or job not interesting enough to keep person in position for several years

misspellings in resume/letter

addressing different job ad in cover letter

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

check, double check spelling and that you are sending correct letter to correct job application

good to reach for something that you are not completely qualified for in terms of not as many years of experience as desired if you meet many of the other requirements

I want to hire someone who is


How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0 – been losing positions

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0 – losing positions

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?

√ Other: None

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Other: None

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Since we do systematic review searches, we require some search experience. Also some teaching experience in some position related to libraries or not.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

Dying in some areas due to budget constraints

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.


1 Comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Canada, Special, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

One response to “been losing positions

  1. Black ' n Write Reviewer

    This is good to know! I’m always afraid of applying for a position if the required numbers of years requested in the ad is less than I have, even if I know I am qualified for the position.
    ~ Krys


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