I don’t really think of librarianship as a profession.

View of street vendors at 7th and B Streets, NW (Ca. 1880) MarketThis 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:

People who kick ass.

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 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?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ Other: Maybe one or two

And how would you define “hirable”?

We want to be so excited about the candidate that we want to make an offer before someone else does. Very few candidates fit that criteria.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

We see all of the applications
We use a search committee
We evaluate each candidate based on the qualifications in the job ad. For example, for “Ability to build rapport with campus stakeholders” we would like to see evidence in the resume/letter that the person can influence and build relationships with non-library people.

Our on campus interview is almost completely about “fit”. Do we want to work with them. Would they like working here? Do they want to work with us?

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

Generic cover letter/resume which translates into too much emphasis on them and too little emphasis on how they fit what we need. Very few people put in the time and effort to make a tight connection between what we need and what they can offer.

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

√ No

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?

√ 3-4

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?

√ No

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

√ No

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

Depends on what you mean by “experience”. We will take non-professional academic library experience (e.g. internship).

(Is librarianship a dying profession?) Why or why not?

I don’t really think of librarianship as a 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.

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area, Western US

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