Traditional positions like bibliographer or reference librarian are dying

Young boy tending freshly stocked fruit and vegetable stand at Center Market, 02181915This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Tech Services librarians and systems/programmer professionals (not librarian positions).

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meeting minimum qualifications and having a decently written cover letter and resume.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Search committee does all the evaluation, using a rubric. If committee allows someone who doesn’t meet qualifications, HR will question that decision later.

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

Not meeting minimum qualifications, especially work experience.

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?

Read job description! Make sure you meet the minimum qualifications. Tailor your cover letter for the particular job you are applying for, and get someone to proofread it and your resume.

I want to hire someone who is

competent

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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

√ 2

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-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 fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

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?

Yes – it’s just what happens in practice.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Traditional positions like bibliographer or reference librarian are dying, but other roles are emerging, especially in technology-related areas.

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 10-50 staff members, Academic, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area, Western US

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