This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area, with no regional location given.
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”?
They must have an MLIS, applicable work experience (this was for Director), and a well-formatted and composed cover letter and resume.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Search committee evaluates all applications.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Ridiculous cover letter. Too short, no customization to the position, inclusion of erroneous personal information.
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?
Focus on the specifics of each institution and the position, customize their letter and resume to THAT job. Quit spewing out mass applications. Also, show that you did your homework and are actually interested in this institution, library, and position.
Show your specific accomplishments that apply to our job requirements in your cover letter and resume.
Also offer your specific vision and philosophy for library service.
I want to hire someone who is
competent, socially astute. Experience can be learned.
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 the same number of 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?
not an official requirement, but for recent grads, we expect them to have at least volunteered or worked in a paraprofessional capacity in a library environment.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
People need libraries. Most librarians who work on the front lines are working hard to keep up with people’s needs. People need help to navigate an increasingly complex information environment and learn how to drill down from a lot of irrelevant results to the ones they need. They also need help using complex technologies for fun and entertainment. We have those skills and they’re used to coming to us for help. We’re positioned to be the go-to people if we can re-engineer our image and publicize it.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
Yes. Don’t write a paragraph for a cover letter. Your cover letter is how I choose whether to interview you. Research the places you’re hiring and give them a feel, specifically, about why you want to work there and what you have done that could serve our needs as stated in the job description. If you do that you’ll be heads and shoulders above the rest. Also, ask someone to proof-read for typos and grammar.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.