This is a time of exciting challenges!

Pike Place Market looking north, Seattle, WashingtonThis anonymous interview is with an public 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:

Catalogers, Adult Librarians, Children’s Librarians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in Texas.

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”?

Someone who knew what the job is, had some applicable experience, cared enough to figure out what we need, wanted to work with people

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

The Library Director evaluates in conjunction with a committee of staff chosen by the L.D., generally the Asst. L.D. and the manager of the function to be filled.

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

No 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?

Homework about the community.

I want to hire someone who is


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?

√ 1

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

√ 7 or more

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?

Not an official requirement but even those in library school have opportunities to do some sort of practical work here.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

It’s not dying, its just changing. We have a huge role in connecting people with information- for all sorts of things from new tech to jobs to each other, particularly in an age so information rich it is overwhelming. Information now comes in a huge array of formats and we’re the folks who master them all & have the resources and training to teach them to others. This is a time of exciting challenges!

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: 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, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

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