As long as there are libraries, there will be librarians.

Shulman's Market at the southeast corner of N Street and Union Street S.W., Washington, D.C., with a 1931 Chevrolet car parked in frontThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Southern 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?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Desired skills and/or sufficient experience to come in ready to do the job.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Discussed by the hiring committee (typically ~5 persons). No rubrics.

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

Lack of library degree and/or no relevant 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?

Address the job description and desired skills in your application materials.

I want to hire someone who is

qualified

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?

√ Other: 0

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

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

√ I don’t know

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

√ Yes

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

Not in my experience.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

As long as there are libraries, there will be librarians. And libraries are not a dying institution. Possibly diminishing, and the degree to which that’s true can be debated, but not dying.

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, Rural area, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015

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