Lack of experience with either the target patron group or the targeted job skills

Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E N Clopper. Location Indianapolis, Indiana.This anonymous interview is with a 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:

Youth librarians

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern 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”?

“Hireable” means the applicants had the skills and experience needed to work within our library system.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applications are reviewed by the hiring manager(s), who then pulls out the most desirable candidates. For a librarian level position, there are at least two or three managers that choose candidates and interview as a panel. No applications are weeded by HR.

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

Lack of experience with either the target patron group or the targeted job skills. For instance, if you want someone who will be teaching computer classes, but the person has no experience with instruction or with the computer programs you want to be covered, you can eliminate that candidate if there are other applicants who do have the skills.

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

√ Other: On a case by case basis

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Get as much experience as possible in various aspects of library service.

I want to hire someone who is

innovative

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

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 fewer 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?

We do not require it, but strongly desire it. There are so many applicants now that usually we can find many candidates to interview that have experience already.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

The profession is just changing. Just because there are fewer traditional jobs doesn’t mean there aren’t places for those who want to be a librarian. You just won’t find many specialist jobs anymore.

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 50-100 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

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