One of the most common issues is lack of experience

Market day, KillarneyThis anonymous interview is with an academic 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, archivists, subject specialists, reference

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban 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”?

fit at least the required qualifications in the job posting

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

by a hiring committee. there is no weeding at the HR level. Phone interviews are done with 5 top ranked candidates and 3 of those are invited for an onsite interview

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

lack of qualifications and/or low score on those qualifications in a strong pool of candidates

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

√ Other: only if requested

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

applying for the appropriate position (i.e. one that matches their qualifications). If you are after specifics- one of the most common issues is lack of experience which could be fixed by having more internship experience while in library school.

I want to hire someone who is


How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

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?

√ Other: none

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?

√ 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?

yes. we require subject expertise (officially and in practice)

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: about as much as any other profession if you really think about it

Why or why not?

Librarianship changes so much and there are so many different branches… makes it very difficult to speak in generalities.

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 0-10 staff members, Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

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