This 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:
Technical services librarians, electronic services, access services, science librarian, reference librarians
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Southern US.
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 met our stated qualifications in terms of education and experience, they wrote a coherent letter, and attached a readable vita.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
All applications are posted on the HR website. I have all the librarians review them and we meet to see which candidates received the most favorable response. We do phone interviews to get the top 3 candidates that we bring to campus.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
They do not attach all the information requested in our ad. After that, it is generally not having a degree.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
√ Other: If they contact me and ask, I will talk with them.
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Write a letter that is free of errors and effectively shows that the candidate fits our needs. The letter should explain or highlight the areas of the resume that are important to the position.
I want to hire someone who is
a team player
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?
√ Other: none last year
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ Other: none 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?
Experience is preferred, but when we have a visiting one year appointment, or we have a very small pool, we take someone with no experience.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
What librarians do changes, but the end result of supplying someone with the data that they need or training someone to find information that they need, will not go away. Librarians provide a service in acquiring and vetting necessary information/resources. They train people to do research or they provide this to data to their constituents. Librarians provide a service.
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.