Librarians are stewards of societies.

Vegetable and flower seller and stall, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WashingtonThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. 

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Western US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ more than 100, but less than 200

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 51-75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meeting the minimums for the job which are different for each librarian job. Some require experience, some do not, some require specific area experience such as in Technical Services, some do not such as in Public Services. All librarian jobs require and MLS or MLIS

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Applications are weeded by HR, then by a team of staffs.

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

No MLS or MLIS. Not providing answers to supplemental questionnaire. Not providing documentation requested.

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

√ Yes

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

Demonstrate a commitment to the field including education, volunteerism, continuing education and being able to fully document these things in the application materials.

I want to hire someone who is


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?

√ 5-6

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 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?

We do not require LIBRARY experience for entry-level jobs, but we do require some kind of verifiable work experience. It is an official requirement.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Here is just a sampling…With the increasing availability of information it is necessary to have highly trained individuals who are able 1. to teach others how to access that information and/or provide access to information and ideas to people who ask for customized services 2. to teach how to navigate the overwhelming amount of information in order to find the information they seek or act as an agent and perform searches to find information for others 3. professionals are needed to determine and collect reliable accurate information resources, including finding the best resources for the least amount of money acting as stewards of public or private funding 4. to respond to the need for multiple ways to access information, ideas, spaces, for example including access methods and technology for people with disabilities and people who are unhoused. 5. Librarians are stewards of societies.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Read the posting. Fill out the application completely. Answer any added questions completely. Submit a resume. Have at least two people proof read your application packet. Tell your professional references to be ready for a call from the organization. Ask for feedback.

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

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