Information is power and we have it in our hands.

Astor Market - Demonstrating CoffeeThis 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:

Children’s 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”?

Has requisite skills and background to suggest they would excel in youth services work.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

First pass through is by department manager to winnow the field to no more than 20 candidates to proceed through candidacy process. Essay questions are sent out and graded by the same manager to come up with a pool of 4-10 candidates (if more than 4 candidates, a brief Skype interview is held to produce the final four in-person interviews- done by committee of 3-4 managers). Rubrics are used in all phases of the hiring process – how well does the candidate match what we are asking for?

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

Expertise in areas other than youth services; lack of MLS; candidate produces boilerplate cover letter and resume that doesn’t respond to the specifics of the job posting.

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

√ Yes
√ Other: if asked

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

Research the institution and community to make the case for why your qualifications match our needs..

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?

√ 2

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

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

√ There are more 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?

√ Yes

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


Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Information is power and we have it in our hands. It isn’t just about books but the strength of community partnerships and supporting literacy on all levels for all ages throughout our communities.

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, Midwestern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

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