Children like books a lot and, coincidentally, children are our future.

Fruit and vegetable vendors, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WashingtonThis 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:

Paraprofessionals only

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 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?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meets minimum qualifications; “red flags” not present on application or resume

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

No weeding by HR, they all come to the committee
We use rubrics

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

Application materials are poorly written

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

√ No

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

Show that you have some knowledge of the organization you are applying to

I want to hire someone who is

cooperative

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?

√ 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?

√ 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 don’t require it, but so many experienced people apply that we usually use it as a factor in narrowing down the pool

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

People in general still like books, though they don’t have as many.
Children like books a lot and, coincidentally, children are our future.
Students still need training in research.
Research databases still need to be procured and managed.
People still need a quiet space where they can read, think, and work.
People still need help finding the resources they need.
Librarians understand how to make all of the functions of a library come together to meet their users’ needs.

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

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