This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committe. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
Children’s and Teen
This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern 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”?
Eager, positive view of customer service, willing to be flexible, creative, and energetic. Experience working with the public, especially children and families. Knowledge of children’s services in public libraries as well as stages of child development.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
The City Dept. of Human Resources gets applications online and checks they meet minimum qualifications then passes them on to library. No Committee.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Not having youth services experience and filling out application incorrectly.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Be passionate about the position or don’t apply.
I want to hire someone who is
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
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 fewer 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?
Because there are so many applicants, it has become practice.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
√ Other: If it doesn’t change it is
Why or why not?
We need to better educate students so they are equipped to handle the fast paced environment, technology, and human relations.
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.