Be prepared to give a good answer without too much hesitance.

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 person hires the following types of LIS professionals:


This librarian works at a library with 100-200 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?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ Other: 3

And how would you define “hirable”?

The right set of skills, experience, aptitude and attitude.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR does not usually weed out the applications any more. The hiring supervisor weeds through and selects the top 5-10 applications, then prioritizes them to call the top 3-5 for interviews. If a suitable candidate is not found among those, then other potential applicants are called. As a last resort, the position may be re-opened for additional applicants. The City does have some general rubric guidelines that can be utilized. The Interviews are conducted by a selection team (usually 2-5 members).

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

Lack of the required educational background, and/or completely unrelated type of work experience.

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?

Present themselves well, with confidence and honesty, both in the application, resume and in the interview. Do their homework, ask the right questions in a conversational manner. Anticipate the questions to be asked and be prepared to give a good answer without too much hesitance.

I want to hire someone who is


How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 100-200

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?

√ 3-4

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?

Experienced candidates would likely be preferred, but not necessarily the deciding factor for entry-level.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Not dying in the sense that people will not be needed–but the roles are changing in many ways (not always for the better!)

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

Find the type of position for which you have passion and the best aptitude. Learn about and appreciate all of the roles/positions played throughout the organization.

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 100-200 staff members, Public, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

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