This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
electronic resource librarians
reference librarians with subject specialties
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Northeastern 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”?
Had the required minimum qualifications.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
By committee. Each member evaluates candidates on set minimum criteria before they move on for further consideration.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Doesn’t have the minimum credentials — academic degree(s)
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
√ Other: Not on a formal basis. There may have been times in the past, especially if a candidate initiated the conversation.
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Apply to appropriate positions that you at least have the minimum qualifications.
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?
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
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?
Typically yes—experience of some sort. It doesn’t have to be directly related to the job or for great lengths of time.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
With the explosion of information in the world there is great demand for professionals who can search, organize, and manage it…this is exactly what a librarian does…I think the general public and employers will eventually come to that realization…even the profession itself has to see itself in a new light. As older library professionals retire the newer, digital savvy group coming up through the ranks should be able to manage this change in perception a bit better.
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.