I don’t care about your GPA. I do like to see your personality, though

Market day, Killarney 2This 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:

adult and children’s librarians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban 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?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Met the basic qualifications, including experience.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applications are vetted by the Library Director (me) as well as at least one other staff member (librarian or circulation supervisor). We each sort them and weed out those we don’t feel meet the basic requirements. Then we look for matching or relevant experience or skills. Then each member of the hiring committee (usually three people – Director, librarian, circ supervisor) sorts the apps again and selects those they feel they would be interested in interviewing. We select 5-10 strong candidates and invite them for interviews.

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

They don’t meet the basic requirements.

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

√ Other: If they ask, I will give them feedback about the application, but not the interview.

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

Follow the directions in the application process! Highlight your most relevant experience and skills. Eliminate dead wood in your application. You’re not applying for college. I don’t care about your GPA. I do like to see your personality, though, so include interesting skills or hobbies somewhere. Write an appealing cover letter that really shows who YOU are. Match your application and resume to our job description. Don’t just say “did collection development” – add specifics: what was your budget? Did you do the ordering? The cataloging? The weeding? What areas? Include any special projects you initiated and/or completed and/or assisted with.

I want to hire someone who is


How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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?

√ Yes

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 do not require library experience for entry-level professional positions, although fieldwork or internships are a plus.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: Not dying, but definitely changing!

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.


Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.