This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
Adult specialist, cataloguer, a-v specialist
This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a rural area in the Midwestern 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”?
Applicable studies and/or prior experience, whether in a volunteer or paid capacity. Any kind of similar work where working with the public was considered.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
I read all resumes as they come in.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
No applicable experience at all. For example, experience operating a forklift and heavy equipment is not a transferable skill to library work.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
√ Other: Only I asked
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Thank the hiring manager for his or her time after the interview. Seriously, it makes you stand out!
I want to hire someone who is
A team player
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: 0
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 the same number of 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?
No, but applicable and transferable skills are highly encouraged and regarded.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
√ I don’t know
Why or why not?
Obviously budgets are tight all over the country as governments try to shave expenses. This does make for fewer full-time librarian positions and we are underpaid as a profession. Library budgets seem to be tighter in areas where communities don’t read, too. However, studies show that library use is higher than ever. I don’t think we’re a dying profession as long as we make it clear to governments how useful we are.
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.