Don’t be sketchy or verbose (either in print and in an interview).

Fish MarketThis 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:

youth services and adult reference librarians

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a suburban area in the Western 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?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meeting the minimum qualifications for the position and satisfactorily answering the screening questions which as part of the application.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds out those who don’t meet the minimum qualifications. The rest are reviewed via NeoGov by the supervising librarian who is acting as the Hiring Manager for the job posting, and any other hiring committee members.

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

We only interview the applicants who rise to the top of the applicant pool, since it’s a very time- and labor-intensive process, so the most qualified few move on to the interview phase. We probably typically interview 9 or fewer.

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

√ Other: They may call HR.

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

Apply for what you’re qualified for. Paint a solid picture of how your experience pertains to the position. Don’t be sketchy or verbose (either in print and in an interview).

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?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

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?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Library Assistant positions require
• Some (at least 1 year) experience in library operations, customer service experience, and basic computer troubleshooting and/or maintenance

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

As libraries become ‘third places’ and community gathering spots, people still walk in the door and need assistance in winnowing reliable info from poor info, and there are still many people who need access to technology that they can get for free with us. And children and their families still need to have early literacy skill information and techniques shared with them, as well as the joy of reading and stories.

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, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area, Western US

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