So many people apply for every job out there

Housewives league at Wash. MarketThis anonymous interview is with a public and consortium 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:

Directors, catalogers, systems

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?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meeting the requirements of the job description and providing a cover letter that demonstrates acceptable written communication skills.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

In my consortium myself or my Library Systems manager evaluate applications. I also serve as a consultant to library boards in my consortium that are hiring library directors. We are too small to have an HR department. Typically we will meet to review applications and select the most promising based on the consensus of the group and the discussion of each application.

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

Poor communication skills and/or failure to demonstrate the skill sets required by the job.

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

√ Other: if requested

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

Make sure they are well suited to the job and have the skills we are looking for. So many people apply for every job out there rather than self selecting jobs that match their skills. Tends to waste everyone’s time.

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: I am responding based on all the searches I have worked on. Not just my own organization.

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

√ Other: 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 the same number of 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?

We don’t really have any entry level positions.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Because libraries are not dying. Librarianship is a changing profession though and our success will depend on how we adapt to the changes.

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

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