This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Western US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
√ more than 200
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
17% passed the screening and HR exam. Many did not have an MLIS, or were invited to an exam and did not show.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
This is run by our City personnel department, who screens applications for minimum qualifications, and invites candidates to an oral “exam” where librarians from other jurisdictions score them on “interview” style questions, measuring their “knowledge, skills, and ability” to do the basic job in a scoring matrix. Passing candidates are ranked. HR then submits to us 4 candidates for a position, with an additional 2 candidates for each extra position being interviewed for in the same pool, at a time for interview, without ranking information.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Lack of an MLIS or not passing the HR exam.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Be exhaustively complete in their application and exam
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?
√ 7 or more
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?
There is no official requirement. In practice, it is *often* but *not always* one of several desirable qualities demonstrated by hirable candidates.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
It’s shrinking and changing, and better change to stay alive.
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.