This 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:
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Southern 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”?
Appropriate credentials, qualifications and/or experience
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Director is given access to all applications. The first applicants that get weeded are those that don’t meet all of the hiring requirements.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Misspellings and/or inaccuracies on resume, the CV or cover letter.
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?
Quit whining on social media. Seriously, I read posts on various sites and listservs and see the same people whining over and over again (in public groups, no less!) about how they can’t find and/or keep a job, they hate their boss, hate their coworkers, etc. Keep that sort of stuff for closed groups, private pages, etc. In my mind, if any of those names crossed my desk, I would immediately disregard their applications. Instead, use social media and the internet to promote yourself! Put your best foot forward so to speak. We all have days that we hate our boss, coworkers, the general public but save those type of conversations and/or rant sessions for friends. Not 10,000 other librarians. Just my honest opinion.
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?
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 more 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. It is preferred but not required.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarianship is a changing profession. While our roles are ever-evolving, they are not any less important than before. Our primary objective is to provide access to information–the methods are just different and some of the titles reflect that change.
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.