Subject specialists, research librarians, catalogers, digital librarians, archivists.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Northeastern US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
Meets all required and some preferred qualifications.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Search committee. Rubric used to communicate decision-making process and rationale to HR.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Does not meet required qualifications!
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?
Read the job description. Make sure you meet all required qualifications before applying. Take the time to write a cover letter that communicates why you are interested in and qualified for the position, and how you would perform if you were the successful candidate. Center the position and institution in your letter, and don’t rephrase your resume!
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 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?
Work experience gained from jobs or internships, but not professional experience.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarianship is not obsolete, but libraries will not hire at the same rate and volume that they once did. The glutted librarian labor market results in more competitive search processes, and the institution has a distinct advantage over applicants. Librarians must understand that there are many qualified candidates for every opening, and so while rejections don’t necessarily reflect poorly on a candidate, the bar is raised for exceptional performance.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.