Coming in cold from an MLS program with no work experience puts you at the bottom of the list.

Crockery and S. Murray, Grainger 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:

adult services librarians, children’s librarians, teen librarian, supervisors, managers

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 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?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Possessing the qualifications and experience necessary to be successful in the job.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Initially by HR (weeded out for minimum qualifications). Scored and ranked by library staff.

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

Not meeting the minimum qualifications (usually lack of required years of experience).

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

√ Yes

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

Get as much in-library experience as you can, even as a volunteer, in the type of library setting you prefer to work in. Coming in cold from an MLS program with no work experience puts you at the bottom of the list.

I want to hire someone who is

excited

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

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?

√ 1

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?

√ 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 require it, but when we see 20 candidates with experience and 20 without any, we’ll interview the people with experience.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Libraries are about the dissemination and democratization of information and expertise. The need for that function in society is not in danger of going away.

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.

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area, Western US

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