This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
Generalists, library assistants
This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban 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”?
Meet the minimum requirements for the job.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
HR does a first pass, usually looking for the minimum requirements (i.e. an MLS). Then, the rest of the applications come to the search committee. We individually rank our top 5-7 candidates and see who overlaps.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
No MLS, poorly written cover letter or resume, applying from a distant state without explanation.
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?
Well-written, grammatically correct cover letter and resume that fits the job being applied for.
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?
Yes, we do require experience. It can vary, and it doesn’t have to be a set number of years full-time experience, but we’re not looking to hire someone right out of a grad program with no work experience.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
√ I don’t know
Why or why not?
I hope not, but if it isn’t going to die, it needs to train and nurture professional managers in the field much better.
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.