I find that new librarians cannot function without a computer.

View of street vendors at 7th and B Streets, NW (Ca. 1880) 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:

Children’s and Young Adult

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Southwest 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?

√ Other: 1 out of 15

And how would you define “hirable”?

Had an MLS and some experience in public libraries either professional or non-professional

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

They are evaluated by the evaluated by the hiring manager (in this case me) I rate education, experience in public library and in this case interest in teen programming

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

Did not meet minimum requirements

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

√ No

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

Show good customer service traits (pleasant, engaging, calm )

I want to hire someone who is

enthusiastic

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

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?

Yes, but the experience can be as a library assistant and I also count part-time experience, internships, and student employment

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Yes

Why or why not?

I find that new librarians cannot function without a computer. They can’t find non-fiction or do reader’s advisory without a computer. Also reference seems to becoming obsolete. Cataloging is outsourced and lots of collection development is also.

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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3 Comments

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

3 responses to “I find that new librarians cannot function without a computer.

  1. This is interesting. I don’t work in public libraries or in the Children’s and Young Adult areas… I’m in an academic library, working with instruction and serials. Many of my colleagues (not “new” librarians) can’t do their job without a computer either. I do think you can learn and grow in expertise in areas like reader’s advisory and in finding materials (fiction and non-fiction) the longer you are in a position but fail to see how using a computer to do these tasks is problematic. Aren’t most catalogs accessible only via computer these days? I’d be interested in more context for this survey, for sure!

  2. Kate

    So this person’s workplace doesn’t have databases full of journals? Readers who prefer ebooks? Emailed or IM’ed reference questions? An OPAC?
    Computers are tools that we use, and that makes us better librarians, not worse. You know why? Because we have to meet patrons and users at their level. Or they will not come to us.

  3. Also reference seems to becoming obsolete

    Also, grammar.

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