Don’t fudge, if you do and I hire you, you will probably be fired!

Push cart market -- New York (LOC)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:


Social Media
Adult Services

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a rural 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”?

Able and competent to do the job as outlined in the advert

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Computer ranks based on application, then reviewed by library hiring managers

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

Lack of qualifications, poor grammar, misspelled words, etc.

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?

Pay attention to detail. Know something about our library and DO NOT lie!

I want to hire someone who is

Energetic and 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?

√ 2

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

√ 2

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, official

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Changing, but not dying. Our numbers have doubled over the past ten years. We are busier now than at anytime in our history.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Be honest, energetic and like your job.
Don’t fudge, if you do and I hire you, you will probably be fired!
Be willing to “pay your dues”. You are new, remember that.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.


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

4 responses to “Don’t fudge, if you do and I hire you, you will probably be fired!

  1. Not everyone looking for a library job is new to the profession!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pigbitinmad

    I have left enough comments on this board, but it seems like the ones doing the hiring are the ones with the big chip on their shoulders. Everyone is a liar, a failed career-changer or grossly incompetent. (And so many of them got their jobs in the 1970s when it was really easy) They never meet one candidate who is good enough….and they all claim that we are computer illiterate.

    They really think they are curing cancer and that someone from an entirely different job (one that still involved pushing paper, metadata and billing and accounts payable) would have NO CLUE HOW TO DO THIS WORK.

    I am not sure when the world became such a horrible place filled with humorless, stuck-up stepford wives, but I for one am sick of it.


  3. pigbitinmad

    On that note, maybe the hiring managers of the library world can find some application in this article. It is rather lengthy and does not contain anything about “10 ways highly perfect corporate automatons can ass-kiss their way to success,” but….if the following resonates with anyone here, I suggest you read it (I quote “Academia [substitute the word libraries and you are getting pretty close] was, he muses, once a haven for oddballs – it was one of the reasons he went into it. “It was a place of refuge. Not any more. Now, if you can’t act a little like a professional executive, you can kiss goodbye to the idea of an [library] career.”).

    I know I remember a time before Corporate Koolaid was guzzled in such vast quantities. My only wish is that the people who love this Kool Aid so much would remember that the original recipe contained Cyanide.


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