This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
only supervisors are expected to be professionals. all other library staff require HS degree only.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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?
√ 25 or fewer
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ Other: 8
And how would you define “hirable”?
fit the qualifications and had good references
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
first pass is by city HR officer, then to library hiring committee. Evals are judged on meeting minimum requirements, locals are given extra point
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
not qualified or do not have the minimum qualifications listed for the job. example: job ad requires nights and weekend, applicant states on their application form that they are only willing to work weekdays.
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?
expand the area of recruitment, our library is rural so we have to expand to state and national advertising
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?
official requirement that they have at least 1 yr practical experience for entry level librarian.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
√ Other: maybe
Why or why not?
Depending on the governing/financial makeup of the library we see more and more the city pushing to hire more business type staff than traditional librarians. They look for a degree in business management, social work or public service.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
Bring strong technology skills, we often will accept less practical librarianship experience if the candidate is very tech savvy.
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.