No, sir, you will not get $55,000 for 32 hours a week

OUTDOOR MARKET AT HAYMARKET SQUARE. PUBLIC PROTEST KEPT THE SQUARE FROM BECOMING PART OF AN EXPRESSWAY, 051973This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian at a for-profit academic library who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:


This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meets minimum qualifications, wrote specifically to the job description (was actually focused on *this job* not any job), had realisitic understanding of how much librarians are paid. (no, sir, you will not get $55,000 for 32 hours a week)

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Applications were reviewed by the Head Librarian. (We are a small, two-person library)

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

Lack of a degree, poor writing/editing, did not address the job specifically in the cover letter, too focused on their accomplishments, but not on how those accomplishments could serve our library/students/faculty

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 how your strengths/accomplishments have prepared you to fufill the needs of the library. Make it a no brainer – this person has what we need, let’s make sure we interview them.

I want to hire someone who is


How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

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?

√ Other: 0

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?

√ Yes

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?

Not an official requirement, but our last hire had grad assistant experience. I did pass on a candidate once who had great grades, but had never had any intern/work experience in a library.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

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

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


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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

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