There may be librarians in the future, but they will need different skill sets from the past.

Man selling artichokes at vegetable market in Stockholm 1951This anonymous interview is with an academic library employee who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

subject librarians
technical services
archives
preservation
repository

This person works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a rural 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”?

Score about 75% on our qualifications matrix.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

By a search committee using a job skill matrix based on job requirements, but required and preferred.

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

Doesn’t score high enough on our matrix.

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

√ Other: If contacted

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

Make sure resume and letter of introduction speak to the job requirements.

I want to hire someone who is

collaborative

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 100-200

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

√ 3-4

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

√ 7 or more

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer 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?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No

Is librarianship a dying profession?

Yes

Why or why not?

Technology is automating many of the traditional roles of the librarian. There may be librarians in the future, but they will need different skill sets from the past.

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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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

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