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:
Catalogers, reference, YA, etc.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Southern US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
A minimum combination of experience and education.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Committee. No weeding by HR.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Lack of minimum level experience or education.
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?
Must have some experience, be it internship or practicum work. Don’t expect to hear from me if you have a MLS and no experience at all in a library.
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 fewer 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?
√ I don’t know
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
Is librarianship a dying profession?
√ I don’t know
Why or why not?
It’s dependent on administrators. If they are unwilling to even fight for professional positions, then yes, it is dying.
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.