This anonymous interview is with an academic 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:
electronic resources librarians
This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a suburban area in the Midwestern 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 combination of the right level of experience and prospective fit within the current team/system. The job doesn’t always go to the most experienced candidate – fit and specific skills can be important.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Everything gets passed on to us (no HR pre-weed) and a hiring committee made up of professional library staff decides who to interview and ultimately hire.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
We’re a smaller institution with a specific mission, so we’re often looking for people with really specific experiences and interests.
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?
Write a good cover letter that gets right to the point and addresses the main job qualifications. Present a clear, strong case for why you are a good match with the skills we’re looking for.
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?
It’s not required, but even for the entry-level positions we usually get tons of applicants with experience.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Shrinking and changing, but not dying. Information science is still a unique skill set that is hard to replicate or do without when it’s needed.
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.