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:
technical services, electronic and systems services, subject librarians, archivists
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Northeastern 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?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
Demonstrating real strength in the essential functions of the job
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Unionized committee of librarians. They decide on the rubrics
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Lack of skills that meet the essential functions of the job
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?
Really market their skills in their cover letter, clearly addressing the job requirements.
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?
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
Not required for entry level
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
There is a tremendous need for librarians to assist with organizing and locating information in print and electronically.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
Sell, sell, sell yourself in your cover letter. Look to private industry for models. Do not state, i am applying for your job…. We already know that, Use the limited space to convince me why you are are the best person for the job, based on the essential requirements.
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.