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:
MLS required for the director. Programmers (children’s programming, young adult/adult programming) requires related experience working with similar job objectives.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Western 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?
√ more than 75 %
And how would you define “hirable”?
Useful as an employee in our community.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
The administrative team reviews all applications and determines which to keep on file and which to call for interviews. We have a very low turnover and usually keep applications only when in the hiring process.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
lack of detailed information on the application.
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?
Be thorough with your cover letter and/or application in order to demonstrate your fit with the job available.
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?
√ Other: 0
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?
Yes, we require experience for our professional positions. Being a small, rural community, related experience qualifies (working at a school or daycare relates to children’s services, or working in an office relates to administrative positions. it’s unreasonable for us to require an MLS for anything other than the director’s position, and official librarian experience for our programming positions).
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Change is inevitable, and we simply have to change with the times. 1/3 of our check outs are movies/tv series, so we are more like a blockbuster than a traditional library. We are also the gamers, and have no reference collection. Change with the times, meet community needs, and libraries will continue to thrive.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
Be relevant. Tailor your cover letter to the job description and job objectives. Show how you fit the job available. If you do not readily have a job description, ask for one!
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.
One response to “it’s unreasonable for us to require an MLS for anything other than the director’s position”
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