reference librarians, catalogers, children’s librarians, extension librarians
This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a suburban area in the Southern 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”?
Have a Master’s Degree (not all did); had experience of some kind – even volunteering; had customer service experience.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
The librarian over that department reviews all applications and pulls the top three to five to actually interview.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
No degree; poor application – spelling, grammar, etc.
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?
Come prepared to the interview. Be upbeat and personable. Make sure your resume is up to date and no mistakes on it.
I want to hire someone who is
a people person – the rest can be taught.
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 preferred, but not necessary. We’re willing to give folks a chance.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
As long as we work to make our library relevant, we’ll be around. We have to adapt to the changes in our community.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.