Intellectual curiosity, ability to manage change, and willingness to adapt are more important than an MLS.

Young boy tending freshly stocked fruit and vegetable stand at Center Market, 02181915This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manage. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Consultant Librarians, Assistant Director, Library and Automation Specialist

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”?

For the last position hired, possessing relevant management/supervisory experience, holding an MLS, able to write a coherent cover letter and resume.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

We are a small organization. The Executive Director (an MLS position) is hired by a committee of trustees. All other MLS positions are hired by the Executive Director.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Poorly written cover letter and/or resume.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

If you want an interview, write a coherent cover letter and resume.

I want to hire someone who is

nimble

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

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?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

The State mandates that we have 4 MLS-holding librarians on staff.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

It’s changing, but not dying. Intellectual curiosity, ability to manage change, and willingness to adapt are more important than an MLS.

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.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Northeastern US, Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

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