I would not recommend anyone start library school, unless they REALLY want to.

View of street vendors at 7th and B Streets, NW (Ca. 1880) MarketThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference, children’s, catalogers, acquisitions staff, teen librarian (singular for entire system)

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern 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?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

self-motivated, approachable, detail oriented, knowledgeable

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR then upper management

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

lack of qualifications, poor cover letter, over-confidence, gut feeling

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?

Cover letters suck to write, but they really do provide a platform to separate you from other candidates. Make it honest, but humble.

I want to hire someone who is

self-motivated

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 100-200

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

√ 3-4

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

√ 7 or more

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?

√ Yes

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

√ Yes

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, but experience definitely gives you a leg up.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Yes

Why or why not?

Not necessarily dying, but definitely shrinking. I would not recommend anyone start library school, unless they REALLY want to.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

My experience has shown that cover letters really do make the difference in selecting candidates to interview.

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 100-200 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

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