Monthly Archives: October 2015

Head librarian position (latest vacancy) handled by combination of judges, court executive, and librarian.

 Condiment Stand in Center Market This anonymous interview is with a law 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:

Reference, Technical Services, Branch Librarians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ more than 75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meets required minimum education and experience

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Staff librarian position handled entirely by library staff.  Head librarian position (latest vacancy) handled by combination of judges, court executive, and librarian.

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

Does not meet required minimum education and experience

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

√ Other: occasionally upon request

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

Get relevant experience, even if it has to be volunteer work

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?

√ 1

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

√ Other: None

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?

Yes – official requirement

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Traditional, book-based librarianship is dying, but there are still opportunities for librarians.  Many may not be in actual libraries, or called “librarians)

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Hello, Are you the anonymous job hunter they are looking for?

As you know, respondents to the surveys are totally unidentifiable unless they decide to provide an email address.  So I have no idea how to find this job hunter:

When I open my saved bookmarks, Google Chrome asks me if I’m sure I want to open that many

This is unfortunate because another Hiring Librarians contact is on a hiring committee, and asked me if I could forward his listing.  He thinks this person would be a great applicant!

If you are the person responsible for these answers, check out the job at

We Suggest You Apply.

And of course if you’re not the person interviewed, you are still welcome to apply.  The listing is open.  Here’s a preview:

Job ID: UL474
Location: Law Library

Equal Employment Opportunity
The University of Louisville is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Employer, committed to diversity and in that spirit, seeks applications from a broad variety of candidates.

Position Description

Assistant Professor of Legal Bibliography

ONLINE SERVICES LIBRARIAN

The law library of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law invites applications for a full-time, tenure track position with the law library faculty.  Twelve month appointment.  Some evening and weekend hours required.

REQUIREMENTS:  MLS from an ALA-accredited program.  Experience in subscription online database and general online searching.  Familiarity with Westlaw, Lexis-Nexis, and HeinOnline preferred.  Applicants must have good communication skills.

DUTIES:  Monitors online legal information services for changes in search protocol and content.  Provides training to faculty, students, and other library staff on database searching and content, and use of online databases in the context of a search strategy that includes other information media.  Manages the law library web site and develops new content.  Assists faculty with scholarly communications and serves as editor of the law school’s SSRN Research Paper Series.  Maintains and monitors the law library’s social media presence.  Provides legal reference service to faculty, staff, students, the University community, the practicing bar, and the general public.

SALARY:  To $50,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Attractive benefits package.

Position available 1/1/2016 or as soon thereafter as possible.  Apply online at https://highereddecisions.com/uofl/current_vacancies.asp. (Search for “Law Library – Associate Professor”.) Please attach a current CV and cover letter.  Applications will be accepted through 11/13/2015.

Leave a comment

Filed under Job Hunter Follow Up, Job hunter's survey

Further Questions: What advice do you have for long-term job seekers?

This week we asked people who hire librarians

What advice do you have for long-term job seekers, i.e. those who have been looking for over a year (see our stats on Hiring Librarians; about 40% of those who have taken our survey of job hunters have been searching for a new position for over a year, see the second question under the demographics section)? When it is obvious that a job hunter has been looking for awhile (either by graduation date or lack of a current position in the library world, etc.), do you consider this a red flag? How can job hunters stay fresh throughout a long job searching process?

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email us at hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com.

MargaretKnowing how tough the job market is, I don’t automatically raise the flag if someone has been out of work for a while. I’m more concerned with serial job hoppers-you know, the people who only stay in a job for six months or a year over and over again and then give vague answers as to why they left. That’s my biggest red flag (unless that person’s spouse is in the military or something, I’ve had those before). My advice is to keep your skills up. Volunteer (I know…I know…), stay active in professional list servs and organizations and show that, even though you’re not getting a paycheck, you’re working. Bring it up in the interview, don’t be shy. Talk about what you’ve been doing to keep your skills fresh, talk about trends to show you’re staying abreast of innovations in the library world (appropriate to the questions, of course, don’t just bust out with knowledge apropos of nothing. RDA! Data-driven acquisition! Makerspaces! STEAM! Cloud computing!), etc.

– Margaret M. Neill, Regional Library Branch Manager, Main Library, El Paso Public Library

J. McRee ElrodIf not currently employed in a library, do volunteer work in a library such as the local public library or a charity.

 

 

 
– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging

Christine Hage - Dark backgroundIf you have actively been interviewing for a year and have not gotten a job, I would go back to at least one interviewer, well after the position has been filled, to see if they would critique the interview and your resume.  Approach them for advice or very short term mentoring.

 

Sometimes the candidate pool is so rich that unless a candidate really shines, they won’t stand out in the crowd.  There might be problems with the resume or cover letter.  It might be a lack of confidence in an interview situation.  It might be the way a candidate dresses for the interview. Any number of things can rule out a candidate from a position, but the losing candidate needs to analyze their presentation/behavior.

 

The job market can be very competitive.  The employer may only have your paperwork and 15 minutes to evaluate you.  Sometimes it is something as simple as the lack of a smile that will eliminate a candidate.  I can train people for a job, but I can’t teach them to smile.  An interview, like librarianship, is a two-way conversation.  You have to come across as a likeable person in all interactions.  If the employer does feel you are likeable, you’re a dead duck.

– Christine Hage, Director, Rochester Hills Public Library

Thank YOU for reading!  If you liked reading, you’re going to really love COMMENTING.

2 Comments

Filed under Further Questions

Dying through self-inflicted wounds (intransigence) more than external forces (capitalism, vanity)

At center market. 11 year old celery vender. He sold until 11 P.M. and was out again Sunday morning selling papers and gum. Has been in this country only half a year. Washington D.C., 04131912 This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 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?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meet the posted minimum/required qualifications

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Search committee consensus, director is the appointing authority

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

No library degree or relevant experience

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?

Expand their search

I want to hire someone who is

kind

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

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?

√ 3-4

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?

Varies

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Yes

Why or why not?

Dying through self-inflicted wounds (intransigence) more than external forces (capitalism, vanity)

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

The fight continues.

Woman at a market stall 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:

Reference librarians, instruction librarians, electronic resource librarians, collection development librarians, subject liaisons.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

They met the minimum requirements on the position description.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applications are submitted directly to the hiring director at the library. There is a committee of 5-6 people (mostly librarians, but occasionally other staff as well) who score applicants based on a rubric. Based on the scores, there are usually 4-5 applicants who make it through to the telephone interview, and usually 2-3 selected from that round who are invited for an in-person interview.

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

Very often it’s because they are applying for a job in which they have no practical or theoretical experience. This might be skills associated with the position, or it might be experience. Sometimes it’s because they don’t have the required degree.

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

√ Other: No: we are legally constrained from doing so.

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

Get experience, even if it’s volunteer work, internships, or part-time! Nothing separates people from the pack like experience in the particular setting for which they are applying. Also, spend as much time on the cover letter and resume tweaking it for the specific position.

I want to hire someone who is

enthusiastic

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?

√ Other: 0

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

√ Other: 0

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?

No. While experience is preferred, if the position is entry-level, all applicants are considered.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

It is not a dying profession because the world has, more than ever, needs which librarianship can help to meet. Access to information, teaching users to be smarter consumers of information, advocating for minorities so that they have access to the information they need to improve their situation…the list goes on and on. I do believe it will BECOME a dying profession, though, if we are not strong advocates for why libraries and librarians are necessary in society. The fight continues.

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

Don’t lose hope! 🙂

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Because they have worked in our system, we know who the top performers are

Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E N Clopper. Location Indianapolis, Indiana.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:

catalogers, adult and children’s librarians, department heads, outreach librarians

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban 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?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

My library system tries to promote from within whenever possible. We tend to have lots of underemployed professionals and volunteers who are professionals to choose from. Because they have worked in our system, we know who the top performers are. This method works out well for the library system, but I’m sorry to see that so many degreed librarians are willing to take any job they can get at a library. Sometimes job candidates are employees who have earned their MLIS while working in paraprofessional positions.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

We receive all applications from qualified candidates. HR determines which are qualified. There are no rubrics. There are committees for all job openings, no matter what position is open.

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

Clear lack of experience/education requirements stated in the job posting.

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

√ Other: only if asked

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

Since we nearly always hire from within, a great track record in their current position is absolutely essential.

I want to hire someone who is

people-oriented

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 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?

√ 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?

√ 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?

Because we hire almost exclusively from within, all candidates will have library experience. Their experience might be as a paraprofessional.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Yes

Why or why not?

I am hoping that as economic times get better, libraries will be better funded resulted in better staffing. Like almost any other profession, constant change is required to stay ahead of customer needs/desires.

 

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 200+ staff members, Public, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

We require some experience. It is a library practice, not an official requirement.

Market day, Killarney 2This 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:

Instruction and reference librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a rural 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”?

Had the skills and the requirements that we listed in the advertisement/position description.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

A search committee is established prior to advertising the position, and those on the committee evaluate the applications. At our institution, HR does not screen applicants.

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

Failure to have the skills and the requirements that we listed in the advertisement/position description.

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?

I can’t stress this enough: in one’s cover letter and resume, identify where one’s skills and experiences match or closely relate to the requirements that are listed in the advertisement/position description.

I want to hire someone who is

qualified

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

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

√ Other: None full time, but we have hired two half-time librarians

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

√ Other: none

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?

We require some experience. It is a library practice, not an official requirement.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

As long as academic librarians and libraries integrate themselves into the instructional and research activities in their institution, and prove themselves, the library will be alive and well.

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

No

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Rural area, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015

I want to hire someone who is amiable

Market day, KillarneyThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Met most of required and preferred qualifications.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

By search committee

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

Lack of relevant experience

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?

Listen during interview and ask appropriate questions

I want to hire someone who is

amiable

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?

√ 1

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

 

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

 

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.

Leave a comment

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

Can carry an intelligent conversation

Market scene. Women and men. 1922 2This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference Librarian, Cataloger

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a rural 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?

√ 51-75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

MLS degree, can carry an intelligent conversation, positive work experience/skills

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Applications are evaluated by the library director and a committee.

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

Inexperience, lack of required degree

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?

Practice interviewing

I want to hire someone who is

awesome

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

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?

√ Other: 0

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?

√ No

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

No

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Information professionals are needed due to the information explosion.

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

No

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Rural area, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015

Further Questions: When is it time to leave your first professional job?

This week we asked people who hire librarians

When is it time to leave your first professional job? Does your library/organization value longevity or variety of experiences more? Can you share a little about your job history (position/length of time) and rationale for changing positions (or not)? 

[And just a disclosure from the Further Questions writer, Sarah: this question was not asked because I’m wondering for any personal or professional reason! I peruse job/hiring/workplace/library blogs for ideas for this column and this was a recent topic of discussion on one of them… so I wanted to get the library perspective. I wanted to make that clear if anyone from my workplace happens to read Further Questions.]

Laurie Phillips

I think it’s time to leave if/when you need to grow in the job and there is no room for growth in the job or in the organization. I can’t really say what my organization values, although because we are full faculty, people tend to stay a long time and their job changes rather than leaving. People move around within the organization or we change their job description/title as they grow. I am still at the same library where I had my first professional position. I feel very lucky that whenever I was ready to grow in my position, there was room for me to grow – and sometimes I wasn’t even ready! I went from music/media cataloger to Bibliographic Control Coordinator (kind of Head of Cataloging and Acquisitions?) to Technical Services Coordinator to Associate Dean, all within the same organization. One caveat for doing that – I have retained some of my original responsibilities!
– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

J. McRee ElrodIf the job is satisfying, pay is adequate, and one likes the location, I see no reason to change positions just for more variety. In the past, I became restive after five years, but see no reason to leave sooner than that. Short tenure looks more suspicious than long term service.
– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging

 

 

Marleah AugustineI feel like I’m in a unique position answering this question — I’ve just taken a new position and will be leaving my current position in a couple of weeks. I think that over time, you can get comfortable in your job. This is beneficial in some ways, but it can also lead to complacency and a lack of new ideas. This is why continuing education and conference attendance is so important, but it also may mean that it’s time to move on to something more challenging. For some, this may be after two or three years; for others, it may be after five or ten.

My current library very much values longevity — when someone is in a position for a number of years, they have extensive institutional knowledge and can remember why some things have changed and why some things have stayed the same. They also are aware of various connections in the community and how to take advantage of them (or why NOT to) based on past experience. That said, my library also values variety of experiences, and that is why continuing education is so encouraged among professional and paraprofessional staff. It keeps us all fresh and interested, and it keeps new ideas flowing in so that we don’t become stagnant.

My personal story is that I started at this library in a part-time position, started my MLS program, and then a few months before completing my MLS, I was hired by the same library to fill a professional librarian position. I’ve worked in this position for the last five years. My main reason to change positions was because my family and I wished to relocate, and there are also limited opportunities here for me to grow — the only place to move up next here is in the director’s position! Going to a different library system will let me work in multiple branches, learn more about librarianship, and continue to grow.

– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

I will stay in a position as long as it’s interesting and both my boss and I think I’m doing a good job. If any one of those things is not true, it’s time to go.

– Anonymous

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email us at hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  If you liked reading, you’re going to really love COMMENTING.

2 Comments

Filed under Further Questions