Oddities in the application packet can also lead to disqualification–typos, use of strange fonts, photos, etc.

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 hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

catalogers, instruction/reference specialists, specialized areas (GIS, Data, etc)

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an small city/town in the Northeastern 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”?

Background/experience matched job qualifications; applicants’ cover letter showed interest and engagement.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applicants are reviewed by search committee, who conduct phone interviews with top candidates (5-10). That is used to determine the 2-4 candidates to bring to campus. Final word on selection is from library director, with the search committee’s nomination.

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

Lack of fit–background, education doesn’t match job requirements. The “why are they applying for this job?” question is important–must come across as engaging and sharp. Oddities in the application packet can also lead to disqualification–typos, use of strange fonts, photos, etc.

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

√ Other: ONly to final candidates not selected

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

Craft your cover letter and resume to make it appear that you are enthusiastic/passionate, innovative, focused and sharp. Cover letter is very important for this. Make it seem that this job is clearly a dream job, and explain why. Flatter the search committee.

I want to hire someone who is

passionate

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?

√ 2

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?

No–right out of library school is ok, but experiences in school (projects, internships, teaching, etc) very important.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We are in the information age, and librarians are the information professionals. We need to find our niches, work on them, and the market ourselves. Google will not replace need for human help.

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 50-100 staff members, Academic, City/town, Northeastern US, State of the Job Market 2015

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