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, children’s librarians, general reference/adult librarians, and director
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a mix of an urban and rural area in the Western 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”?
Met minimum qualifications of a Masters degree or experience.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
The hiring manager reviews and weeds out applications.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
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?
Read the job description and make sure the resume aligns with qualifications and job duties. Many resumes are so general, they in no way reflect the applicant has the skills, experience or even interest in the actual position.
I want to hire someone who is
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?
In practice, if a minimum experience is required, only those people are interviewed.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
I believe specialization, and a growing dependency on technology, professional partnerships and societal workforce demands for better educated people is driving a greater need for professional 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.