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:
I’ve been on one hiring committee, and it was for a technical services librarian with supervisory responsibilities. My own work is in reference/instruction.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban 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?
√ more than 75 %
And how would you define “hirable”?
Had an MLS degree and experience in the specific area of the library (this wasn’t an entry level position, since it included supervising a department)
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
I believe only one was weeded out by HR before coming to the library; this was because the person did not have the required MLS degree. All others were reviewed by a search committee of three librarians, using a scoring rubric based off of the skills listed in the job posting.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Not enough experience in the specific area of the library.
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?
Get some experience in a library while in school, especially if there is a certain of aspect of librarianship you know you want to work in. Have a friend or colleague proofread your resume and cover letter before applying.
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?
√ I don’t know
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?
It’s not required, but in practice the most successful applicants tend to have some experience.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
People still need assistance finding the information they need. I work in a university library, and it’s still considered an important aspect of our educational system.
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.