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:
Generalists – – we are small so even though we have a systems librarian, cataloging librarian, collections librarian – – etc – – we all teach and work at the reference desk.
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 or fewer
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
ALA accredited master’s in library or information science, demonstrated ability or willingness to fulfill job duties, good oral and written skills, good references.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Lacking ALA accredited master’s, stronger candidates in pool.
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?
Write a good cover letter that demonstrates their strengths and explain how or why those strengths would fit our particular position. Please do not send a generic letter that fails to address the position or our library.
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?
√ 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 the same number of 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?
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
The location and evaluation of information continues to be valuable to employers and many of our students can find basic information but still need to learn higher levels information-seeking such as evaluating information and locating scholarly information.
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.