Does not need library experience but customer service experience

Young boy tending freshly stocked fruit and vegetable stand at Center Market, 02181915This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Catalogers, IT, Youth Services, YA, Adult

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 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”?

Had basic qualifications and experience

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds out those applications which do not have the posted qualifications both educational and professional

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

Does not have basic educational requirements

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?

Complete the application in a professional manner, submit a good resume, be available for an interview

I want to hire someone who is


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?

√ 5-6

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?

Does not need library experience but customer service experience

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Much of the community in our rural/small town area does not have internet access due to lack of funding or lack of internet providers reaching into their physical locations. Most do not have the education needed to research.

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

Act professional, look professional and view the interview as the start of your career with the library. Be prepared with thoughtful answers to basic questions. If a library director or HR officer hears “I want to work at the library because it is so quiet and I love to read” that is a dead giveaway that you do not spend time in a public library!

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: 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, Midwestern US, Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

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