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:
Instruction and reference librarians
This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a rural area in the Southern 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 the skills and the requirements that we listed in the advertisement/position description.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
A search committee is established prior to advertising the position, and those on the committee evaluate the applications. At our institution, HR does not screen applicants.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Failure to have the skills and the requirements that we listed in the advertisement/position description.
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?
I can’t stress this enough: in one’s cover letter and resume, identify where one’s skills and experiences match or closely relate to the requirements that are listed in the advertisement/position description.
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?
√ Other: None full time, but we have hired two half-time librarians
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 fewer 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?
We require some experience. It is a library practice, not an official requirement.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
As long as academic librarians and libraries integrate themselves into the instructional and research activities in their institution, and prove themselves, the library will be alive and well.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
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.