This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee a human resources professional. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
catalogers, subject librarians, instruction librarians,
This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 26-50 %
And how would you define “hirable”?
Meet the minimum requirements and have the requisite skills and experience needed
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
a search Committee reviews the applications
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
first – doesn’t meet the minimum requirements and second – does not have the background or skills for the position
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?
Address each and every point in the job advertisement in their cover letter. How does their background relate to the position to which they’ve applied? If they don’t have direct experience, address why their related experience is still relevant
I want to hire someone who is
How many staff members are at your library/organization?
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?
√ Other: It’s fluctuated both up and down
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?
If we require experience we don’t consider the position “entry level”.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
What an interesting question! It won’t die if we pay attention to the trends and adapt. We need to focus on what our library users want and meet those needs.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
One aspect of our search results and your survey: When we open up our job advertisements to reach out to a wider population and decrease our requirements as well, we end up receiving a lot of applications from individuals that don’t seem to meet the minimum qualifications. I wonder how unemployment within and outside of our field impacts this. When on unemployment, people typically have to apply to a certain number of jobs per week. Do we see increases in the number in the pool due to this?
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.