This anonymous interview is with an public 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:
catalogers, selectors, reference, children’s, managers, web content
This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area city/town suburban area rural area in the Midwestern US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
√ more than 200
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
Had current degree, had experience with technology and people of all ages & ethnicities, had customer service experience, performed well in interview, had professional cover letter resume.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Evaluated for education, appropriate answers for supplemental questions, professionalism.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Answered no to a supplemental question which means they either don’t have experience working with people of all ages & ethnicities or they don’t have experience with technology.
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?
Have customer service experience, enthusiasm for technology, and be approachable, professional and outgoing.
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?
√ 7 or more
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ 7 or more
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?
They do not need to have professional experience but they should have some work history.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
It’s evolving. We need librarians to lead services and staff, not to staff reference desks.
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.