Experience is always required.

Paramaribo market scene. Woman seated with baskets of produce. 1922. 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:

Public Services Librarian, Technical Services/Electronic Resources Librarian, Serials Librarian

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an suburban area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Met the minimum qualifications.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

By the Director of Library Services.

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

Didn’t meet the minimum qualifications.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Yes

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Apply for jobs for which you qualify.

I want to hire someone who is


How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0

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?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Experience is always required.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

It’s a rapidly changing profession.

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.


Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

3 responses to “Experience is always required.

  1. Frustrated and lied to

    Experience is always required…for ENTRY level?! If I had known librarianship was some kind of hermetically sealed club, I would have chosen something else.


  2. Anonymous

    If librarianship is dying (or at least on a respirator) its because of incestuous hiring practices such as this.


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