How long before they burn out

Morrisania, Thirteen women, librarians? NYPL Digital Collections

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: manager of collection development

Titles hired include: Materials selector, acquisitions assistant, processor, cataloging assistant

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ The position’s supervisor 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ References

√ Proof of degree 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

Resume, cover letter review, call for interview, selection, contingent offer, background check, hire

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

Expressed interest in my position, intelligent, relevant experience, thoughtful, outgoing – get along with any/everyone, highly adaptable

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Why interested? M-F 8-5, inability to problem solve, rigid/inflexible, typos, dense resumes

What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?

How long before they burn out

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Only One!  

Resume: √ Two is ok, but no more  

CV: √ We don’t ask for this  

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Not answering the question

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

Yes. Smile, be natural!

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

Tie it all to the skills gained through those experiences. Don’t mention the lack of experience, we see that. Talk about what you do know.

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

Panels, standardized questions. Personal bias.

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

What is the number one trait you’re looking for in the successful candidate? Why do you love your job? We’re (libraries) going through a lot of changes and flexibility is key in any library.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Midwestern US

What’s your region like?

√ Urban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+ 

Author’s note: Hey, thanks for reading! If you like reading, why not try commenting or sharing? Or are you somebody who hires Library, Archives or other LIS workers? Please consider giving your own opinion by filling out the survey here.


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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Urban area

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