Working with Children & Police Clearances or willingness to get them

A female librarian seated at a computer working with PDQ, while a male physician examines a print-out.
Doctor and Librarian Working with PDQ. Bill Branson (Photographer), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Senior Library Assistant

Titles hired include: Library Assistant

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ A Committee or panel 

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

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume 

√ References 

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview 

√ Other: Covid Vaccinations, Working with Children & Police Clearances or willingness to get them

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

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

HR will screen the applicants that meet qualifications.  2 people from the library will review the remaining applications and select 3/4 to interview.  Panel of 3 will interview the candidates and select 1 for a background check which is done by HR.

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

Positive Attitude

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Negative Attitude 

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more 

Resume: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant

CV: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant  

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

Don’t answer the question 

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?

find a volunteer role at a library

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?

Decisions are not left to 1 person, both for selecting interview candidates and for hiring decisions. 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Australia/New Zealand 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban

√ Suburban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Never or not anymore 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 11-50

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, 10-50 staff members, Australia/New Zealand, Public, Suburban area, Urban area

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