About

Hiring Librarians is run by me, Emily Weak, with lots of help from all kinds of people who hire LIS workers, as well as researchers, career experts, job hunters, authors, and other such folks. If you have questions, comments, concerns, thoughts, speaking engagements, collaborative project ideas, free art, or some other need to speak with me, I can be reached by email at hiringlibrarians AT gmail, or through the Contact form.

Background

I started this blog when I was a frustrated job-hunting librarian. I was new to libraries and applying to both public libraries, with their rituals of bureaucracy, and to academic libraries, with their rituals of academia. I felt like there was this whole secret etiquette about which I had no clue.

Inspired by Alison Green’s Ask A Manager blog, I wanted to create a venue which allowed people who make hiring decisions to explain their enigmatic thinking. I think we need more opportunities where people on both sides of the hiring process can communicate without fear or pressure.

To this end, I created a survey instrument which could be completed anonymously (or not), and solicited help from anyone who might hire a librarian, in all library types, as well as in non-library organizations that hire information professionals.

From the first posts in February of 2012, I grew the blog into five different surveys, features such as Researcher’s Corner and ALA Candidate Interviews, and services such as the interview questions repository and crowdsourced resume review. I worked with various amazing partners, authors, researchers, hiring managers, job hunters, and volunteers.

Then in 2016, with a full time public library career in full swing, I stopped writing the blog. I wanted to spend more of my off work hours doing fun things like cooking and bike riding.

Which brings us to March 2022. We are back! My pandemic career transition has been away from full time work and into the consulting realm. With my more flexible schedule and interest in interacting with a wider realm of LIS folks, I restarted the blog and put out a NEW survey of folks who hire library workers.

Here is the full list of surveys, features and services. Thank you so much for reading. I hope that you will also participate, by commenting, filling out a survey, sharing this work, or in whatever other way occurs to you.

Surveys

Basic and totally unscientific analysis of these surveys is available here: Stats and Graphs

Features

Services

Writing

If you’d like to read more about this project, I’ve written about it:

What Candidates Want: How to Practice Compassionate Hiring. (2014). Library Leadership & Management, 28(4).

Getting Your Foot in the Door: Moving From a World of Possibility to One of Opportunity. (2014, January). Letters to a Young Librarian.

Lessons from Hiring Librarians. (2012, June). LIScareer.

Our wonderful world: Making connections courtesy of information and communications. (2012, November 20). libfocus.

Presentations

Lessons from Hiring Librarians.  Keynote. 4th Annual Library and Information Science Graduate Student Association Conference: Spring Fling into Library Careers.  Columbia, Missouri, April 2016.

Lessons from Hiring Librarians. Individual presentation. ALA JobLIST Pavillion, American Library Association Annual Conference: Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves, San Francisco, California, June 2015.

Be You. Just the Best Possible Version of You. Keynote Speech. Symposium on LIS Education, Virtual and Champaign, Illinois, April 2015.

Fireside Chat – Job Hunt Edition. Webinar. San Jose State University iSchool Connext’s Fireside Chats, Virtual, February 2015

Q & A with Hiring Librarians. Webinar.Florida State University ALA Student Chapter’s Lunch Q & A, Virtual, November 2014.

Photos

The header image I am using is of the American Library Association, New Monterey Hotel, Asbury Park, N.J., June 25, 1919, photographed by Cole & Co. The original is in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, but it is available online at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007661672/

If you are curious about any of the other photos of libraries and librarians, try clicking the image.  If it is the first time I’ve used it, it should take you through to where I found it (most likely Flickr commons). Or you can always contact me to ask.

The photos of people in business wear that accompany the What to Wear surveys are generally either Flickr photos with creative commons licenses, or stock photos from freedigitalphotos.net.  Scroll down to the bottom of the post to find out.

12 responses to “About

  1. Pingback: Hiring Librarians: A New Blog for Job Hunters « vreps

  2. Pamela Posz

    I’d love to find out if an info graphic would be an effective resume, or if it would end up in the trash?

    Like

  3. I would love to find that out too! Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll include that on an upcoming further questions post.

    Like

  4. abigailbaconblog

    Hi! I’d love some info for relocating librarians. Ex. how willing hiring librarians are to make skype/phone interview accommodations and if that will negatively impact the interviewee. Thanks for this resource, though it’s difficult to know what to do with the conflicting advice (objective statements are bad??) I’m finding it very helpful. Thanks!

    Like

    • Thanks Abigail, that’s a good suggestion of an area to explore.

      I find the conflicting interviews kind of comforting. They remind me that there are a lot of different workplaces and hiring librarians, and that there is no secret list of ten things to do in order to get hired. There’s a job out there that is a match for my individual quirks and interests.

      Like

      • I second your response, Emily! I think being able to see this variation in responses is one of the most helpful features of your blog! (Tanya)

        Like

    • I second this! I would also love to hear what we could put in a cover letter for jobs that would require a long distance relocation. This is an awesome blog! Thanks!

      Like

    • Two of my colleagues have had cursory Skype interviews. Both Denver Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library initially contacted them and had to set up these types of meetings. Only based on these two cases, I’d say hiring libraries do make Skype/phone interviews and, I have no answer on negative impact. 🙂

      Like

  5. geanieroake

    Great Blog. I will recommend it to a fellow blogger who’s trying to decide whether to her MLS.

    Like

  6. First I want to say how much I really like this website, particularly the Interview Questions Repository. It makes me feel much more prepared when going to library interviews when I know what kinds of questions I’m likely to be asked for various types of positions.

    With the interview questions database, I think it might be even more useful to take it one step further and people could indicate how they responded to the interview questions they were asked and whether or not if they were offered the position if they wanted too (strictly optional).

    As someone who has been on many librarian interviews with hardly any job offers, it would be useful to know how the candidates how get a job offer respond to the questions v.s. those who don’t.

    I know that there are numerous factors into making a hiring decision and the interview is just one of those. You can have a great interview and still not get the job or even a so-so interview and get the job if there isn’t much competition. Due to the competitive job market, the first scenario is probably more likely. Still it may be helpful to see what patterns and insights can be gleaned from successful interviewees responses.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Job Search, Part 3: Phone and Video Interviews – Nicole Helregel

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