Author Archives: langerholcs

If the applicant did not list any reference experience, they did not meet that criteria.

Paramaribo market scene. Women and men. 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:

Reference librarians
Library Directors
(Our cataloger position is a support staff position although it requires an MLS. It is going to be open this year due to retirement and we are going through the justification for approval to fill it now.)

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a 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?

√ 51-75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Had relevant experience = we were searching for a reference/instruction librarian (academic experience)

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR used basic criteria to weed out first applicants (i.e. verification that they had an MLS). After that all application materials are sent to the committee members via an online ‘link’. Using a matrix that was completed before the process even began, the committee evaluated each application. After that, the committee met to talk about the applications and result of our criteria matrix and we decided on six people to interview.

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

They did not have the experience or qualities on our criteria matrix for instance one criteria was ‘experience providing reference assistance.’ If the applicant did not list any reference experience, they did not meet that criteria.

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

√ No

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

Read the career advertisement carefully and be sure to address all of the aspects listed for the job in describing work experience. Read the library website information and include relevant information related to that library. Do not use a form letter changing the job information – there is always one person who has done that and does not check it carefully and has the wrong job or location in it. Make sure there are no punctuation and grammar errors on the online job application and make sure to include everything on the online job application form even if it is in your resume.

I want to hire someone who is

a team player

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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?

√ 2

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?

√ Yes

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

√ Yes

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

It is not required, but preferred. The librarian that we just hired in in her very first librarian position – she worked in para-professional jobs before, but she was able to get the experience because in her case librarian positions were replaced with para-professionals.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

It has been a real battle to get any library positions approved for hire by the administration at my institution.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Job Hunters – it helps to have two master’s degrees for academic library work even if not required. Other faculty on the hiring committee look for subject knowledge beyond the MLS.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

The more librarians we have to help our users, the more users ask questions.

Push cart market -- New York (LOC)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:

Reference, Technology and Special Collections librarian.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Midwestern US .

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meets minimum qualifications as listed in the job ad.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

A Credential Review Forms allows a committee (usually of three, though possibly more if its a management position) to determine basic qualifications. Does the candidate follow instructions and include all materials, communication skills as indicated in the cover letter, technology skills as evidenced in the formatting of materials and inclusion in resume.

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

Lack of basic qualifications. A cover letter that doesn’t reference the job ad and seems to be written for another of any job.

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

√ Other: Well, once a candidate called and some feedback was given in general terms so as to not violate are HR guidelines.

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

Proof read materials, have a friend proof read. Have good formatting. Have the basic qualifications and speak to your interest in the specifics of the job being advertised. Present a professional and yet friendly image.

I want to hire someone who is

Thoughtful

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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

√ 3-4

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 more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

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

√ Yes

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

Yes. It is not always an official requirement, but it can give one person an advantage over another. For some positions it is an official requirement (3-5 years experience).

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We see individuals with information needs everyday and our skills and expertise are heavily utilized. The more librarians we have to help our users, the more users ask questions. Information seekers are still looking for unbiased guides to sources and they trust libraries.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Ask questions. Be positive and thoughtful. Research the place where you are interviewing. Know the demographics.

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.

1 Comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

Still, a lot of what I learned in library school was not at all useful to my job.

Queipo Market in Little Havana - MiamiThis anonymous interview is with an employee from a public library who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. When asked, “Are you a librarian?” the respondent said “It’s complicated.” This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference, Management, Children’s, potentially Tech Services

This person works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a rural area in the Southern US.

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Having minimum skills and experience to do the job.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

By me (Director) and supervisory staff.

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

Lack of education or experience

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

√ Other: only interns

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

Get relevant experience through volunteering or internships.

I want to hire someone who is

a team-player

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?

√ 2

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?

√ No

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

√ Yes

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

Depends

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

The field has changed, but the need for compassionate people to help find information and build communities has not.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

I could go on, but I think my situation is not typical. Still, a lot of what I learned in library school was not at all useful to my job. Job seekers need to be good at flexibility, have other talents besides library-specific ones, and not be wedded to whatever they thought they wanted to do if they want to remain relevant.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Public, Rural area, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015

This is not a formal procedure, just what happens in practice.

Vegetable and flower seller and stall, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WashingtonThis anonymous interview is with a 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:

youth services librarians, library directors

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Northeastern US.

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Met the criteria specified in the job posting; handled resume and cover letter with a professional attitude

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applications are handled by the Library Director, who conducts a first round of interviews. A few (2-3) candidates are then invited to a second interview with the Director and HR Committee. The final decision is made by the Director with the guidance of the HR Committee.

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

Applicant does not meet qualifications spelled out in job posting (i.e. educational requirements, professional experience, etc.)

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

√ No

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

Ensure that your application materials are tailored to the position you are applying to

I want to hire someone who is

capable

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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

√ 2

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 fewer 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?

√ Yes

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

Yes, but it does not have to be at the professional level – could be para-professional or volunteer. This is not a formal procedure, just what happens in practice.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Librarians are still very much needed in communities

 

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Northeastern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

Read the ad!

View of street vendors at 7th and B Streets, NW (Ca. 1880) MarketThis 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:

Catalogers and metadata specialists, e-resource librarians, special collections, collection development.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Southern 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 qualifications with appropriate education and experience.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

A committee reviews each application, comparing to a checklist of qualifications based on the position description.

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

No appropriate experience.

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

√ Other: if they ask

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

Read the ad! Write a cover letter that demonstrates you understand the position. Highlight appropriate experience.

I want to hire someone who is

self-starter

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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

√ 3-4

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

√ 5-6

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?

√ Yes

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

√ Yes

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

We require at least some relevant experience, such as an internship.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

 

 

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Does not need library experience but customer service experience

Young boy tending freshly stocked fruit and vegetable stand at Center Market, 02181915This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Catalogers, IT, Youth Services, YA, Adult

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a rural area in the Midwestern US.

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Had basic qualifications and experience

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds out those applications which do not have the posted qualifications both educational and professional

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

Does not have basic educational requirements

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

√ No

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

Complete the application in a professional manner, submit a good resume, be available for an interview

I want to hire someone who is

career-minded

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

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

√ 3-4

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

√ 5-6

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?

√ Yes

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

√ Yes

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

Does not need library experience but customer service experience

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Much of the community in our rural/small town area does not have internet access due to lack of funding or lack of internet providers reaching into their physical locations. Most do not have the education needed to research.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Act professional, look professional and view the interview as the start of your career with the library. Be prepared with thoughtful answers to basic questions. If a library director or HR officer hears “I want to work at the library because it is so quiet and I love to read” that is a dead giveaway that you do not spend time in a public library!

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

Please do not send a generic letter that fails to address the position or our library.

Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E N Clopper. Location Indianapolis, Indiana.This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Generalists – – we are small so even though we have a systems librarian, cataloging librarian, collections librarian – – etc – – we all teach and work at the reference desk.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Midwestern US.

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

ALA accredited master’s in library or information science, demonstrated ability or willingness to fulfill job duties, good oral and written skills, good references.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Committee

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

Lacking ALA accredited master’s, stronger candidates in pool.

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

√ No

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

Write a good cover letter that demonstrates their strengths and explain how or why those strengths would fit our particular position. Please do not send a generic letter that fails to address the position or our library.

I want to hire someone who is

enthusiastic

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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: None

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?

No.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

The location and evaluation of information continues to be valuable to employers and many of our students can find basic information but still need to learn higher levels information-seeking such as evaluating information and locating scholarly information.

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.

Leave a comment

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

Get some experience in a library while in school

Market day, Killarney 2This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

I’ve been on one hiring committee, and it was for a technical services librarian with supervisory responsibilities. My own work is in reference/instruction.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Western US.

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ more than 75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Had an MLS degree and experience in the specific area of the library (this wasn’t an entry level position, since it included supervising a department)

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

I believe only one was weeded out by HR before coming to the library; this was because the person did not have the required MLS degree. All others were reviewed by a search committee of three librarians, using a scoring rubric based off of the skills listed in the job posting.

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

Not enough experience in the specific area of the library.

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

√ No

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

Get some experience in a library while in school, especially if there is a certain of aspect of librarianship you know you want to work in. Have a friend or colleague proofread your resume and cover letter before applying.

I want to hire someone who is

enthusiastic

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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

√ 2

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

√ 2

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

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?

It’s not required, but in practice the most successful applicants tend to have some experience.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

People still need assistance finding the information they need. I work in a university library, and it’s still considered an important aspect of our educational system.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area, Western US

Experience is not required, but desirable and those with experience are often the ones hired.

Market day, KillarneyThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Catalogers, Managers, Selection Librarians, Teen/Children’s/Adult Librarians, Staff Development Librarians.

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in a suburban area in the Western US.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds out the application before they reach the hiring managers.

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

√ No

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

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?

√ Yes

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

√ Yes

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 not required, but desirable and those with experience are often the ones hired.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

Librarianship is definitely still alive and changing, but is it growing? If not, I’d say that is a sign that it is dying.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 200+ staff members, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area, Western US

After 27 years I will be retiring in Jan. 2016

Market scene. Women and men. 1922 2This anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager. 

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

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

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

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

This library is a small public library where only the Director has an MLS degree. I have always been able to hire qualified paraprofessional workers for the six part time positions. I hire a ft Children’s librarian with a BA but without an MLS. I hire a ft Head of Circulation with a BA but without an MLS. I see the future for public libraries as very rosy and good. We must change as society changes
After 27 years I will be retiring in Jan. 2016. The Board of Trustees will have to replace me in the given job market.

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.

Leave a comment

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