This 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:
County Librarians for 4 county libraries.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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”?
They have to fit the criteria for the position, education, MLS, experience in a public library, supervisory skills, and people skills.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
We are a rural Regional Library. We had a committee to hire for that particular county library that consisted of some of the local board members and the Director of the Regional Library. The consensus between all is important but the ultimate decision is made by the Regional Library Director. In this case, we all agreed on the hire.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Lack of education, lack of experience, false information on their resume, inability to produce documents that we requested for the application, and poorly written resumes.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
A well written cover letter, a complete application package, and the MLS. The applicant has to have confidence in themselves and that comes through in a phone interview. We have a phone interview first and if that goes well, an in-person interview.
I want to hire someone who is
How many staff members are at your library/organization?
How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
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?
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
Yes, we require, at least, 3 years of experience in a public library. We could consider someone with less if they have other good qualifications.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarianship is continually changing, but the need for information will always be there.
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.