Author Archives: localhistorygirl

About localhistorygirl

I am currently a Masters of Library and Information Science student at the University of Washington. My interests in the world of libraries lies mostly with archives, special collections, data management, and the emerging world of digital archives and community memory projects. I also have a passion for local history if the blog title hasn't already clued you in. I believe all local history should be accessible to all residents both longtime and new. One of my long term professional goals is to make this happen through a combination of outreach, digital memory projects, and browsable online archives.

Having the Necessary Skills and Being Able to Sell Them

CO 1069-279-6This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently not employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the entry levels. This new grad/entry level applicant has the following internship/volunteering experience:

I worked at a library part time while in graduate school and have interned at two archives. Prior to entering school I volunteered for a year at a local historical society.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Professional development opportunities
good salary and benefits
Challenging work environment

Where do you look for open positions?

Archives Gig, Indeed.com, ALA Joblist, METRO NY Roundtable

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

After reading the job announcement and deciding if I am qualified I write a cover letter. This usually takes about an hour. Then I wait a bit and come back to re-read the cover letter. After checking my resume I then submit the required application materials including filling out an online profile if needed.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

To acknowledge my application
To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
To follow-up after an interview
Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

The best area that can be improved is the online application that must be filled out in order to apply to many jobs. Often this includes information on work experience and education. Since it is duplicated in the resume that information is redundant. The application process would be much less painful if it did not have to be filled out.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Having the necessary skills and being able to sell them.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Public, Special

Having a Rapport with Your Potential Co-Workers

CO 1069-286-217This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, for positions requiring at least two years of experience. This job hunter is in an urban area in the Western US and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

management style of your potential supervisor, rapport with potential colleagues, room for growth or professional development

Where do you look for open positions?

Everywhere! ALA Joblist, regional listservs, state library joblines, INALJ, etc.

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I adapt my cover letter and resume to the specific place of employment. I usually spend at least a couple of hours doing this — sometimes up to a couple of days to review it myself — and having someone else take a look at it for review.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

No

When would you like employers to contact you?

To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Being taken out to meal
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Provide more detailed job descriptions that better describe the job and the mission/goals of the place of employment.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Acknowledgement and better communication, especially if the position has been filled. It would also be nice for electronic systems to have updates about the process.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Having a rapport with your potential co-workers, presenting yourself professionally (in manner and in dress), and to effectively demonstrate how your qualifications fit the mission/goals of the position/place.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Great idea for this survey! I love INALJ!

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Job hunter's survey, Urban area, Western US

Residency Run-down: Mary P. Key Residency Program

I know a lot of you readers are new librarians or current students. And we all know it’s a tough market for emerging information professionals. That’s why I’m really happy to be able to share this interview with Brain Leaf of Ohio State University. In this interview, Mr. Leaf discusses the advantages of the residency at OSU and why residencies are a good choice for professional development.

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Mary P. Key Residency Program? Why was this program started? or Why does Ohio State University Libraries continue to fund this program? What makes it important to your organization?

It was started in 1989 to help students successfully transition into academic librarianship. Mary P. Key was an emerita assistant professor of the University Libraries. As the first chair of the Diversity Committee, she oversaw the implementation of the Diversity Resident Program as a way to help increase the diversity and development of librarians at Ohio State. It has been a successful effort as several alumni have risen to prominence and would attribute their early successes to this program.

What are the main job duties of residents – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?

Like other residencies, residents used to rotate through departments during their first year here before specializing in a specific department for their second. However, this has recently changed and residents now spend both years within one department. This means taking on most of the responsibilities of a new academic librarian minus the research component.

Are residents paid? Do they get any other special benefits?

Residents are paid the same as other librarians starting at this level. The big “special benefit” of the program is the opportunity (and funding) to tackle a wide range of professional development. The environment itself is very supportive, and I think that’s a benefit in of itself.

What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?

It’s a great way to get experience without the pressures of research, and there’s a fantastic support system of previous residents who have achieved in this field. I sometimes thought of it as time to polish and grow skills that needed work or gain specialized experience in an area that I might not had a chance to explore beyond theory in graduate school.The Ohio State University itself is a large university, which I find attractive because of the large impact I am able to make even as a resident.

What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?

The program seeks out recent graduates of library and information science schools. The application process is actually fairly similar to any normal job application. Since the position doesn’t rotate, they seem to seek out candidates who have the skills to accomplish the tasks required of that position as well as the potential to learn and grow.

When will the next residents be picked?

Good question! I don’t have that information, but I would just keep my eye out.

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Filed under Academic, Midwestern US, Residency Run-Down

Would Rather Have Someone Who is Collaborative

OP_82 US Cavalry Hunting for Illicit Stills in SC 1870This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for Less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries and Public libraries at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has the following internship/volunteering experience: I’ve had three internships (one currently ongoing), and volunteered at the Bitch Magazine library for a year. This job hunter is in an urban area in Midwestern US and isn’t willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1) Support for professional development
2) A commute under 60 minutes one-way
3) A collaborative staff

Where do you look for open positions?

Greater Chicago Midwest HERC
INALJ
RAILS Job Board
Indeed

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I tend to spend a couple of days. I try to have at least two people look over my cover letter and resume (one being a former library employer). If there’s an online form, I keep all of that information in an Excel doc so that I can just copy and paste.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

List the salary!

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communicate more–I get that it’s difficult to tell someone that they haven’t moved on to the next interview step in a multi-interview process (esp. if their first choices back out and they decide to interview you in a pinch), but it is extremely painful to be told that you were going to hear two weeks ago about the next step and then hear nothing.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Your personality being the right fit for the workplace. With the recession, I think there’s a lot of focus on the idea that libraries can hire the best people–with “best” meaning most degrees, most technical skills, etc. However, my experience has been that the recession has allowed libraries to be more choosy in terms of picking the right personality for their workplace. Yeah, it’s great to get someone in with reference experience who also loves messing with Drupal in their free time, but I think they would rather have someone who is collaborative and willing to learn than a person with a lot of skills and nothing interpersonal to offer. Not that the two are mutually exclusive! I just think that the hiring process has become far more based on person-to-person interactions and whether or not the hiring committee feels like you’d be a good fit long-term at their library.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Thanks for putting this together! And in case Emily or Naomi are reading this thank you both SO MUCH for what you do! INALJ is an amazingly comprehensive resource, and I always consult Hiring Librarians to get a feel of the hiring market out there.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Public, Urban area

They Know What the Salary Is, so Why Keep it a Secret?

Picnic lunch on a hunting party, Queensland, ca. 1912This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for A year to 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

A chance to develop what I learned from library school and from previous experience working in libraries.
An environment of respect and mutual encouragement, not stuffy and formal.
A decent wage, appropriate to the cost of living in that geographic area.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, USAJobs, indeed.com, university listserv

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

Other:They could at least say what the minimum salary is. Of course they know what it is, so why keep it a secret? If I have to relocate for a job, it needs to be worth it. Why waste everyone’s time by not giving out this information?

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I have a CV and a resume that I tweak for specific job postings. I have a saved document with references and their contact info. I have a cover letter template that helps me develop a letter that specifically addresses the duties listed in the job posting. I spend about 30-45 minutes, just to make sure I’ve covered everything and corrected any errors (punctuation, spelling, etc.) I also research the organization’s website.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

No

When would you like employers to contact you?

To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Include the salary in the job posting!!!!!!!!!!

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Please don’t make applicants wait 4-5 months before they receive any type of communication regarding their applications.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking, or just plain luck.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Public, Special

I’ve Seen Cartoon Character Ties for a Law Librarian Interview

Interview outfit and desk by Flickr user TanaiseThis anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a City/town in the Midwestern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

Other:Is appropriate in my academic library for women. Men should wear a suit and tie.

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

Other:Depends on the weather.

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

Other:Truly does not matter.

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

I’ve seen cartoon character ties for a law librarian interview; seen a cute skirt instead of a suit; airline lost my own luggage and I had to buy an entire 2-day arsenal of off-the-rack, was probably more comfortable and got the position without the two suits and no pantyhose.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
Earrings
Multiple Ear Piercings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Other:Reflect a professional version of themselves

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I think hiring decisions are often made in the first few minutes of meeting someone, even in a one or two day interview, so the clothing does matter since it is part of the initial impression. It shouldn’t be sloppy, but should be a step above our students.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

We usually step it up a bit, to make the candidate more comfortable in their fancy pants. Dress pants and sweater, or skirt.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

5

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

Other:It is understood we don’t wear flip flops, but when the HVAC is broke and the building is in the 80s, we have to stick it out. So, tank tops are appropriate then.

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

Other:Some wear nametags, but it’s not required. Some library polos are encouraged on Fridays for those who bought them.

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Interview outfit and desk by Flickr user Tanaise

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, City/town, Midwestern US, What Should Candidates Wear?

Super-Short Skirt, Dress or Shorts Would Be a Dealbreaker

This anonymous interview is with an Public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a City/town in the Midwestern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

Probably not (but it’s ok if the candidate does wear one)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

True

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

Never, pantyhose is for my grandmother

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Anything that shows lots of cleavage, or that shows the stomach or butt crack. Super-short skirt, dress or shorts would be a dealbreaker. I don’t want to wonder whether I’ll get an eyeful if they bend over to shelve a book!

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Be fairly neutral

What This Library Wears

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

Business casual

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, City/town, Midwestern US, Public, What Should Candidates Wear?