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.

Residency Run-Down: Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship

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 Allen Townsend of Yale University. In this interview, Mr. Townsend describes the basics of the Kress Fellowship, as well as why Haas Family Arts Library is a great place to learn about art librarianship in all its facets and how this fellowship can help a new librarian begin a successful career.

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship?

During their eight-month tenure based in the Arts Library, the Kress Fellows have the opportunity to learn the profession of art librarianship and in doing so, to complete projects of their interests ranging from innovations in Library support for teaching art history, architectural archive management, digitization and delivery of art image resources, and the history of illustration and the book arts. The Fellows may draw upon the resources of the Yale University Library and the University’s two great art museums: the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. The combination of these resources provides for a multi-faceted professional development program of unparalleled depth and breadth.

Why was this program started? or Why does The Samuel H. Kress Foundation continue to fund this program? What makes it important to your organization?

The idea for the Fellowship was conceived by the former Director of the Arts Library at Yale, Max Marmor. The Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship was initially funded, and continues to be funded by the Foundation because of its ongoing interests in advancing and sustaining the highest standards of scholarly activity in the field of art history. The Fellowship has been, and continues to be important to Yale because it supports the University’s mission, that of creating knowledge through research.

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

The Fellowship is shared among various units of the Haas Family Arts Library, and rotates through the Arts Library’s departments e.g public services, special collections, and visual resources. The job duties vary based on the Fellow’s departmental assignment. The job duties are always professional level and mirror those of librarians.

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

Fellows are paid through Kress grant funds. Yale pays health benefits and provides a stipend for professional travel.

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

The Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship at Yale was the first of its kind in the United States and has been the gold standard among professional development programs for art librarians since its inception in 1997. It is the most prestigious fellowship of its kind in the field of art and allied librarianship and is widely respected within the library profession at large. The ten individuals who have held the Fellowship to date have gone on to diverse and important careers in academic art and museum librarianship, visual arts resources administration, special collections and archive curatorship, and art information consultancy.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program for library and information science. Excellent analytical, organizational, customer service, and interpersonal skills. Ability to effectively build partnerships and promote the benefits of change in an academic culture that often values ambiguity, diversity of opinion, and historic precedent. Ability to communicate effectively through both oral and written expression. Ability to work both independently and collegially in a demanding and rapidly changing environment.

Preferred:
1. Advanced degree and/or relevant experience in history of art, architecture, or related arts disciplines.
2. Reading knowledge of two or more Western European languages.
3. Experience with web design and development and electronic information resources.
4. Experience with HTML and XML.

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

The selection process is not unlike the selection process for a librarian position, and does not differ greatly from a job application process.

Any tips for students? Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

In addition to the required academic credentials, actual work experience in any type of library is helpful.

When will the next residents be picked?

The next call for Fellowship applications and nominations will be posted in spring of 2014.

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Filed under Academic, MLIS Students, Northeastern US, Residency Run-Down

Residency Run-Down: University of West Georgia Information Literacy Librarian Fellowship

This interview is with Anne Barnhart, Head of Instructional Services at University of West Georgia.  Ms. Barnhart describes the basics of the information literacy residency, as well as why UWG is a great place to learn about library instruction and why cover letters are so important for job seekers.  I know you will enjoy learning about this excellent opportunity for new grads.

UWG Collaborative Instructional Services space

UWG Collaborative Instructional Services space

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Information Literacy Librarian Fellowship Program?

We now are in our 2nd year of having an Information Literacy Librarian Fellowship Program that provides a two-year learning experience for a recent LIS graduate. Since I am the Head of Instructional Services, the fellowship focus is primarily on teaching. Few LIS programs have instruction courses and even fewer provide practical experience for LIS grad students. This fellowship is designed to fill in that gap. We learned a lot in our inaugural year and are modifying some of what we expect from the fellows for the 2nd year. We hope to make the experience even better!

Why was this program started? or Why does the University of West Georgia Libraries continue to fund this program? What makes it important to your organization?

Last year (2012-13) on July 30 the Provost gave us money for two 9-month positions so we could increase the number of sections we teach of our library’s credit-bearing course. I decided to advertise it as a “fellowship” instead of as a temporary position because I wanted to provide a safe place for new graduates to get the experience so many “entry-level” job ads prefer. Over the course of last year I made sure the Provost saw benefits to the whole campus so we could get ongoing funding. For example, the presence of the two fellows allowed me to adjust my own workload and start a long-needed faculty & staff development series called Good Librations. The Provost often attended these events and I was not shy about letting him know that we could not continue them without the fellows. In response he established a permanent funding line for one fellow and the new funding is for a 12-month position. I’d like to eventually have two fellowships, but I’ll take one!

UWG Libraries does not directly fund the fellowship. The money is from the Provost’s office as a “limited-term instructor” (not tenure-track). The Libraries chooses to dedicate this money to the fellowship because we see our role in instruction as not limited to our students, faculty and staff. This fellowship gives us the chance to help teach our professional colleagues and create new leaders within the field of information literacy instruction who can then leave UWG and teach new colleagues in future positions.

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

The residents teach sections of our credit-bearing library instruction course (see here for information about the success rates of the course). They also work in the reference rotation (face-to-face and chat) and teach other library workshops. In the inaugural year we did not encourage any collection development or committee work. While we still will not make the fellows subject liaisons (due to the potential disruption to the academic departments if they were to have temporary liaisons), we will encourage future fellows to shadow a liaison in an area of their interest in order to develop those skills. And while only tenure-track faculty can serve on faculty senate committees, committee meetings are open to anyone so we will encourage fellows to pick a committee and attend its meetings to learn more about faculty governance.

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

Residents are paid the same as other limited-term instructors. We learned what the salary is for limited-term 9-month positions across campus and then made the appropriate adjustments to make an equivalent 12-month salary. They have some support for professional development, mostly focusing on opportunities that are in-state. Thankfully there is a fabulous instruction conference (the Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy) in Savannah so the fellow(s) can just rideshare with other librarians attending. We hope to secure a grant to pay for fellows to attend ACRL’s Information Literacy Immersion program however at this point we do not have the funding for that.

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

Our instruction program is a leader in the state of Georgia and beyond. Nearly every one of our instruction librarians has attended at least one ACRL Institute for Information Literacy Immersion track. Therefore Information Literacy fellows are surrounded by well-trained instruction librarians who are passionate about teaching. We have a collaborative environment and we all care about student learning and mutually-supportive professional development. We like to experiment with new pedagogies and we are not afraid of making mistakes. We reflectively introduce new concepts and methodologies and measure their effectiveness. Unlike institutions that are hesitant to change, the phrase “We have never done that before” usually precedes, “so let’s try it and see what happens!”

What are the eligibility requirements?

Candidates must be graduates from an ALA-accredited LIS program within the past 2 years and have an interest in teaching.

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

The selection process included having applicants write an essay about their teaching philosophy. This was to help us determine interest as well as to check their written communication skills. For permanent (tenure-track) positions we conduct phone interviews and on-campus interviews. For the fellowship we only conduct Skype interviews and do not have a budget to bring applicants to campus. Unfortunately we also do not have any funds for relocation expenses for non tenure-track positions.

Any tips for students? Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

Students should take an instruction class if one is offered in their library school. I know not all schools have one and that is a large part of why we have this residency program. Students who are familiar with course management systems and learning technologies will probably have a better chance than those who don’t. My main advice is that applicants should read carefully what our program is about and tailor their application materials (especially the cover letter) to what we do that is different. Not very many libraries teach a credit-bearing course. Of those that do, very few teach as many sections as we do (about 30 two-credit sections per academic year). Our program is extremely instruction-intensive. Some of the cover letters we received were totally generic and it was obvious that the applicants had not really thought about the position. Those went in the “no” pile immediately. In order to increase their chances of winning a spot, applicants need to communicate clearly WHY they want to be HERE.

When will the next residents be picked?

Right now the plan is to pick the next resident in the spring of 2014 for a July 1, 2014 start date. I say “right now the plan is” because if the Provost surprises us with funding for an additional position this summer, we will adjust our plans accordingly. We won’t say no to new money!

Anything else you want to tell us about the program, or about job hunting in general?

Candidates should not underestimate the importance of a good cover letter. Entry-level positions (and our residency program) do not have that many required qualifications. Tailored cover letters are where applicants can stand out. We typically get 60-80 applicants for each position we advertise and it is easy to discard any generic-sounding cover letters. If an applicant cannot demonstrate that he or she has looked at our website or thought about why they want to be at UWG, we are not very likely to consider that applicant.

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Filed under Academic, MLIS Students, Residency Run-Down, Southern US

Residency Run-Down: Penn State University Libraries Diversity 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. It’s great to be able to share this interview with John Meier, Chair of the Diversity Committee and Science Librarian at Pennsylvania State University Library. In this interview, Mr. Meier describes the brand new Diversity Residency Program at Penn State, as well as what library students can do now to stand out in the job market, and why Penn State is a great place to learn about academic librarianship and research.

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Penn State University Libraries Diversity Residency Program?

Pattee LibrarySure. The Penn State University Libraries has been working on developing this residency program for a long time. Our Diversity Committee has been around for over 20 years and since Dean Barbara Dewey came to Penn State in 2010 things really started to happen. There are two residents in each biannual cohort who each rotate through a number of departments their first year and then pursue a research project in their second year. We have had great support from the University Administration including partially funding the program. That really shows how much Penn State values not only libraries but diversity.

Why was this program started? What makes it important to your organization?

We are looking to the future and feel that if we want our library staff to reflect the multicultural nature of our society we need to be part of building the next generation of professional librarians. While Penn State does not have a library school, we are one of the largest employers of librarians in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). We also have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in our services to the Penn State community and want to bolster our current successes. The University Libraries also wants to prepare the future leaders of the library profession and promote diversity in the next generation of library leaders.

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

The main job duties of these residents will actually be very similar to all their librarian colleagues. During the first year of assignment, the residents will rotate through different departments as full members of those units. They will be librarians, not interns or graduate assistants, and perform similar duties and have similar responsibilities. The only real difference will be the additional support from the residency coordinator and library administration.

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

These are paid, two year contract librarian positions with benefits. Each year they will also get a professional travel stipend to attend conferences and workshops.

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

Knowledge CommonsOne of the highlights of the Penn State University Libraries is the high research productivity of our faculty librarians. The residents will benefit from a great amount of peer mentoring and the ability to build a supportive network of professional librarian colleagues. Penn State is also a very large library system, so the residents can pursue almost any aspect of academic librarianship here.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Candidates for our residency need to be recent graduates of an ALA accredited Masters program or an equivalent program. They also need to have the ability to advance our goals of diversity and inclusion. We are looking for the best overall candidates who will go on to be successful librarians and leaders in the profession.

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

Our selection process follows our regular job application process.

Any tips for students? Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

Be active in the profession while you are a student in a library school program. Join student chapters of professional societies and take a leadership role. Identify an issue you care about and pursue it passionately. Think of every class and class project as a way to make your dreams of the future a reality.

When will the next residents be picked?

We should be announcing our new residents in July 2013.

Anything else you want to tell us about the program, or about job hunting in general?

Have a number of friends, current librarians, and professors read your cover letter and resume and incorporate as much of the feedback as you can. It can be tough to stand out in the current job market, so you need to make the effort to learn about each job.

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Filed under Academic, MLIS Students, Northeastern US, Residency Run-Down

Health Insurance

Lake 'Hunt', c1910sThis 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 Less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience.  Here is how s/he describes her experience with internships/volunteering:

Independent study organizing archives for local non-profit
Paid internship with a Smithsonian Institution archive
Slightly more than 1 year of volunteer work (1-2 hrs/wk) in tech. services department of local public library while in library school
About 4 months of volunteer work (2-6 hrs/wk) at a NARA installation prior to beginning graduate school

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Southern US and is not willing to move.

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

The chance to use and expand my professional skills
Money
Health insurance

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs
INALJ
Archives Gig
other library job listing websites
SAA job board
employer websites

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

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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

1. Read the application instructions.
2. Tweak my resume.
3. Draft the cover letter.
4. Revise the cover letter.
5. Revise the cover letter again.
6. And again.
7. Finalize cover letter and resume.
8. Complete online application, which often entails typing out what’s already in the attached cover letter and resume.
9. Submit the application.

The application process usually takes me 2-4 weeks, most of which is consumed by cover letter revision.

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
 Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: Any method of contact is okay with me.

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?

Actually state what sort of work they’re hiring for in the job announcement. If you’re looking for somebody to take on all of your electronic records management and preservation duties (and do basic library instruction on the side), don’t make out that the job is an archival processing position with some incidental other tasks, ’cause that ain’t really what you’re hiring for.

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

Get rid of those stupid application questions that basically require applicants to type out information that is provided in cover letters and resumes anyway.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think it comes down to how one presents oneself, how diligent one is in seeking out job opportunities, and whether one can find a place that fits one’s skills and personality.

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, Public, School, Southern US

Write the Sweetest Rejection Letters

Eerste Wereldoorlog, luchtoorlogThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed, has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This job hunter is in a rural area in the Western US and is willing to move to the Eastern US.

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

Congenial working conditions
salary & benefits
professional development

Where do you look for open positions?

Alerts from particular employers
ALA joblist
INALJ
SLA
USAjobs

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 review and reread the job posting several times. I consider whether I have a reasonable “argument,” that I am a candidate for the job. I consider how to address weak spots. I review my resume and tweak it if I need to. I write a cover letter. Then I go online and complete the application. It takes 2-8 hours.

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?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

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

Simplify and clarify the job posting. It’s easier for a candidate to determine whether they’d be a good fit that way. Some of the job postings I’ve seen want a candidate to do everything and be qualified for everything. I’ve seen job postings offering ten dollars an hour and requiring years of experience for a person who will do everything, even walk the dog. It’s just crazy.

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

More communication. Write the sweetest rejection letters. I wish employers would be more honest. Sometimes I know that is not possible, but I would like to know if the interview process is a charade (that is, they already have someone in mind) or if I actually have a chance.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing people before the job posting.

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, Public, Rural area, Special, Western US

Why Is the Position Vacant?

The finish of the duck hunt at the New Zealand Division water sports, World War I, 7 Jul 1917

This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed, 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: Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager, and Director/Dean. This job hunter is in a rural area in the Southern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

1. Respect
2. A chance to use my talents
3. Interesting

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ!
Also state library websites,Library Job Postings on the Internet, networking, and friends who are not librarians.

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

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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

I have a basic resume that I use for most jobs and a specialized one that I use for the few jobs that I have special expertise in. I have slightly different sets of references for different positions as well, although two or three are always the same.
Anywhere from 15 minutes to several days. It depends on what is asked for.

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
√ 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
√ Being able to present
√ Other: Being asked if I have any questions

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

Be upfront about the job duties and situation. Why is the position vacant? Exactly what do they want or expect from an employee? List the salary range. Benefits are not important to mention unless there is something unusual (no insurance, no retirement, or limited vacation time.)
Absolutely do not use words like dynamic, innovative, or creative. These phrases make me tired just to read them and are a real turn-off. Words like experienced or versatile are acceptable.

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

Communicate clearly with the candidate. Schedules are always nice. Designate a point person for contact.
Let the candidate know if they did not get the job. Email is just fine for this. I have done a lot of hiring in my time – we set up a generic email to send out instead of mailing typed letters. We did this when we started getting 70 or 80 applicants for positions. We did send letters to the few people without emails but it streamlined the process while still making sure people were contacted.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Convincing the hiring committee that you are the best candidate!
Following the instructions in the application process and being unfailingly polite. Figuring out what is wanted is essential as well but can be a matter of luck. Researching the library is helpful but can backfire if they want to control information. (I have had interviews where people obviously did not realize how much information was available online and were disconcerted when I inadvertently mentioned something.)

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

How do you decide which positions to apply for? (The grapevine is very important also when deciding which positions to apply for, as is background research.)

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, Public, Rural area, Southern US

If They Are Going to Weed Out Potential Employees by Their Resumes Anyway, Don’t Expect Every Applicant to Write a Paper or Essay

Rabbit hunting on the Otago Central Railway, ca 1900This 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 More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, and School libraries at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience. S/he is in a city/town in the Southern US and is not willing to move.

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

Location
Hours
Opportunity for growth

Where do you look for open positions?

Local sites
LinkedIn
INALJ

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

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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

4 hours

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
√ 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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

If they are going to weed out potential employees by their resumes anyway, don’t expect every applicant to write a paper or essay if you are not going to use them. It really wastes a lot of time for applicants. Please ask for those additional items only from people who make it past the first cut.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing someone

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, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Southern US, Special

Employers Should Also Never Interview Candidates That They Have No Intention of Hiring

Col. Cody [and] Prince of Monaco (LOC)

This 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. This person is looking in Academic libraries, and Public libraries at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience. S/he is in a city/town in the Southern US and is willing to move depending on the location.

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

– Good match with my skills, experience, training, and personality
– Physically practical for me
– Located somewhere where I wouldn’t mind living

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listserv, individual organizations’ sites, Monster

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

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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
√ 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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

If someone applied to a job but never got to the interview stage, an employer should never, ever leave a message on that person’s voicemail vaguely stating that they would like to talk to that person about the job that they applied to, only to have that person call back to find out that they didn’t get the job.

Employers should also never interview candidates that they have no intention of hiring.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Be someone with a completely different personality from mine.

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, City/town, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, Public, Southern US

The Clothing Must Be Appropriate for the Specific Library Environment Where the Interview Is Taking Place

Trying too hard by Flickr user kmiller799This 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 10-50 staff members in a Urban area in the Northeastern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Other:Academic/Legal/Corporate—yes. Public/K-12—no.

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?

√ No, but it’s not a dealbreaker

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.

Strong perfume is not a deal breaker but all other things being equal it could be.

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)

√ Other:Depends on the type of library

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Other:Depends on the library

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Other: Depends on the library

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

The clothing must be appropriate for the specific library environment where the interview is taking place–no one shoe fits all. Typically, a candidate would be able to get by in conservative dress however if the opening is at an art school then a conservative dress would probably count against. I look at the person from the perspective of how they will be viewed by the patron/client. Will our patrons be comfortable asking this person questions.

What This Library Wears

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

Academic–black suit. Public–dressy skirt/top. My first interview at public I wore my “black suit” and it was overkill. The clothes always make a difference in how you feel at the interview.

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 formal

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

√ Jeans
√ Flip flops
√ Visible Tattoos
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans
√ Sneakers/trainers

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

√ Name tags
√ Badges

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

Photo: Trying too hard by Flickr user kmiller799

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Bare Feet

Untitled by pennstatenewsThis 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 100-200 staff members in a City/town in the Southern 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:

√ 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?

√ Yes, true professionals always wear pantyhose

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

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

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

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?

√ Casual

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

√ Other:Bare Feet

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

Photo: Untitled by Flickr User pennstatenews via Creative Commons License

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, City/town, Southern US, What Should Candidates Wear?