Category Archives: 200+ staff members

We are currently using Teams.

Whitman County rural library branch librarians, circa 1965. Note: names read left to right front to back as subjects appear. Branch librarian and location as follows: Mrs. McKenzie, Almota; Mrs. Shields, Pine City; Mrs. Van Tine, Penewawa; Mrs. Wilbourn, Riparia; Mrs. Holway, Palouse; Mrs. Armstrong, LaCrosse; Mrs. Redman, Library board member; Mrs. Bradley, Elberton; Mrs. Warwick, Tekoa; Miss Bowles, Colfax; and Mr. Hughes, Winona. Names: McKenzie, _, Mrs.; Shields, _, Mrs.; Van Tine, _, Mrs.; Wilbourn, _, Mrs.; Holway, _, Mrs.; Armstrong, _, Mrs.; Redman, _, Mrs.; Bradley, _, Mrs.; Warwick, _, Mrs.; Bowles, _, Miss; Hughes, _, Mr.
Whitman County Rural Library branch librarians, Colfax, Washington, circa 1965. Whitman County Library, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library  

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ Other: Panel recommendations are reviewed by Director 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application 

√ Proof of degree 

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ Other: Combination.. application is reviewed by County HR for minimum qualifications

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant  

Resume: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant  

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Not speaking to the terms of the question, not looking at our public face… website and social media before interviewing 

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

We are currently using Teams. 

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

Emphasize customer service experience and ability to learn and use software.

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Other: Mid Atlantic US

What’s your region like?

√ Other: Large County system serving a diverse County with urban , suburban and rural settings

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+  

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Public, Rural area, Suburban area, Urban area

We send the interview questions in advance. If a candidate doesn’t have their answers prepared, I am very unimpressed.

Returning Books to their Places. National Archives

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Academic Library 

Title: Department Director

Titles hired include: Liaison librarian (multiple), scholarly communications librarian

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ Library Administration 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Cover letter

√ CV

√ References 

√ More than one round of interviews

√ A whole day of interviews 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

We have two rounds (a phone screening then the full day interview). We usually bring 3 people in for full interviews, but it can be anywhere from 2 to 5. The search committee doesn’t include the position’s supervisor. The committee writes a report summarizing the pros and cons of each candidate. This is submitted to Admin as the hiring authority. Admin checks references, chooses the candidate and negotiates the offer. Search committee chair is responsible for all other communication with candidates.

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

They were well prepared and confident in their public presentation, and able to respond effectively to the audience’s questions. They were able to address multiple aspects of the role, and draw on their own experience.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Lack of preparation for the parts of the interview day we give advance notice of. We send the interview questions in advance. If a candidate doesn’t have their answers prepared, I am very unimpressed.

What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?

Our required qualifications are absolutely requirements. If you don’t show that you meet them, we can’t interview you. 

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more 

Resume: √ We don’t ask for this  

CV: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant 

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

Make sure you’ve shared your screen/slides before you start presenting, check in that the volume is okay. If possible, try to share a phone number or alternative contact method in case the internet drops.

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

Don’t rely on the committee to make the connections. Draw out the relevant stories and aspects of any previous work. Paraprofessional to professional roles can be hard in a single organization (which is stupid). You might need to leave and return in order to make that transition

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ Other: We just started providing ranges or minimums in ads this year

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

Honestly, we do very little. We have HR telling us our targets for diverse hires, but that’s about the only formalized process

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

Why is this position available? How are decisions made in your organization? What internal communication channels exist? 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Midwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+ 

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Midwestern US, Urban area

Are you going to be dead weight for us to carry?

A photo by Ian Robertson of Dorothy Davies [left],the librarian at the Trenton Public Library. She is holding books and looking at a poster advertising Gilmour & Co. Lumbering Industries near the mouth of the Trent River in Trenton, Ontario.
HC03646. Photo by Flickr user Community Archives.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Division Manager

Titles hired include: Librarian I/II/II, Supervising Librarian, Library Assistant

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ HR

√ Library Administration

√ A Committee or panel 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application 

√ Supplemental Questions 

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

Applications go to HR for initial screening. Those who are deemed qualified are sent to have an interview with a hiring committee panel at the Library. Committee discusses all candidates at the end of the interview process and chooses the top candidates based on the interviews and application materials.  Send those names to our Director for approval.

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

The candidate was really engaged, personable. They weren’t uptight. They paused to think about their answers rather than just diving in and never really answering the questions. They asked us to repeat the questions if they weren’t sure they hit all the points they needed to make. And they sold us on them.

What are your instant dealbreakers?

If your answer to “why do you want this position” is anything like “it’s the next step in my career” or “I want a raise.”

And if the candidate doesn’t have any questions for us at the end.  Show me you’re engaged and excited about the opportunity!

What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?

Are you going to be a bust? Are you going to be dead weight for us to carry?

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant 

Resume: √ Two is ok, but no more 

CV: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant 

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

If it’s an internal interview, the candidate depends on the panel’s prior knowledge of the candidate’s experience and achievements.

External candidates who don’t do any research into our community.

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

We have done virtual interviews.

Test your equipment in advance!  BE ON TIME. 

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

Ask about the position.  Ask about the goals, the hurdles, and/or the expectations.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Western US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban

√ Suburban

√ Rural 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Never or not anymore 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+  

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Public, Rural area, Suburban area, Urban area, Western US

If you’re over qualified explain why you’re still interested.

Donnell Library. Three librarians around table. NYPL Digital Collections

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Library manager

Titles hired include: Senior librarian, reference librarian, archivist, archives assistant 

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ The position’s supervisor 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ References

√ Supplemental Questions

√ Written Exam

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview

√ More than one round of interviews 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

The supervisor arranges a panel who screens applicants and conducts interviews. The structure depends on the position and the size of the pool.

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

They clearly understood the position, took time to learn about the organization and succinctly communicated why they were an ideal fit for the position.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

No cover letter or a letter that doesn’t connect with the position we’re recruiting.

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more 

Resume: √  Two is ok, but no more 

CV: √ We don’t ask for this  

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Talking around a question rather than answering it.

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

We do. Make sure your audio and lighting are good and pay attention to what’s in your background.

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

You should draw those lines in your cover letter and again during the interview.

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

We seek to have diverse viewpoints represented on our hiring panel.

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

I appreciate when they ask about challenges and opportunities at our institution and what kind of a culture we have.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Western US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+

Is there anything else you’d like to say, either to job hunters or to me, the survey author? 

Please read the job ad. Make sure you’re qualified. If you’re over qualified explain why you’re still interested.

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Public, Urban area, Western US

Anything that isn’t generic, something they want to know about this particular job.

Interior of the Aguilar Library, Ave C, ca. 1901. NYPL Digital Collections

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Academic Library 

Title: Curator

Titles hired include: University Archivist, Head of Processing, 1st Year Success Librarian

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ The position’s supervisor

√ A Committee or panel 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ CV

√ References

√ Proof of degree 

√ Demonstration (teaching, storytime, etc)

√ More than one round of interviews 

√ A meal with hiring personnel 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No  

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Cover letters that aren’t targeted to the job qualifications. How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant  

Resume: √ Two is ok, but no more 

CV: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant  

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

Talk about what they did that was exceptional and related to job description. Don’t make the committee guess whether a certain job experience was relevant. 

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

EEOO training. Avoid asking questions where candidates might reveal protected categories. 

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

Anything that isn’t generic, something they want to know about this particular job. 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southeastern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Suburban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Never or not anymore 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+ 

Is there anything else you’d like to say, either to job hunters or to me, the survey author? 

Please write a targeted cover letter. If I’m hiring for skill/experience A, it doesn’t matter how good you are at skill/experience B. It’s okay to tell me how your expertise in B will enhance your ability to do A but don’t ignore the fact that we want to know if they can do A. 

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Academic, Southeastern US, Suburban area

Whether or not they are prone to gossiping or lying

Sixth Archivist of the United States Robert Warner Standing in Front of the American Flag and the Cake While Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Archives, 1984. National Archives.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Archives

√ Public Library 

Title: Archives Unit Manager

Titles hired include: Senior Librarian-Digital Archivist; Senior Librarian-Archivist; Librarian 

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ HR

√ Library Administration

√ The position’s supervisor

√ A Committee or panel

√ Employees at the position’s same level (on a panel or otherwise)

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ References

√ Proof of degree

√ Demonstration (teaching, storytime, etc)

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ Yes

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

Job is posted on city jobs website, with a closing date. Applications are accepted up to the closing date. Algorithms sort applicants by qualified/unqualified. City HR selects candidates they think best meet the criteria and send those to the hiring manager. Hiring manager reviews applications and selects candidates for interviews—usually 3-6, depending on the number of qualified applicants. All Interviews are scheduled on one day. Hiring panel conducts interviews, then meets to discuss candidates and compile scores. Hiring manager notifies their supervisor and HR of the decision, checks references. Approval to make an offer is given. Offer is made, the candidate either accepts, declines, or makes a counter-offer. 

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

Good experience, independent thinker, self-starter. 

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Attitude (especially negativity), telling stories about themselves and previous behavior that indicate a lack of compassion, lack of comprehension of the small community we are in, lack of respect for others

What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?

Whether or not they are prone to gossiping or lying. The real reason they are seeking the job. 

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Only One! 

Resume: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant 

CV: √ We don’t ask for this 

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Not researching the hiring organization prior to the interview. 

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

Lighting, quiet environment without distractions, use a virtual background or pick a clean, uncluttered space. 

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

Illustrate competencies that apply to both professions. 

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

Selection of a diverse panel (racial, gender, and job classification)

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

Who our customers are, level of business, “other duties” examples. What their day might look like. What is the culture at the organization? 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban

√ Suburban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Other: Rarely. Requires case-by-case approval from my supervisor for my direct reports to work from home. Only in unusual circumstances. 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Archives, Public, Southwestern US, Suburban area, Urban area

We can’t ask follow-ups, so give ALL the info that might be relevant.

Post Graduate Hospital : convalescents and librarian on sun porch, 1923. NYPL Digital Collections

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Supervising Librarian

Titles hired include: Librarian 2, Librarian 1, Library Aide, Library Assistant

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ Library Administration

√ The position’s supervisor

√ A Committee or panel 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application

√ References

√ Proof of degree

√ Supplemental Questions

√ Written Exam

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview 

√ More than one round of interviews 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

Applications are initially screened by city HR to determine eligibility for the job classification. Eligible candidates are asked to take either an oral exam, a written exam, or are scored based on supplemental questionnaires. This leads to a ranked list based on score. When the library has vacancies to fill, they are given a list of names from the list for that classification – number of names given determined by number of vacancies to fill.  Those candidates are invited to a departmental interview (aka an interview with the library) which is a panel interview.  Panel presents recommendations to Administration and discusses each candidate. Sometimes candidates may be invited for a second interview that is more casual. 

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

They confidently and thoroughly answered each question. 

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

inappropriate comments (racist, sexist, transphobic etc). 

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ We don’t ask for this  

Resume: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant  

CV: √ We don’t ask for this  

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Not thoroughly answering the question. We can’t ask follow-ups, so give ALL the info that might be relevant.

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

Yes. We know it’s awkward, but we’ve gotten very used to it!

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

Share how your experience in other areas (other jobs, volunteering, even school) is relevant.  If you haven’t done something, share what you WOULD do, or how you’ve handled similar things.

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

We try to frame our questions to ensure candidates are given a chance to share their experience in a way that doesn’t favor any particular candidates. Include questions that get beyond “diversity” and into real inclusion and equity and anti-racism. 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Western US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Other: Very rarely for really specific positions.

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+ 

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Public, Urban area, Western US

Can’t remember a wow yet.

Rivington Street, line waiting for easy books, 1923: Librarian holds up book and those who want it raise their hands. NYPL Digital Collections.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Technical Services Manager

Titles hired include: Technical Processor, Paraprofessional Cataloger, Library Receiving Processor, Bindery Associate

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ HR

√ The position’s supervisor 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application

 √ References

√ Proof of degree

√ Supplemental Questions

 √ More than one round of interviews 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

As manager I:

1. Decide on posting position and update job description if necessary.

1a. Create screening and interview questions.

2. Review applications.

3. Screen applicants by phone.

4. Conduct in-person interviews.

5. Make final decision.

6. Offer position.

7. Complete hiring paperwork for HR to do their background check.

7. Schedule start date.

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

Can’t remember a wow yet. Very good candidates were able to explain intellectual freedom and to have questions ready to ask about the role and the library.

What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?

Nothing. 

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant 

Resume:  √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant 

CV:  √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant 

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Only saying what they think the interviewer wants to hear. 

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

We don’t for these positions.

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

Having that direct experience myself coming into the library, I am cognizant that non-library experience can translate well into libraryland, it is just a matter of nomenclature and environment.

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

HR is working on updating gendered language to neutral language in Job descriptions and policies. HR is also retraining and working closely with managers on avoiding hiring bias. Stories abound of managers using home addresses to decide if a person lives too far from the job location or what kind of neighborhood the applicant lives in.

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

What does retention look like in the department/branch? What is positive about the library? What is the library working on for the community?

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Midwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban

√ Suburban

√ Rural 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+ 

Author’s note: Hey, thanks for reading! If you like reading, why not try commenting or sharing? Or are you somebody who hires Library, Archives or other LIS workers? Please consider giving your own opinion by filling out the survey here.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Rural area, Suburban area, Urban area

Energy and enthusiasm always make a lasting impression

Gregg Currie is the College Librarian at Selkirk College, a community college in the southeast corner of British Columbia. Like many Canadian librarians who graduated from library school in the 90’s, he started his librarian career working for the New York Public Library. Gregg moved from NYPL to being the evening/weekend librarian at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, then managed the circulation department at Fordham University’s Walsh Library, and has been in his current position since 2008.

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

I create a posting, submit to HR, HR & my supervisor approve posting, I form a committee.  The committee selects candidates to interview, then decides who is successful.  Committee is usually 3 Library staff.

Titles hired include: Librarian – Instructional Services and Digital Initiatives ; Casual Librarian ; Library Technician  – Public Services ; Library Technician – Serials and Administrative Support ; Director of Communications (for the college , not the library), VP Education(for the college , not the library)

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ Library Administration 

√ A Committee or panel 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume 

√ References

√ Proof of degree 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

Energy and enthusiasm always make a lasting impression, as does being prepared for the interview. Preparation not just being able to answer questions, but also having spent time to understand the position and the organization.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Submitting the wrong cover letter, or submitting a generic cover letter. 

What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?

 How well they will get along with their coworkers.

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Only One!  

Resume: √ Two is ok, but no more   

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Showing no knowledge of my institution, or my library.  As in clearly they haven’t even looked at our website sort of thing.

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

Yes, much as I dislike them, we no longer have funds to bring people out. People need to be careful of their backgrounds, still need to dress up, still need to prep. 

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

I can’t think of anything specific beyond hiring being done by a search committee and candidates must meet educational & experience requirements..

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

Questions about what working in the library is like, questions about our website, what work opportunities they might have.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Canada 

What’s your region like?

√ Rural 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ Other: The Library has 10, the college around 400 

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Academic, Canada, Rural area

How long before they burn out

Morrisania, Thirteen women, librarians? NYPL Digital Collections

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: manager of collection development

Titles hired include: Materials selector, acquisitions assistant, processor, cataloging assistant

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ The position’s supervisor 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ References

√ Proof of degree 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

Resume, cover letter review, call for interview, selection, contingent offer, background check, hire

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

Expressed interest in my position, intelligent, relevant experience, thoughtful, outgoing – get along with any/everyone, highly adaptable

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Why interested? M-F 8-5, inability to problem solve, rigid/inflexible, typos, dense resumes

What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?

How long before they burn out

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Only One!  

Resume: √ Two is ok, but no more  

CV: √ We don’t ask for this  

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Not answering the question

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

Yes. Smile, be natural!

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

Tie it all to the skills gained through those experiences. Don’t mention the lack of experience, we see that. Talk about what you do know.

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

Panels, standardized questions. Personal bias.

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

What is the number one trait you’re looking for in the successful candidate? Why do you love your job? We’re (libraries) going through a lot of changes and flexibility is key in any library.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Midwestern US

What’s your region like?

√ Urban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+ 

Author’s note: Hey, thanks for reading! If you like reading, why not try commenting or sharing? Or are you somebody who hires Library, Archives or other LIS workers? Please consider giving your own opinion by filling out the survey here.

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Urban area