This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
Academic librarians who wear many hats, but all involve reference functions. Right now we are looking for someone to perform reference to off-campus students and to coordinate marketing of library services.
This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a rural area in the Southern US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
√ 25 or fewer
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
Having all of the minimum requirements for the position as advertised.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
All applications are evaluated (retaining only those hireable) by the Director of Library Services before being submitted to the committee, which is composed of the entire library staff.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Not having the appropriate skill sets for the position.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Continue to expand his/her skill sets and experience, even if that means volunteering.
I want to hire someone who is
How many staff members are at your library/organization?
How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ Other: none
Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?
√ There are more positions
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
We have a position for which we cannot find a qualified applicant, probably due to low pay. If the profession dies it will not be due to lack of need for the profession, but due to no one wishing to work for the pay being offered. Then the same functions will be fulfilled by another position, but they will always be necessary functions.
Do you hire librarians? Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.