Category Archives: Southern US

Do your homework on the institution and identify ways you can make a contribution.

Pike Place Market looking north, Seattle, WashingtonThis 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:

Reference & Instruction

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in a suburban area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Met or exceeded the job qualifications and were people we wanted to bring to campus for an interview.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applications are vetted by the entire committee using the job qualification grid as the rubric.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Did not meet the minimum expectations in the job advertisement.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Do your homework on the institution and identify ways you can make a contribution. Illustrate how you can make a difference at that institution and how you would be wonderful to work with.

I want to hire someone who is

an innovator.

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are the same number of positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Other: I think it has gone the other way, actually, with a parapro position being reclassed as Faculty.

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

I believe most positions require some experience, but it could be via an internship.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Information management is more important than ever. Librarians are finding new ways to meet the needs of their patrons all the time as community centers, places to learn new skills, custodians of the academic and cultural record, and creators of knowledge in digital libraries. Our service mission will always keep us relevant, regardless of how the information is presented (in print or digitally).

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.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

But remember you can say “no” to a job, and that is a hard skill to master.

Woman at a market stallThis anonymous interview is with a special 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:

cataloguers, librarians, systems librarians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban 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?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Challenging to define. To some extent depends on position. In this state institution, our hiring goes through human resources general e-mail before it comes to us. The quality of what is passed on to us varies considerably, and our state application form is useless and barely gathers any useful information – it also doesn’t allow attachments.
At bare minimum, I’d say candidates should submit a complete resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter. Do your best to make sure references can actually be contacted! If you have military or retail experience, remember that some of your supervisors may not be able to give telephone references. Choose people an interviewer will actually be able to reach.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Application materials are e-mailed through an HR manager or generalist first. My understanding is in the past, they did more rigorous evaluation. Recently, they seem to have shifted to sending us everyone, even candidates who do not meet minimum qualifications. Internally, when there is a vacancy, we form a search committee, usually 3 people. Suitable candidates are reviewed by the committee and decisions are made about who will be invited for an interview. I don’t see it elsewhere on this questionnaire screen, but the HR bottleneck drives me crazy – they are friendly, but not very useful and they aren’t adding value to the process. They also limit what we can say on the public postings, which is frustrating and leads to advertisements that aren’t very enticing.
I also hate to say that we have no money to bring in candidates to interview. I hate that is the case, but we can barely fund our own staff to travel. I would recommend aspiring candidates figure out how (or if) they can deduct job interview expenses from their taxes – I was able to do so in the past. I chair many of the search committees and I am up front with candidates about the interview expenses being on them, to give them an option to withdraw.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

For my boss (our director), being fired from a previous job (which is a question on our state application) is a red flag.
Most recently, because of the deluge of applicants we are having e-mailed to us from HR, some applicants are not meeting minimum educational requirements, and we cannot interview them.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Be honest.
Be prepared. “Don’t just tell them – show them.” Make a rudimentary portfolio with samples of your work, even if your work was for your MLS program. Point to the portfolio during the in-person interview when asked a relevant question. Take screen shots of electronic products you created, if any. If you have to give a presentation, stick to the time limit!
Show interest in the institution if you really want the job. Read an annual report or two. Know what programs a university offers. Know what public a public library serves, even if you use Census data. Most of this stuff is free on the web.
Write a thank-you note to your contact. I don’t care if you do this by snail mail or e-mail, though purists will argue over which is better. The effort is the important thing for me. I have interviewed 2 librarians in the past year who didn’t follow up after the interview.

I want to hire someone who is

prepared

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 3-4

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Depends on how the human resources advertisement is worded. If a minimum number of years of experience is listed as required, we are expected to adhere to that as a search committee. However, we have recently (in the last 5-6 years) hired candidates who were fresh out of an MLS program.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

I’m not sure how to answer. Everything professional – doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc. – seems at risk now, with the economy. Libraries beat themselves up about being closed, but I think that’s a symptom of the larger economy. Hospitals, malls, and long-time businesses are closing and/or merging…with job loss. I also see a trend towards part-time, rather than full-time positions, which typically won’t pay enough for people to support a family of 4.
I think the smartest thing we can do is continue to keep doing the best work we can, highlighting our value, demonstrating excellent search skills, and developing collections & services to meet the needs of our users. We are reflections of who we serve, and our society has to make improvements before professional work improves.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Try to keep chin up. Even most librarians who have full-time jobs have had less-than-positive hiring experiences. I probably could fill a wall with the rejections I’ve gotten in the past, but I also haven’t been content to stay in the same job for a long time. Try to be the kind of candidate you would want to hire. Put some effort into each interview, whether by phone, Skype or in-person. On the other side of the job search, if you get an offer you want, celebrate it, if only for yourself. But remember you can say “no” to a job, and that is a hard skill to master. Listen to your gut.

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.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Southern US, Special, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Respect and value a coworker even though that person might not hold a college degree

Crockery and S. Murray, Grainger MarketThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager . This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference, cataloger, children’s, YA

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ more than 75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Held the MLS degree

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

No.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Someone they’ve listed as a reference either refuses to give them one or gives them a bad or qualified one.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

I’m looking for librarians who are team players, who want to help people find information or learn to use the Internet effectively, who respect and value a coworker even though that person might not hold a college degree, who enjoy working with people, who are kind to others, and enthusiastic about their work.

I want to hire someone who is

People-oriented.

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Being able to find information fast is more important than ever.

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.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, Rural area, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015

The profession continues to adapt to new emphases in service broadly defined

Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E N Clopper. Location Indianapolis, Indiana.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:

reference and instruction, catalogers, archivists, technologists, managers, acquisitions

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in a suburban 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 the qualifications listed as required in the announcement

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

University HR screens for required qualifications, then a library search committee convened for the particular position under review evaluates applicants

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

better qualified candidates whose experience and knowledge more closely meets the desired qualifications

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

pay close attention to the position description and demonstrate how her experience, qualifications, and aspirations match our advertised needs

I want to hire someone who is

proactive

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are the same number of positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

no

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

the demand for the management of operation of libraries is still strong and the profession continues to adapt to new emphases in service broadly defined (collections can be a service)

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

the most recent searches I’ve been involved with have been for high-level specialized positions in IT and archival collections, which may explain why the pool was so small

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.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

LIS education is a bad joke.

Push cart market -- New York (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring or search committee, and a human resources professional. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Adult Services, Children’s Teens, Circulation Specialists, Paraprofessionals, Clerical, Subject Specialists.

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ more than 100, but less than 200

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Capable of mastering the basic skills necessary in a publicly funded customer institution in a way that would not be detrimental or embarrassing to the service as a whole.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR grades applications on a point scale based upon a committee designed legal job description

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Illiteracy, spotty job history, insufficient credentials, falsehoods included on document, criminal record, fake references.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: If they ask, I will. It is against our policy, though

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Have someone else proofread their application. Have someone else evaluate if they are addressing the job description. Don’t lie.

I want to hire someone who is

doesn’t immediately start our professional relationship making demands or questioning our judgment

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

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?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No, we do not. Due to the volume of hiring that we do, those with experience tend to interview better.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Yes

Why or why not?

Librarians are killing it. LIS education is a bad joke. We need people who have good IT skills and can talk with the public. These people no longer look to librarianship as a viable career. Instead they go to management positions in IT. We get the second careerers whose first careers just didn’t work out. There’s usually a compelling reason why, and its often not what they tell us.

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.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Public, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Write a good cover letter. Be patient with the process.

Queipo Market in Little Havana - MiamiThis anonymous interview is with a librarian working in a joint-use facility who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference & subject specialist

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a suburban area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Applicants who met the basic Job requirements

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

I will head a search committee who use a rubric

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Do not meet basic requirements such as already have MLS or number of years required

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Write a good cover letter

I want to hire someone who is

Innovative

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are the same number of positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Make sure you are qualified for the position for which you are applying. Write a good cover letter. Be patient with the process.

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.

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

We bypassed HR because they worked too slowly and still passed through the bad applications.

Outdoor urban market sceneThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Subject liaisons. I’m just another librarian in the department, but I get put on a lot of search committees.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a suburban area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Having the basic requirements we asked for in the job listing.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

We bypassed HR because they worked too slowly and still passed through the bad applications. We have a search committee of the position supervisor plus a few faculty and a staff member in related positions who go through the applications and decide who to contact.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Lack of area expertise (we’re looking for subject librarians).

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Apply for jobs you’re actually qualified for. If you’re straight out of library school, make an effort in the cover letter to explain how your prior experience meets our requirements. If you can, intern in a library doing work related to the job you want.

I want to hire someone who is

competent

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are the same number of positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

We generally do prefer a bit of experience, but we’ll give a newbies a chance with an interview. They usually make a hash of it, so I can see that changing.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: I’d say mutating, not dying.

Why or why not?

Finding the right information is difficult in a different way these days. We need to change our role to fit the new needs.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

With so many people applying for every open position, you need to have something about you that makes you particularly interesting and well-suited to the job. If you blend in to the crowd, you’re not going to get anywhere in this market.

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.

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

Even if prior experience isn’t identical to duties to be preformed, provide a persuasive case

Woman at a market stallThis 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:

Tech Management, Web, reference, instruction, assessment.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meeting minimum position requirements.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

We use an in library search committee adhering to university hiring practices which include an evaluation matrix. All applications are reviewed by library staff/hiring committees. HR does not do initial weeding of applications.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Lack of required years of experience.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Demonstrate professional experience is relevant to job sought. Even if prior experience isn’t identical to duties to be preformed, provide a persuasive case that previous duties are comparable to those listed in the position description.

I want to hire someone who is

flexible

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 3-4

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Yes. There is an official requirement for one year of professional experience.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: It is changing.

Why or why not?

Librarianship in the traditional sense may not be as in high demand, but the organization, information management and technical skills of library and information sciences students are relevant to many areas of academia and business.

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.

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

we have only a few candidates for some of our job openings

Market day, Killarney 2This 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:

Collection development librarians and liaison librarians

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban 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”?

Provided all required paperwork and met all minimum requirements.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

By a committee of librarians, including the supervisor and librarians from within and outside of the department.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Not providing required materials.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: Potentially we would–but only informally and only if asked

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Read the instructions on the application system very thoroughly. Answer all required questions and provide all required materials. Call HR or reach out to the head of the search committee if you have questions about what’s required. Research very thoroughly the library’s programs, client base, community, and strategic plan *before* the interview. More generally, job seekers should be willing to reach outside of their comfort zone when it comes to job responsibilities and be willing to move.

I want to hire someone who is

Capable

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

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?

√ I don’t know

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No, only “familiarity with” or “knowledge of” certain aspects of librarianship. I expect graduates to have had at least an internship, work-study, or graduate assistantship.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: It is a changing profession

Why or why not?

User needs are changing, as are the way they seek to fulfill those needs. There will always be a need for someone like a librarian to teach people and help people do research and to curate and develop collections. The pace of change is rapid, but if we can be flexible and nimble, we will still have plenty of work to do.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

I hear people complaining about how they will “never” get a job and it makes me mad because we have only a few candidates for some of our job openings. Not everyone is going to get their dream job right out of school. Open your mind, be willing to move, be flexible, be patient. Also, ask a friend to be brutally honest about your resume, cover letters, and interviewing style. Simple professionalism is not as common as you think–you can easily outshine other candidates by being professional, personable, and showing some passion about the job in question.

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.

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Everyone I hire will need to be able to assist patrons with tech issues.

Queipo Market in Little Havana - MiamiThis anonymous interview is with an employee at a public library who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. When asked, “Are you a librarian?”  this person responded, “It’s complicated.” This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Department Heads, Managers of large branches, Administration, Cataloging, Acquisitions

This person works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a suburban 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”?

Strong computer/tech skills, knowledgeable about library processes, ability to plan and execute appropriate programs and events (if in a public services position), practical experience. An MLIS degree is great; however, I expect them to have worked in a library, even as a page or in a practicum course. If they have no real library experience, I’ll want them to be able to give examples on how their past work/life experience may have prepared them to work in a library, such as excellent customer service skills, organization and planning, personal library use, etc.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Initially they are weeded out by a application software (ApplicantPro) which assigns rankings. If they do not meet requirements they are automatically weeded out. Next the top ranked applicants are sent to the hiring manager to determine how many people to interview. They must be interviewed in order of ranking.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Does not meet requirements, unfavorable past employment with us, ranking lower than 75%.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

I hire for public services so great communication and tech skills are a must. Everyone I hire will need to be able to assist patrons with tech issues. Being knowledgeable about library functions (in practice, not in theory), is also very important and I need to be able to discern these things from the interview. If someone said on the application that they have advanced computer/tech skills, I need to be convinced of this when I ask computer/tech related answers. I expect them to give specific examples, and not just say “Microsoft”. I need them to convince me that they realize “tech” skills extends to eBooks, tablets, smartphones, software, apps, etc. and are not limited to knowing how to use Microsoft suite.

I want to hire someone who is

useful

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 100-200

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

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?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

The very basic entry level position requires a high school diploma and 1 year full-time customer service or 2 years part time customer service. This is an official requirement. the next level up require college degree. Library experience is only preferred/strongly desirable.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We are busy every day so obvious libraries are still relevant, useful, and needed. We should be rethinking qualifications of front line staff. I don’t necessarily think that having an MLIS is required for some positions, but it’s important to hire knowledgeable and helpful staff members. Supervisors, at the very least, should have the formal training of a graduate degree.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

If you are in LIS program or planning to be in one, PLEASE get some library experience before applying for Post-MLIS jobs, however small it is. Volunteer, work as a page, take a practicum class, whatever it takes. It makes a difference. While a graduate degree is often a requirement for many professional library, nothing beats practical experience.

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.

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Public, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area