Category Archives: Southwestern US

We’re a public library. A library card is free. Please have a library card.

A woman in a tan suit holds a book. She wears a surgical mask and gloves.
Librarian Regina reviews books to add to the library collections – the work goes on. By Flickr user Michael Neubert

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Youth Services Librarian

Titles hired include: Library Assistant I for YA

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ The position’s supervisor 

√ Other: If a position is of a supervisor/”librarian” level, there may be a committee of admin and/or the position’s supervisor

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

√ Online application 

√ Other: Resume is preferred for PT. Resume and Cover Letter are required for FT.

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ Yes 

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

County HR posts the position 

Applications are checked by an automated system

Approved applications are made available to Library Admin

Admin then send the applications to the manger for the open position 

Mangers review applications and then call people in for interviews 

Managers then offer the job and establish the start date

New Hires must visit county HR prior to start date to complete onboarding paperwork

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

I place more emphasis on in person interviews as so much of the jobs I’m hiring for is based on personality and how well this person will mesh with our kiddos. When it comes to in person interviews, I look for passion. If an applicant can sit there and tell me about why they love libraries, or RPGs, or books, etc. and they have a desire to share that passion and turn it into something we can use… I’m sold. 

Also, We’re a public library. A library card is free. Please have a library card. It’s not required, but if you have a card, I know you use the library, and that’s a great starting point. For people who are moving to town or new to town, this doesn’t bother me as much, but if you’ve lived here your whole life and you don’t have a card… It feels weird that you then want to work here. 

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Mentioning religion or politics in an interview. Sometimes these things pop up in a relevant fashion, such as work experience. But I’ve had applicants ask if we could pray together as part of our interview, flat out ask about my politics/religion, or mention that they see this job as a good chance to talk to kids about religion/politics.

We also see a number of applicants that think a teen center at a public library will function akin to a school setting; as this shows a serious lack of understanding about who and what we are, this is another deal breaker. 

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

It’s hypocritical of me given my response to number 9… but an applicant’s political and religious preferences or rather how vocal they will be about those beliefs. Clashing beliefs can really stress coworkers out and alienate patrons. People can hold different beliefs and still work together/with the public, but not if one party is going to be overtly religious or political. 

I’d also like a better idea of how independent and self motivated an applicant is. The positions I hire for really do need to be independent and self motivated, and if an applicant needs their hand held, or needs constant reminding/encouragement it will mess with the workflow and morale of the department. 

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?

Finding that balance between being professional and showing me who you are and why you’re going to be the best fit for the YA team. I’ve had some excellent, very professional interviews that have left me unsure of if the applicant would get along with my other staff, or if the applicant would be able to build a report with the kiddos; ultimately, I haven’t hired those super professional applicants. 

Ideally, the interview will start professionally, but things may become more lax, or I’ll see that spark of passion and we’ll be able to have a more natural and authentic conversation. 

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

Generally, we do not do phone or virtual interviews. I personally will not do them; I will hold off on an interview for up to a week if it means we can meet in person.

Many years ago when we were seeking a new director, the first round of interviews did include some virtual interviews, but that was an exception given the type of position that was open.

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?

This is an excellent question! And I wish I had a better answer for it…

Applicants should know the type of library they’re transitioning towards, and what those types of institutes are like. For example, if you apply to work at a teen center in a public library, you should expect to have to run/assist with after school/school break programming, and not be as focused on homework help or research papers. This advice is best for the interview stage when an applicant can really show off their relevant knowledge and skills. 

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?

Hiring Managers receive no training in avoiding hiring bias. Our online applications do not ask for age/DOB, sex, gender, or ethnicity so there’s that at least… However, there is other information which must be provided and from which assumptions can easily be made, such as name, address, and hs/college graduation dates. 

I personally do seek out training on bias reduction. Although these trainings are not focused on hiring (often customer service) I feel that some of the information can be translated into hiring bias. I also talk to minority staff about issues with our application process (which is beyond my control, but I do pass along feedback) and how the interview process went and what I as a manager can do to help them feel more comfortable. 

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

I’m not sure what questions I feel like applicants SHOULD ask. If it’s information they NEED to know, I feel like I should provide that in job description or in the interview; I’m not here to trick applicants into asking relevant questions.

But some of the BEST questions I’ve been asked: 

What does the training process look like?

Are there any opportunities for any additional (like CE) training?

What are there chances for upward movement within the department? 

What are your COVID safety policies? 

What are your safety protocols and precautions? (in relation to upset patrons)

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Other: We’re the only sizable city for 90miles, but everything around us is rural; it’s created a very unique environment where despite being located in a proper city, our patrons are mostly rural 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Other: I do some virtual programming; while I could run this from home I normally run it from work as I’d rather not use up my home internet data.

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 11-50 

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 10-50 staff members, Public, Southwestern US

No background checks provided by our HR, so we’re in the dark when it comes to criminal history.

Adam Hunter, Chief Librarian from 1904 to 1921, and women at the laying of the cornerstone for the new public library on Main Street West. August 1, 1911. By Flickr user Local History & Archives Hamilton Public Library

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Maker Librarian (supervisor for library makerspace)

Titles hired include: Library Assistants (“Makers-in-Residence”)

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ HR

√ Library Administration

√ The position’s supervisor 

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

√ Online application 

√ Resume 

√ Other: proof of degree for management-level positions

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ Yes 

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

Applications are submitted online, admin sends applicants to hiring supervisors, supervisors (such as myself) review the applications/resumes/references and make hiring decisions, then send decision to admin and HR for finalizing process.

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

Well-rounded skillset, confidence in answering questions, asking informed questions before/during the interview, displaying knowledge of good customer service practices.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Lack of basic tech knowledge/skills. Applying for a position advertised as a specific shift, and asking to drastically change that shift’s schedule. Bringing up political/religious affiliations without appropriate context.

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

No background checks provided by our HR, so we’re in the dark when it comes to criminal history.

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: √ Only One!  

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

Regardless of which department they are applying for, I have a lot of interviewees spend the majority of their interview talking about their love of books and book-based programming. Obviously books are important, but working in a library is about so much more – I want to know what other services/resources our library provides that the interviewee is already aware of, and how they would help expand or supplement what we offer.

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

Virtual interviews are almost non-existent here; we conduct in-person interviews wherever possible, unless a candidate seems like they’d be a strong enough choice to warrant a phone interview.

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?

To me, the best person for the job is someone with a robust understanding of good customer service, is capable of working independently, has a love of learning and a willingness to try new things, and is up-to-date in their knowledge of computer/device usage and research skills.

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?

√ Southwestern US

What’s your region like?

√ Other: Most of the population lives in one city, where our library is located, but there are numerous nearby rural towns that depend on the city for its resources.

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Never or not anymore 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 51-100 

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 50-100 staff members, Public, Southwestern US

highlight previous customer service experience and really sell what you are going to bring to the library that they may not already have.

Ottendorfer, Librarian standing at desk, NYPL Digital Collections

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Librarian II

Titles hired include: Library Technician, Library Assistant, 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

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ Yes 

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

We post the position for 2 weeks, review the applications, interview 3-6 candidates,  make the offer, send information to HR for background check, set start date, and let other candidates know the choose someone else. As a hiring manager, I do everything but the steps that HR completes.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Candidates that don’t have conflict management skills. 

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Only One!  

Resume: √ Only One! 

CV: √ Only One! 

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

Answering that they like quiet places and to read. That’s great but we do so much more than that. Make sure to really look at the library’s website and social media.

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

We have conducted virtual interviews in the past but are now back to in-person.

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?

Make sure to highlight previous customer service experience and really sell what you are going to bring to the library that they may not already have. 

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 have multiple people choose the candidates 

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

What duties are specific to this position? (We have the same job description for everyone with that title.) What will the first 6 months in this position look like?

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Suburban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Never or not anymore 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 51-100 

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 50-100 staff members, Public, Southwestern 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

Demonstrate how roles in previous positions apply directly to library setting

Singer Marian Anderson (left) and Regina Andrews, Mahopac, New York. NYPL Digital Collections

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Director

Titles hired include: Supervisory librarian, outreach librarian

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 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

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

HR posts position, screens applicants, library administration choose candidates and arranged interviews, conducts interviews, recommend candidate for conditional offer to HR, hr background checks and tests

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

Great resume, spoke well in interview

What are your instant dealbreakers?

Not responding

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

Job rigor, personalities

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more  

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?

Underselling selves

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

Yes, test connection, do a mock interview with friend

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?

Demonstrate how roles in previous positions apply directly to library setting

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ We only discuss after we’ve made an offer 

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

Don’t know

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

Hierarchy, job duties, regular day scenario

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Suburban

√ Rural 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Never or not anymore

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 11-50 

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 10-50 staff members, Public, Rural area, Southwestern US, Suburban area

Know yourself and your service philosophy.

Fifteenth Annual Institute on Preservation and Administration of Archives. National Archives.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Children’s Services Librarian 

Titles hired include: Library Assistant, Librarian, Assistant Director, Director

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ A Committee or panel 

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

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ Demonstration (teaching, storytime, etc)

√ Other: Depends on position.  Professional positions require resume and cover letter, non professional online application, demonstration if skill will be regular or main focus of position.

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No

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

Online application, review of applications, interviews, hire or repost.  I have helped whittle down applications for coworkers, sat on interview committees, and been in charge of the entire process from posting position to hiring decision.

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

They knew what organization they were interviewing for, it was obvious they had done their homework, and were prepared.  Showed passion and how their service philosophy aligned with organizational philosophy.  Not afraid to show personality, they were genuine.  Could relate past experience to position interviewing for.  Were curious and asked good questions.  

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Show need to follow rules to the letter, no flexibility, no empathy.  We used to have a question about a five cent fine (before we went fine free).  If the person must collect the fine at all costs because it was a rule and were not able to waive the fine even with permission/prodding, deal breaker.

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more 

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 being prepared.  I don’t mean having an idea of what questions will be asked and having perfect answers.  I mean knowing even a little bit about the organization and the position.  Not being themselves and saying what they think the interviewer/s want to hear.

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

We have in the past and will do so if needed.  Not sure how to answer this question.  Being willing to do a video interview over a phone interview is helpful.  

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?

Lots of different types/range of previous experience can be relevant or helpful in a library setting, especially customer service.  Show willingness to learn.  Be able to see and articulate the connections.  Know yourself and your service philosophy.

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ Other: Salary Range in job ad, specific salary with job offer

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

Not advertising open positions outside of traditional avenues to reach a wider candidate pool.  

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 organizational culture.  This can be helpful in learning if the organization is a place they want to work.  Ask why people on the interview panel like to work for the organization or why not.  What is a typical day like for the person in the position. Whatever is important to them and will help them make a decision about whether the organization is a good fit for them.  

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Other: Not a suburb but not rural.  

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 11-50 

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, 10-50 staff members, Public, Southwestern US

I want to hear criticality from candidates, it’s a form of problem solving, but I do not want constant, unproductive negativity.

This former salesgirl, librarian, and sixth-grade school teacher has been repairing and servicing cars which used to be only open jobs for men. National Archives

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Academic Library

√ Archives

Title: Curator of Special Collections and Archives

Titles hired: Processing Archivist, Dance Archivist

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

√ CV

√ References

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview

√ Demonstration (teaching, storytime, etc)

√ 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:

For staff, there is a posting that is reviewed prior to posting by supervisor and HR director, then posted to a variety of library and state job boards. The committee reviews all applicants for qualifications (req or preferred) and decides on a pool to interview virtually. The committee does virtual interviews with candidates, and decides on the candidate they would like to make an offer to, after checking references of the top candidate/s. They make a verbal offer contingent on a background check. The candidate, supervisor, and hr director discuss salary and a pay rate in the posted range is decided upon and if the candidate accepts, a formal offer letter with a start date is created and signed. The faculty process is similar but far more involved, and has 2 rounds of final interviews, one that is short, and a final that is the equivalent of half a day (and still virtual). The committee brings the final candidates to campus after the offer has been made, and the candidate decides after the visit.

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

Framing challenges positively, actually speaking to the position in the application materials.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Indicators that someone is overly critical in unproductive ways. I want to hear criticality from candidates, it’s a form of problem solving, but I do not want constant, unproductive negativity.

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

How they treat people who are more vulnerable than they are.

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more

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?

Not speaking to the position announcement, being too general.

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

The usual. Make sure we can hear you.

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?

All leadership in all roles is relevant. A LOT of people who have never directly supervised people have leadership experience, from school, from life. Writing documentation, training, being a ‘team lead.’ Use it. Play it up.

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 don’t de-identify application materials, and should.

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

What kind of support they can/should expect.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern 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?

√ 101-200

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 100-200 staff members, Academic, Archives, Southwestern US, Urban area

Confident, energetic, focused, poised

Photograph of Dr. Hermann Robinton, Assistant to the State Librarian, Albany, New York, Turning over to Dr. Wayne C. Grover, Archivist of the United States, Some of New York’s Most Treasured Documents to be Preserved and Rehabilitated for Display on New York’s Freedom Train. National Archives.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Archives

√ Public Library

Title: Head of Special Collections

Titles hired include: Archivist (I-III), Lead Archivist, Librarian (I-IV), Senior Library Specialist

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ HR

√ 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 

√ Demonstration (teaching, storytime, etc)

√ More than one round of interviews 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ Yes 

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

Referred applications from (non-library) HR sent to hiring manager. Revise/update job posting and interview questions. Select applicants for interview. Interview with a panel. Score and select candidates for either an offer or second round interviews (dependent on position). Reference check, including request for copies of transcripts. HR completes background check and offer.

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

Confident, energetic, focused, poised, had clearly done their research about the organization and the position.

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

Workplace preferences and current work/professional priorities

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

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

Not researching the organization, not being  familiar with the job posting

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

Yes. Test out your setup ahead of time. Just like with in-person presentations, have a back up plan.

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?

Involvement in the library professional associations, volunteer work in the areas of interest, educational training and development (from full degree program to one-time workshops)

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?

Required training and completion of acknowledgment form before joining a 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?

What is a typical workday for this position? 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Never or not anymore  

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, Archives, Public, Southwestern US, Urban area

Personal Professional Websites: Dawn of Knowledge

Headshot of Dr. Melissa Atkinson. She is a white woman with blonde hair, wearing a peach blouse and black blazer. The background is black.

Dr. Melissa Atkinson is the Director of Distance & Online Library Services at the Margarett and Herman Brown Library at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. She has worked in the same academic library for 22 years. She earned her M.S.L.S. from the University of North Texas in 2000 and her Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Distance Education in 2019 from Regent University.

What is your site’s URL?

Dawnofknowledge.com

Briefly, what is the current purpose of your site?

It had posts about the courses in my doctoral program.

Was the original purpose of your site different from this current purpose? If yes, how and why did it change?

The original purpose is still being displayed because I haven’t posted in about 7 years. I still pay to keep the site domain just in case I ever update it.

Are you actively looking for work? (check all that apply)

√ Nope! Not at All! 

Has your site brought you any work? And if so, what?

No, not really, but my doctoral degree did.

About Your Site and Sites in General

Did you pay someone to design or build your site?

√ No 

Which of the following content do you have on your site (check all that apply)?

√ Blog about personal topics

√ Blog about professional topics 

√ Twitter or other social media feed

√ Your Bio

√ Your photo 

Which of the following personal links or connection methods do you provide on your site? (Check all that apply)

√ Form for people to subscribe to your content 

√ Twitter

√ Facebook 

√ LinkedIn 

Is your site strictly library/archives/LIS related?

√ No, I include my arts/crafts/hobbies/other tangential or unrelated work

When was your site last updated?

√ Longer than a year ago 

What causes you to update your site, and about how frequently does that occur?

I haven’t updated in about 7 years, but when I did, I tried to update every week. 

Does your site use any of the following platforms/services?

√ WordPress.com 

How much do you pay annually to run your website? (for numbers not in American dollars, please use other)

√ $10.01-$20.00 

Do you allow comments on your site?

√ Yes 

Do you have advertising on your site?

√ Yes, but I don’t have any control over that/it’s part of the platform I use 

Do you have analytics on your site?

√ Yes 

About how many people visit your site in a month?

√ 0-50 

Is having a personal website a “must”?

√ Yes, for people looking for speaking gigs

√ Yes, for people who are independent contractors/freelancers

√ Nope! Not at All!

Do you have any privacy concerns associated with sharing your personal information, resume, etc., on a public website? If so, what measures do you take to feel safer?

Somewhat concerned, but I’m not too worried based on my content (not too popular). I don’t know if WordPress has any safety measures, or what kind of measures to take.

What advice would you give someone wanting to create their own personal professional site?

Make sure you have a plan to address trolls (in DMs or public comments).

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your website? Or personal websites in general?

I have been wanting to update my blog, but I can’t seem to think of a new theme (posting theme, not design theme). Also, finding time to post is difficult because of new priorities and interests.

Demographics

What is your job title?

Director of Distance & Online Library Services

What types of organizations do you work for or with? (Check all that apply)

√ Academic Library 

If you work for someone besides yourself, does that organization have rules about what you can share on your personal site?

√ Other: I’m not sure. There might be one now that wasn’t there 7 years ago.

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern US 

Thanks for reading! If you have a personal professional website that you’d like to talk about, please fill out the survey.

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Filed under Academic, Personal Professional Websites, Southwestern US

In the many years that I have interviewed and selected a new employee, I tend to select on the person’s attitude, staying on point to the questions asked, experience.

Nederlands: Collectie Fotoburo de Boer. Houts, Nils van (UP de Boer), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library

Title: Library Branch Manager

Titles hired include: Library Assistant, Library Services Supervisor, and Library Information Services Specialist.

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ Library Administration

√ The position’s supervisor 

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

√ Online application

√ References

√ Supplemental Questions

√ Written Exam

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ Other: Not sure

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

Receive and review applications, conduct interview and make selection.

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

Even though the position is mostly a paraprofessional, the amount of experience in a library setting was very good such as working at a bookstore, volunteer at a library and/or past public library experience. 

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

If the person does not show much interest in the interview and or is expecting to be selected because of a family member working with our organization.

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

DOB

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?

Disinterest.

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

This year alone we have conducted virtual interviews.

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?

In the many years that I have interviewed and selected a new employee, I tend to select on the person’s attitude, staying on point to the questions asked, experience.

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

Dress code and possibilities for promotion.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Suburban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual? 

√ Never or not anymore

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 101-200

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, 100-200 staff members, Public, Southwestern US, Suburban area