Category Archives: 200+ staff members

Experience is not required, but desirable and those with experience are often the ones hired.

Market day, KillarneyThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Catalogers, Managers, Selection Librarians, Teen/Children’s/Adult Librarians, Staff Development Librarians.

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

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds out the application before they reach the hiring managers.

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

√ No

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 fewer 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?

Experience is not required, but desirable and those with experience are often the ones hired.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

Librarianship is definitely still alive and changing, but is it growing? If not, I’d say that is a sign that it is dying.

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, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area, Western US

express interest in a long-term role

Market day, Killarney 2 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/General Reference/Subject

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern 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”?

Held requisite credentials and possessed the skills, experience, and cultural fit necessary to thrive in the role

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Recruiting reviews apps and resumes
Associate Dean of Library interviews with a panel of Deans
Dean (me) completes the final interview

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

Educational experience disqualifies (no MLIS)

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

√ Other: When requested

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

Clean resume; read the job description and tailor interview responses and cover letter to the job; express interest in a long-term role

I want to hire someone who is

Passionate

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?

√ 2

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 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, Office Requirement

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Field is changing, but not dying. Folks need to think outside of traditional roles and be open to unique opportunities to maintain hire-ability.

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, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

The word librarian isn’t in the job title

Jennifer BRidgensJennifer Bridgens is a search architect for the eBusiness department of Ferguson Enterprises Inc. Ferguson is headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, and is classified in the wholesale supply industry – perhaps best known for plumbing products but also catering to a variety of businesses in multiple industries. Here is how she describes her background and current work:

I have a master’s of science in information and library science from the graduate school of library and information science at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Illinois, and I received my Bachelor’s degree in English at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. I like to think that, while I learned a great deal about library systems and information theory from GSLIS, I really learned my analytic skills from my undergraduate degree. Nothing teaches you to analyze so well as parsing out the phenomenological meanings of Virginia Woolf’s works or the hidden biographical traces in Ernest Hemingway’s books.

I’ve had the opportunity to work on various projects, both here at Ferguson and previously at Yellowbook.com. I am proud of my achievements in both places, and none of them could have been done without the amazing development teams with whom I worked. Perhaps the hardest but most rewarding one in the past occurred while at Yellowbook. I and several others spent hours analyzing data comparison reports, making sure that businesses would show correctly in accurate search ranges. All the prep work that went into that first release was hard; I would close my eyes and see Excel spreadsheets floating in the air. But the search experience was so much better that it was worth the blood, sweat, and tears.

Currently, I’m buried in Ferguson product data, looking for methods to optimize the content for the search platform we use. It is again, like Yellowbook project, one that requires hard work and meticulous scrutiny, but having been down this road before, I know the reward will worth the work. My hobbies of coloring and crocheting keep me sane while I’m in the middle of these types of projects. My desk is quite messy, to be honest, with books, Stickie notes, and my Supernatural Pop Vinyl figurines. And Legos. I sit with the UX Design team—none of us would survive without Legos.

Ms. Bridgens is team lead and has been a member of a hiring or search committee. She person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Catalogers
Taxonomists
Reference Librarians
Collection Specialists

Ferguson Enterprises has more than 200 staff members and is in an urban area of the MidAtlantic 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”?

they have organizational and analytical skills and come from a variety of undergrad degrees and backgrounds

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds them out, so I tend to hunt them down myself and pull librarians into corporate jobs

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

disinterest in working in a corporate setting–if they won’t be happy outside of a library, there’s no point in trying

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

√ Other: if they ask

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

tailor their application to the job, this is so unbelievably important; also do some research about the company you apply to–even knowing the basics like how long the company has been in business is good

I want to hire someone who is

Curious

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?

√ Other: the word librarian isn’t in the job title

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?

√ 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 look for talent (self-taught) for entry level and do temp to permanent (1st 90 days is temp). For positions needing more experience we will look for the MS in LIS as preferred. Data curation wasn’t always taken seriously, but it is now.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

“Information that cannot be found may as well not exist.” Nancy Mulvaney wrote that, and I learned it in “library school.” Search logic is only as good as the metadata that describes the thing. Without curation of the data, there is chaos, and finding the thing becomes more about treasure hunts with poorly marked maps than coordinates and GPS telling you in fractions of a second where the thing is.

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

If you are looking for a librarianish job that isn’t in a library, the corporate world needs librarians. Some of the companies don’t really understand the value librarians have, but most librarians have this unique trait of staring a large problem in the face (like a large truck of books that needs to be cataloged) and working out in their head from start to finish how it will get done. This is a critical analysis tool. If you know how to research, you can analyze. If you know how to catalog, you know how to handle product data. If you can learn MARC…seriously, you can handle any backend system anywhere.

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, Special, State of the Job Market 2015

We need librarians to help navigate this increasingly digital world.

Market day, KillarneyThis anonymous interview is with a public 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:

Children’s Librarians, Children’s Para-professionals.

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Western 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”?

Qualified, with MLS, experience, evidence of experience, references.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR evaluates the applicants before sending them on. They weed out non-qualified.

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

No MLS, no experience in Children’s department of a library.

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?

Have an MLS, have prior experience working in a library.

I want to hire someone who is

qualified.

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?

√ 1

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?

For Librarian positions we require an MLS.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We need librarians to help navigate this increasingly digital world.

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

Thanks for being on the cutting edge of information about libraries and librarians. I appreciate the care you take to do this work.

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, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area, Western US

Learn about the Library job and system before applying

Market scene. Women and men. 1922 2This anonymous interview is with a public 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 Librarians, both YA & YS Librarians

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?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

ALA accredited Master’s Degree
Core competencies
Customer service oriented

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

If a candidate does not meet the required facets of the job description then HR weeds the application.

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

Lack of skill set and qualifying required parameters

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?

Learn about the Library job and system before applying and ensure that the minimum qualifications are met.

I want to hire someone who is

Responsible

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 fewer 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

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

People need help bridging the digital divide and even more help with understanding what constitutes a valid resource

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, Suburban area

i think there will be fewer librarians in the future – but i don’t think the needs are dying

Paramaribo market scene. Women and men. 1922.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:

systems, web, digital library services

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern 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”?

appropriate skills, experience, and credentials, coupled with the right kinds of personalities/professionalism.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All S&S members see all applicants. We use a scoring matrix – required and desired elements…the process ensures some degree of objectivity while allowing for subjectivity as well on the part of each committee member.

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

lack of credentials, *required* years of experience, lack of experience in university setting

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

√ Other: rarely and only on request

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

read requirements, communicate well, match job to skills

I want to hire someone who is

talented and professional

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?

√ 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 fewer 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.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: it’s an evolving profession – i think there will be fewer librarians in the future – but i don’t think the needs are dying

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, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

I need someone who is interested in MY job

Push cart market -- New York (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a public 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, children’s, teen, adult programming

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?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

A bachelors degree is required with some relatable experience or a MLS

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Applications are initially vetted by HR based on questions answered by the applicant. HR rates the applicants. The hiring manager than can view the resumes, and select interviewees.

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

Not qualified or mistakes on the resume/cover letter (if a cover letter is included)

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 professional cover letter and resume that is tailored to the job. I need someone who is interested in MY job, and not just wanting to be hired anywhere.

I want to hire someone who is

passionate

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?

√ 3-4

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?

√ I don’t know

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, but it is desired.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Libraries are changing as the information needs of our customers change. However, there is still a role for libraries and librarians to fulfill if the libraries are willing to adjust.

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

I hear a lot about newly minted MLS saying that there are no jobs available, but we do not get quality applicants. You are applying for a professional position, and the resume and cover letter should be professional and well-written. If you cannot write a resume for your own job, how will you answer questions my library users have when trying to write theirs?

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