Category Archives: Other Organization or Library Type

Most people have not heard of us before applying with us

A group of four white people are having a discussion in front of book shelves. One man looks bemused.
Image: Special Collections Tour with Dr. and Mrs. Arnfield From Flickr user Topeka Library

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for:

√ Special Library

√ Other: government library

Title: Librarian

Titles hired include: library technicians & librarians

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ HR

√ Library Administration

√ The position’s supervisor

√ 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

√ Proof of degree

√ Supplemental Questions

√ 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:

HR pre-screens initial applicants. Those deemed qualified are passed to the hiring panel (where I would be), who assess & invite ~4 candidates for interviews. References are checked and the hiring manager makes the final selection based on all the information gathered. The selection is passed back to HR, who extend the offer. 

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

Part of it was out of their control by the time they got to the interview: they had experience working with a niche type of materials our library offers. Part of it was in their control: They expressed a genuine interest in us and made the interview a conversation with give & take on both sides, both revealing the breadth & depth of their experience and knowledge and giving a small insight into what they would be like as a colleague. 

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Revealing they over-stretched the truth of their experience & expertise on their resume

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

It’s almost impossible to assess how they’ll *really* work on a team or on complicated projects, because that’s just not testable in the average library hiring process, and self-assessment isn’t always reliable. 

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 displaying any curiosity about your potential new workplace. Especially in government hiring the questions we are allowed to ask are often formulaic and can’t be personalized for each candidate. Ask us follow up questions if you think of them. When we hand the floor over to candidates for their questions, that’s the time to really dive in and get a conversation out of us. Put together thoughtful questions about the organization – ask us about upcoming projects, recent challenges, jot notes about what we mention during the questions and ask us to expand, etc. This is another way of expressing enthusiasm about the position and getting to know the people you might be working with (and vice versa) that a surprising number of candidates forgo entirely. 

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

We do. My advice: Don’t overthink it, and keep it simple. You don’t need to stare into the camera the entire time or try to make it look like you don’t live in a house. Make sure your audio & camera (if relevant) are working, have a non-distracting (decently clean, no TV blaring, etc) background, & smile. Not that different than an in person interview really.  

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?

Take a copy of the job description you’re interested in. Highlight in one color everything you have experience in, or transferable experience in, and make notes on what that experience is to make sure it’s mentioned somewhere in your resume or cover letter. Make it really easy on the committee to see your qualifications. Highlight in another color everything you don’t have experience in, and do some research, even if it’s just passively watching a webinar. Hiring managers want to know that A) you can already do something, or B) you wouldn’t be difficult to train. Saying in an interview “I’ve never done X, but I’ve watched a webinar and worked on a committee with people who did, and I see (fill in the blank of) these parallels to Y, which I’m very experienced in” goes a long way. And it’s a step further than the majority of candidates go, which will make you stand out. It is more work, yes, but if you’re stretching for a job that’s not a clear cut match for you, I strongly recommend it. Doing this is what helped me make multiple big jumps across very different types of library work in my career. 

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?

Every time a position is filled, there is a meeting to determine A) if the position really needs a masters B) how to advertise it as broadly as possible, with emphasis on under-targeted populations. If I had the power to do so I would love to see the additional step of blind reviewing materials to reduce potential name and gender bias. Appearance bias is hard to avoid with in-person or video interviews, but we try to select diverse panels and offer pre-hiring anti-bias training that helps the panel identify internalized biases as well. 

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

Most people have not heard of us before applying with us. We know that so don’t be afraid to admit it. Ask us a lot of questions about our structure, our history, our challenges, our successes, our goals, our work culture. Really dig in. As I mentioned before, what we can ask you is often structured and limited. Your questions are your time to get all the information you need, information we will happily give even if government hiring isn’t easily structured to let us offer it outright.  

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Northeastern 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?

√ 11-50

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 10-50 staff members, Northeastern US, Other Organization or Library Type, Special, Urban area

There is no “magic” question

Heather has worked in public libraries for several years, happily serving in every staff role. She cites the best part as helping staff reach their goals.

Outside of work, Heather can be found out hiking the local trails in Southern California.

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

First step is the online application with supplemental questions, second, the panel interview (internal or external depending on the position); if a two step position then it will be an internal panel second round interview. If a supervisory position, the final candidate would meet with the City’s executive team.

Titles hired include: Digital Navigators, Librarians, Supervisors, PT/FT

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

√ References

√ Proof of degree

√ Supplemental Questions

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview

√ Demonstration (teaching, storytime, etc)

√ More than one round of interviews

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No

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

They were enthusiastic about the opportunity, the organization and understood that working in a public library was a challenge but it was one they really wanted.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Attitude — unwillingness to learn, take direction; unfamiliarity with the job/organization; skills can be learned, attitude cannot.

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

Sometimes attitude isn’t revealed in the interview; there is no “magic” question.

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more

Resume: √ Two is ok, but no more

CV: √ We don’t ask for this

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

Being honest with themselves about whether or not this is the right position for them

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

Practicing beforehand and staying relaxed; it’s hard for both interviewer and subject; don’t be afraid to admit that this is awkward

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?

Try and build a bridge or tell a story about your experience that links the two; I’ve done x and this is how it relates to or is similar to y

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 not examined our practices for bias, yet, but will be doing so.

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

What can I do to be successful in this role; What would be the most challenging aspect of the position; what is the culture like; what do you like about working there

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Western US

What’s your region like?

√ Suburban

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 0-10

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, Other Organization or Library Type, Public, Suburban area, Western US

Ask about a typical day, ask what opportunities exist for advancement

Ryan McCrory is a historian of European Intellectual History with over 20 years of library experience in academic and public libraries, as far-flung as the University of Washington Libraries, Seattle Public Library, and Lititz Public Library.  

He is active in a variety of library organizations, and also serves on the Board of Directors of Hosting Solutions and Library Consulting.

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

Post job ad, receive and read applications, contact prospective candidates for interviews, interview and evaluate, make job offer. I do or assign each of these steps.

Titles hired include: Circulation Supervisor, Circulation Clerk, Maintenance

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ Other: Executive Director

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

√ Online application

√ Resume

√ References

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No

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

Clearly articulated why they were interested in this particular job and had a clear understanding of what the job actually was.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

No

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

Does their work match their words

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?

Try to say what they think is wanted, instead of just speaking honestly.

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

We could, but we haven’t had the need. Make sure they test out the audio before the interview. If I can’t hear them effectively, I’m not going to remain engaged well enough to give them a proper 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?

Make me understand that they have people skills, can work with many types of people, are adaptable when necessary, and can think on their feet effectively.

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 are in a pretty homogenous area, so we don’t attract a lot of diversity. I think even prospective employees would have a hard time seeing themselves as working for us – we probably don’t appear as inclusive as we are. I don’t have an easy answer to fix that, but do try and make sure that our programming and collections give the sense that we are open to all.

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 a typical day, ask what opportunities exist for advancement. Ask how we would view someone not looking for advancement. Ask questions that would let them know what they are in for.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Northeastern US

What’s your region like?

√ Suburban

√ Rural

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Other: Not really. There may be occasions for it, but very few

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Northeastern US, Other Organization or Library Type, Rural area, Suburban area

Ask questions tailored to the person interviewing you.

Headshot of Karen K. Reczek. She grasps her chin and smiles against a light blue background

Karen K. Reczek is a Social Scientist within the Standards Coordination Office (SCO) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  Karen works with high level Federal, State, Local & private sector officials to coordinate standards development and standards research to identify and support development of standard activities and programs to meet Federal needs. Previously Karen worked at Bureau Veritas CPS as Senior Manager, Information Resources Center for 14 years and prior to that at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Scientific and Information Resources and Services.  For over 30 years, Karen has served in various leadership positions in SLA, including elected and appointed positions at the SLA International, Community level. She is the winner of 2018 SLA John Cotton Dana Award.  She is currently President, SES: Society for Standards Professionals. 

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

Write description and skills requirements; work with HR to post the job; HR screens candidates that make a qualifying list; supervisor selects people to interview; panel interviews and makes selection in ranked order. HR extends offer. 

Titles hired include: Information Specialist

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

√ Resume 

√ Proof of degree

√ Supplemental Questions

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ Yes 

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

Short answers that answered the questions. Articulate, organized in their approach, good examples, personable, and asked good questions. 

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Won’t look me in the eye, even on camera! No questions for me. Unorganized responses or responses that make it clear the person did not understand the questions nor did they ask to clarify. 

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

Their real ability to let go of set ways and learn new things and continue to adapt to the role should it change. I try to ask behavioral interview questions to get some of this revealed. 

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, I love reading.

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

Not researching the organization, or the department/divisions; not coming prepared to ask questions; not being prepared at all.

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

Yes, recently. See above. Turn your camera on. Make “eye” contact”; smile. Be brief. Ask clarifying questions.

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?

No need to convince me. I know it’s possible. Just offered an administrative person and info specialist role because they seemed very capable of owning the role and doing quality work once trained. 

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad 

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

HR’s new system is supposed to start to try and address that. Yet, it still exists. 

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

About opportunities for growth – like do you support belonging to professional orgs, attending conferences, opportunities for advancement. How the department works; what the supervisor’s style is and expectations; what the role is and responsibilities and what training will be offered to learn the job, etc. 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Northeastern US

What’s your region like?

√ Urban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+ 

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

Do your homework. Be prepared. Ask questions tailored to the person interviewing you. Ask HR about culture and training. Ask the hiring manager about day to day responsibilities, management style, work environment, etc. The job hunter is interviewing the organization just as much as the organization is interviewing the job hunter. Don’t forget that. Try to learn about the culture. Sometimes that’s make or break once you get there and realize it is not a good fit. 

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Northeastern US, Other Organization or Library Type, Urban area

You might be pleasantly surprised at how nice people are, especially library people.

Market before PassoverThis anonymous interview is with a librarian who works for a public library consulting service and has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Youth services specialists, technology consultants, and adult services generalists.

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 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”?

Met the qualifications in terms of education & experience.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

As the executive director of our organization, I do the “first cut” look to make sure the applicants meet the basic requirements of education & experience. We are a very small organization & don’t have an HR department.

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

Education & experience is lacking.

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?

Read the job posting carefully and make sure your education & experience are a good fit before applying. Do not just apply for something at a place you’d like to work to get a foot in the door if you are not really qualified.

I want to hire someone who is

smart

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

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

√ 1

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 the same number of 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?

√ 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 don’t hire entry-level professionals. We are a consulting organization to other public libraries, and as such, we must have experienced librarians.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We are re-inventing ourselves as community hubs of information & recreation. Libraries are developing makerspaces, have programs of interest, and supply communities with networking opportunities in a forum that is free and open to all. We serve all ages, all races, all ethnicities, and all levels of literacy.

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

Don’t be afraid to take a job in a part of the country that you have never lived in or considered working in. You might be pleasantly surprised at how nice people are, especially library people.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Other Organization or Library Type, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

For Public Review: Ethan Fenichel

Welcome to crowd-sourced resume review for LIS job hunters!

Please help the job hunter below by using the comment button to offer constructive criticism on his resume. Some guidelines for constructive feedback are here, and the ALA NMRT has brief tips for reviewing resumes here.

This 2 page resume was submitted by a job hunter who says,

I’ve been working in the corporate sector for several years and finished my MSIS in December. I’ll be using this resume to look for a job in an academic library or a library services company (like an OCLC). I’m interested in research but also outreach and education. I’m very anxious about my lack of in-library experience and I’m interested if my resume translates to people hiring librarians.

ethan fenichel p1

ethan fenichel p2

To submit your resume or CV For Public Review,

  • send it as a Word document or PNG or JPEG image to hiringlibrariansresumereviewATgmail.
  • It will be posted as-is, so please remove any information that you are not comfortable having publically available (I suggest removing your address and phone number at a minimum).
  • Please include a short statement identifying if it’s a resume or CV and
  • describing the types of positions you’re using it for (ie institution type, position level, general focus).
  • Finally, you will also need to confirm that you agree to comment on at least five other posted resumes.

2 Comments

Filed under Academic, CV review, For Public Review, Other Organization or Library Type, Resume Review

Further Questions: What if candidates are interested in obtaining another degree?

Here’s another question from a reader. I asked people who hire librarians:

Is it a turn-on or turn-off when applicants mention their desire to obtain a further degree which is not strictly library science, but is tangentially related? (For example: a degree in education, management, etc)

I would say it probably depends on where you are applying. If it is a tenure track academic library, then absolutely, we want to know that you have thought ahead about your career, your continuing education, your research and publishing interests and frequently ask about these things in an interview. If your research and educational interests are not at all related (say for example you want to become a skydiving instructor) I would probably skip that part unless for some reason the search committee is asking you about your personal interests.

Advanced degrees in a subject specific area including management, or higher education are a big plus in academic libraries!

– Julie Leuzinger, Department Head, Eagle Commons Library, University of North Texas Libraries

 

Marleah AugustineI don’t see it as either a turn-on or a turn-off. I take it just as more information about the candidate that I can use to determine whether the candidate will be a good fit in the position. 

I will say that, as someone with a psychology background (BS and MS, prior to my MLIS), I’ve always thought that a psychology degree is helpful when working with the public, or staff for that matter. 🙂

– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

 

angelynn king

 

It can be a concern if it’s a degree subsidized by the hiring college

— the committee does not like to get the impression the applicant is primarily interested in the tuition benefit and will leave as soon as the degree is earned.

Generally, though, there is no such thing as too much education in academic libraries. 

-Angelynn King, Head Librarian, Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus

 

Furthering ones’ education is always a positive thing. For me, it would be a turn-on We have a couple of Children’s Librarians who have other masters degrees in early childhood ed and special ed. Makes them better able to provide outstanding programs and services.

– Kaye Grabbe, Director, Lake Forest (Public) Library, Lake Forest, IL

 

J. McRee Elrod

 

Libraries need cataloguers with subject specialization.  

We would be pleased.  

Whether employees may take classes free of charge is a legitimate question to ask if applying at an academic library.

– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging

 

I think it’s a GOOD thing when applicants express an interest in continuing their education! To me, this says that an applicant is interested is a “go-getter” and is motivated to grow, both personally and professionally. I like to hire people who have energy and enthusiasm, and the desire to achieve another degree is a good indicator of those two traits. In an academic library, it is extraordinarily helpful to have library faculty who have a secondary body of specialized knowledge beyond the library/information science degree. This expert knowledge is highly valuable to our students, but it also enhances the value of the library to the entire college. I believe our libraries *need* the broader perspective that comes with a diversity of education experience beyond the library/information science degree.

– Elijah Scott, Director of Libraries, Georgia Highlands College

 

Sherle Abramson-BluhmI think the manner in which it is mentioned is more what makes it a turn-off or turn-on.
A candidate who brings this up without being asked may appear to be less serious about doing the work of the job – and more focused on the degree.
But a willingness to continue learning I do not feel is ever a bad thing and can be discussed in the proper context.
– Sherle Abramson-Bluhm, Head, Print Acquisitions, University of Michigan
Laurie PhillipsIn some cases, this can be a red flag. We work really hard to hire people who will succeed and move up toward tenure, etc. We invest a lot in our junior faculty and don’t want to lose them. We are a primarily undergraduate institution with a few graduate degrees. If someone wanted to get an MBA here, we’d say go for it. There is a night program and it would be helpful in many ways to their work and to the organization. Our now retired Dean obtained her MBA here while working as a librarian. But, if someone wanted to work on a degree that we don’t offer, how would that work? What would be the outcome? Moving on? That might be difficult to support. We don’t require a second master’s degree, although some of us have them. So I can’t say definitely either way. It would depend on how that plan would fit into their work here.
– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  How was I supposed to know you was a heartbreaker I didn’t know, I couldn’t know Now I’m laying on this killing floor and I wanna comment

2 Comments

Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Other Organization or Library Type, Public

Further Questions: Is salary range included in your job postings?

This week we have a reader inspired question. I asked people who hire librarians:
Do you include a salary range in your job postings?  Why or why not?  Who makes that decision?

At my private academic institution, salary information is considered confidential, which means that we are not allowed (by HR) to post salary information in our job ads. Within those constraints, we try to be as transparent as possible. If candidates inquire about salary, the question is referred to the dean who will share the target range for the position. In addition, when a search is narrowed to finalists, those finalists are notified by the dean of the target salary range, so that if their requirements are beyond what we can pay, time isn’t wasted on a search that is bound to end in disappointment.

– Anonymous

 

Laurie Phillips We include the minimum salary, not a range.

Generally, the chair of the committee negotiates the salary range with the Dean, based on other salaries in the organization.

We always include the minimum, so nobody is making a decision to do it or not.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

 

Marge Loch WoutersYes we do.

Nothing is more frustrating to an applicant than taking the time to get credentials and application materials ready only to find that the job does not pay enough to make the move worthwhile.

This is an administrative decision.

– Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Coordinator, La Crosse (WI) Public Library

 

We do. It’s policy for all state government positions.

– Kristen Northrup, Head, Technical Services & State Document Depository, North Dakota State Library

 

Terry Ann LawlerYes.

Our salaries are negotiated through the city and with our union with occasional input from outside organizations who study salaries. All of our city salary ranges are publicly available on our city website.

A salary range is non negotiable, but you can start at mid range instead of the beginning if you have more experience than is advertised for the job.

– Terry Lawler, Assistant Manager and Children’s Librarian, Palo Verde Branch, Phoenix Public Library

 

angelynn kingOnly one of the academic libraries I’ve worked in has posted salary.

Usually HR has a standard policy, and there isn’t anything the advertising department can do.

In a public college, the salary ranges are often a matter of public record, but you have to be a librarian to find them. Oh, wait: we are librarians. Happy hunting!

-Angelynn King, Head Librarian, Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus

 

We have started including a salary range in our postings so applicants can “self-screen” and not apply if their salary requirements are not a match.  We ask an applicant’s salary requirements in the screening questions we send to candidates who we might be  interested in interviewing.  Because there have been times when the gap between what we were offering and what applicants were asking  was substantial we recently moved to including a range.  It also serves as another way to shape applicants’ expectations about the level of the job.  Obviously the education and experience requirements in the job description should convey that, but those responsibilities, if filled at a larger institution than ours, might warrant a much higher pay scale.  So including a salary range gives a more complete picture.

The argument against including a range is that desirable candidates may not apply, whereas if they did and we really wanted them we might go back to our administration and negotiate for an increase and/or some way to enhance the benefits package.

We at the Library make the determination as to whether to include salary in the posting; the salary itself must be approved by our VP.

– Ann Glannon, Associate Director, Wheelock College Library, Boston, MA

 

Yes a range for salary is always included in the posting. This is pretty basic and we have a salary schedule based on the grade for each position, so there is not much flexibility, except for experience.

– Kaye Grabbe, Director, Lake Forest (Public) Library, Lake Forest, IL.

 

Jason GrubbWe do not include a salary range in our job postings because a salary range is not available.

There is no flexibility in our Library Board adopted pay scale. Each position has a set grade with steps that only increase with time in the position. In other words, each vacant position begins at an established amount that cannot be negotiated. Thus, there is no reason for us to include a salary range.

This starting salary is included in the job posting.

– Jason Grubb, Director, Sweetwater County Library System

 

Yes we do.

Our county HR does this across the board. It may be voluntary but it could also be part of the union contract. I’m glad we do it because  that information can inform whether or not a person even wishes to apply for any given position.

– Christy Davis, Library Director, Klamath County Library Service District

 

Sherle Abramson-BluhmSalary range is usually in the library postings.
I am not sure if this was a University decision or within the Library itself – although most University postings do include the information.
Generally it is the high level positions, where the salary is likely to be a negotiating point, that the information is not indicated.
I think it is only fair to post this information – it is data any applicant should know going in and diminishes the possibility of surprises, misunderstandings or disappointment down the line.
– Sherle Abramson-Bluhm, Head, Print Acquisitions, University of Michigan
Celia RabinowitzI always try to include a minimum starting salary for positions.  My institution does not usually do this for faculty positions but I have not had resistance either from the Human Resources office or from my dean when I include it in a job ad.  I feel more comfortable offering a minimum starting salary than a range.  Ultimately any negotiation involves the Dean of Faculty and establishing the ranges is tricky.  I can say that two of my last three librarian hires involved a negotiation which resulted in a higher starting salary for the candidate who got the position.  I would rather a candidate (and we) think about experience and qualifications when determining a salary rather than where they fall on a predetermined scale.  I am not sure how easy it would be to justify giving someone $48k rather than $49k but I can see offering someone $45k and then negotiating to $48.  I do usually have an upper limit that the Dean and I establish.
– Celia Rabinowitz, Director of the Library, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  If you’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts, there they are all standing in a row, big ones, small ones, some as big as your comment.

2 Comments

Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Other Organization or Library Type, Public

For Public Review: Rachael Altman

Welcome to crowd-sourced resume review for LIS job hunters!

Please help the job hunter below by using the comment button to offer constructive criticism on her CV. Some guidelines for constructive feedback are here, and the ALA NMRT has brief tips for reviewing resumes here.

This Resume was submitted by a job hunter who says,

I have used this resume to apply for knowledge management, research manager, market research analyst, and data analyst positions at consulting firms, law firms, and corporate libraries. 

rachaelaltman_resume1

 

12 Comments

Filed under For Public Review, Other Organization or Library Type, Resume Review, Special

Further Questions: Would you hire someone for a librarian position if s/he had no library experience?

So while I was on break, Hiring Librarians turned two. I started doing Further Questions a few months later, in early April of 2012. In honor of that, and because I couldn’t think of what to ask this week, I thought I’d re-ask that original question. It is:
Would you hire someone for a librarian position if s/he had no library experience? If yes, under what circumstances? If not, why not?
For comparison: here is the link to the original post.  I also seem to have formed my own thoughts on the matter in the interim, and I wrote a post about them on my other blog.

Jason Grubb

 

We hire the right person.

It is always nice when they have library experience, but this not a requirement for entry level positions.

With most management positions we like to see at least 2-5 years of library experience.

– Jason Grubb, Director, Sweetwater County Library System

 

Ha! I would absolutely consider hiring someone without library experience because I myself had none. There are many skills – database experience, records management, customer service – that translate well. Coming from another field where the importance of confidentiality was understood would help too.

If they were doing a complete career 180 and had the MLS without experience, they probably wouldn’t rise to the top.

– Kristen Northrup, Head, Technical Services & State Document Depository, North Dakota State Library

 

Marge Loch WoutersWe would definitely hire someone without library experience if they have 1) great customer skills; 2) good decision making skills ; 3)ability to learn and innovate. Love of books, a great sense of organization and experience does not always translate into a great librarian. It’s the intangibles that we like to suss out in our interviews.

I am always encouraging potential candidates – and experienced librarians  – to throw their hats in the ring if they can show proof of mightiness. Show mightiness how?  Immerse in professional library networks/associations and contribute and/or seek out mentors.  Create an active professional presence on social media – write a blog or start a Tumblr, Twitter groups chats (#libchat,  #readadv, #alscchat, #nerdybookclub) and learn about/contribute to the discussion; show the ability to innovate and think outside the box to serve patrons (resting on laurels…ho-hum!)

– Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Coordinator, La Crosse (WI) Public Library

 

Laurie Phillips

 

I’m fine with my previous answer!

Much more thoughtful than my “no” of this morning.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

 

I think it depends on what you mean by “librarian position.”  We have various part-time positions in Adult Services that are paraprofessional positions; none of them require library experience except the position that has staff and collection oversight.  Paraprofessionals can do (and are now doing, in many libraries) many of the same tasks as professional librarians.  The difference is in time and training.  The benefit of hiring someone with library experience into a professional position is that they come with an understanding of the theories and values we all have about collection development, freedom to read, cataloging basics, etc.  Someone without library experience can be taught that, but it would be a major investment of time.

I am prevented by City HR from hiring anyone who doesn’t meet minimum listed qualifications—including history of library employment—when the job ad specifically lists it, and we are unable to make changes to our job ads.  Theoretically, even if I could make such a hire, I can’t imagine wanting to; that history of library experience (either work experience or library education) is a basic starting point for training.

– Anonymous

 

Christine Hage - Dark backgroundThe person would have to be extraordinary (multilingual, super duper talented, extremely well thought of in the community, a customer service expert, etc).  I find it hard to believe that someone would get a masters degree in library science and never have worked in a library as a page, circulation assistant, part-time librarian, or volunteer.  I also prefer their experience to be in a public library as we are a public library.
On the other hand we do hire people with masters degrees in early childhood development as librarians in our Youth Services Department, but they would have to have worked with children before.
– Christine Hage, Director, Rochester Hills Public Library
Melanie LightbodyYes, I would (and have) hired librarians with no library experience.  I believe that entry-level positions need not require previous library experience.  With positions such as a children’s librarian or in programming and adult services other experiences could bring a welcome perspective to the job.  I look for customer service, initiative, imagination, facility with technology and strong sense of mission of and passion for public library services.  None of those require library experience.  I consider the MLIS as a good starting point for a professional librarian.
– Melanie Lightbody, Director of Libraries, Butte County
J. McRee Elrod
SLC would hire a new MLIS graduate,
if they were able to produce and send high quality MARC records.
– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging
I would not hire someone for a professional position with no library experience. If I lived in a different area, I might have to reassess that, but I live in a metroplex with two library schools so we have a lot more applicants to choose from. So in fairness, I should say, I would prefer to hire someone with library experience. Depending on the applicant pool, experience could range from volunteer work, to a practicum, to part time work as a student assistant in college, or even two years of full time library experience. When an employee brings library work experience with them, their onboarding period is shorter and they bring along the perspective of work at another library that could benefit my library. Someone with experience has more realistic expectations of what the job will be like and what effort is required to succeed.
– Julie Leuzinger, Department Head, Eagle Commons Library, University of North Texas Libraries

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading! How I wish I had someone to comment to, I’m in an awful way.

2 Comments

Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Other Organization or Library Type, Public