Category Archives: Australia/New Zealand

It is still very much WHO you know not WHAT you know.

Christchurch libraryThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for More than 18 months. This person is looking inAcademic library, Archives, Library vendor/service provider, Public library, School library, Special library at the following levels: Entry level , Requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

3 years @ Melbourne Museum – Volunteering in Customer service, Library and Digitisation 6 month internship @ Melbourne Museum – Doing research in the Humanities department 1 month internship @ the Parliamentary Library, Canberra – worked in collection management, digitisation, databases and media services, customer service and coding.

This job hunter is in a Urban area in Australia/New Zealand and is willing to move Anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

A good salary, professional development opportunities and career progression.

Where do you look for open positions? (e.g. ALA Joblist, professional listserv, LinkedIn)

Networking with people, attending library related events, Linkedin, ALIA job board, libraryjobs.com.au

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

  • Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Anywhere from 1-2 days to a couple of hours each day through-out the week.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

  • Other: stretched the truth

When would you like employers to contact you?(Please select all that apply)

  • To acknowledge my application
  • To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
  • To follow-up after an interview
  • Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

  • Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?(Please check all that apply)

  • Tour of facility
  • Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be clear in the position description about the responsibilities of the job. Be clear in the interview about the type of person/personality you are looking for the interview.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

It is still very much WHO you know not WHAT you know.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Good direct questions, easy to answer.

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Australia/New Zealand, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, Public, School, Special, Urban area

Whats the idea behind all this weeding?

Keene Grammar School Class, Keene New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a person who hires librarians and library technicians for a school library. This individual works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a city/town in Australia/New Zealand.  When asked, “are you a librarian?” this person responded,

just someone who’s been subjected to useless librarians!

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ No

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

3

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Vocabulary Design
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Practical understanding of library practice and what students require in a school library. (Whats the idea behind all this weeding?)

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Enhance the skills they all ready have. Knowledge of the collection.

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Other presentation
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Australia/New Zealand, City/town, School, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

The main skill lacking is teaching someone to be willing to do anything that needs done

Work with schools story hour in the open, librarian and ch...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:

Any technical services role (processing, acquisitions, cataloguing, selectors), team leaders, & digital services staff.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a city/town in Australia/New Zealand.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships
√ Other: searching techniques

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

The main skill lacking is teaching someone to be willing to do anything that needs done, from buying shoes for a homeless man, to cleaning up the bathroom, to making someone coffee, all things I do as a senior librarian on a daily basis.

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

The context of the library I’m hiring them in.

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Student organization involvement
√ Other: Some type of real world experience in an area they are interested in

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

ALA accredited schools

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

Non-ALA accredited schools and possibly distance schools.

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Do a project, internship or get a job in a library while in school. The experience is invaluable.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Australia/New Zealand, City/town, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Be a library user

Keene High School (old) Graduating Class of 1875, Keene, New HampshireThis 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:

Childrens services officers, program and event officers, customer service officers, coordinator positions

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in Australia/New Zealand.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

3

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Organisational procedures and policy
Library management system

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Professional organization involvement

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Get a part time job in a library
Visit different types of libraries – public, school, academic, special
Be a library user
Work part time in a customer service position

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Australia/New Zealand, Public, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Local processes

Westmoreland School House Number 9, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

All professional, paraprofessional and clerical staff

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in Australia/New Zealand.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Outreach
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Local processes

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Professional organization involvement

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Australia/New Zealand, Public, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Change management and the ability to implement innovation are vital skills for the future of the profession.

school children in japanThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Public librarians – children’s, information, housebound services, adult services

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in Australia/New Zealand.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

3

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Information Behavior
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Often the focus is on best practice for the profession, but little to address the gap that lies between this best practice and the realities of the industry. Change management and the ability to implement innovation are vital skills for the future of the profession.

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Customer service
Manual handling
Staff management
Events programming

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

None.

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

No.

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Do what you have do to pass, but go out there and get as much experience as you can in the field, even if you have to volunteer to get it.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Australia/New Zealand, Public, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Dirty Nails

Day 186 by Flickr user Girl With Butterfly Wings

 

 

This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Rural area in Australia/New Zealand.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably not (but it’s ok if the candidate does wear one)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Is totally different

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ True

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ No, but it’s not a dealbreaker

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Dirty or untidy messy hair, especially if it is long. dirty nails. Strong body odour.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Not enormously. But if the candidate was poorly dressed, with poor grooming, they probably wouldn’t be considered, even if they had the goods.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

Sensibly. Skirt and blouse usually.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ N/A: We wear what we want!

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Name tags
√ Shirt, waistcoat/vest, or other single piece of clothing issued by the library

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Day 186 by Flickr user Girl With Butterfly Wings via Creative Commons License

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Australia/New Zealand, Rural area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Stats and Graphs: What Should Candidates Wear?

Hey, a new survey!

Jill from Librarian Hire Fashion and I have put together a new survey seeking the opinions of hiring managers on what candidates should wear.

We started putting the word out on Tuesday, September 4th, and so many people have responded!  As of Sunday, September 9th, 154 people had taken the survey!  That’s more than the 146 responses I’ve gotten for the original survey, which has been up for about six months.  So far an overwhelming majority of them have been Academic, probably because the request for participation on the collib-l listserv went up on Tuesday, and the publib post didn’t go up until Friday.

So, if you know people who hire for archives, school libraries, special libraries, and public libraries, please invite them to take the survey!  (Please do share with people who hire Academic librarians too of course, we’re just more in need of those other groups.)

Thank you in advance for spreading the word, and thank you, thank you, thank you, to the people who have already responded.

First, a Word about the Survey

This survey is much heavier on the closed-ended questions.  Hopefully, this Stats and Graphs post will introduce you to the survey, and as I post individual responses later on the context of their answers will be clearer.  You can of course click in and look through this survey, or the original, without having to respond, at the links on the Participate page.

You may notice, as one respondent did, we’re big Ask a Manager fans.  One of the questions is inspired by The Great Pantyhose Debate of 2010 and caused one respondent to ask:

is this a serious question?

It is.  Deadly serious.

I hope that the answers will help as you stand in front of your closet trying to decide on the outfit you will wear to the occasion that may just TOTALLY CHANGE YOUR LIFE!  However, I’d like to reiterate that this project isn’t precisely scientific, and you should feel free to disregard any of the results you disagree with.  As one respondent pointed out:

You should have someone vet this survey. The response are poorly articulated and are biased by the overly casual and poor attempts at humor. Survey response should not be jokey. I feel like you were wearing flip flops when you wrote it.

Incidentally, we did actually have friends and library contacts vet the survey, but didn’t always take their advice.  My sister, who blogs about gender and workplace bias in her blog Bay Area Actor, pointed out that the questions are more focused on women, but this was not corrected.  Partly because there are more women librarians, and partly because the survey was pretty long already without adding in questions about neckties.

I’m sorry, manbrarians.  A lot of the survey is still relevant to you, just not all of it.

RESULTS!

Anyway, enough rambling.  On to the stats and graphs!

Just to reiterate that the majority of respondents are academic librarians, who may or may not have more formal standards of dress, I’m going to share the demographics of respondents first.

Also to mention, I’m using Google forms, and the charts it generates cut off some of the answer choices.  However, it takes a while to do a post like this, and even longer to make it prettier in Excel, so I’ll ask you to please just excuse how sloppy it looks.  This is a labor of love, and I’m a busy lady.

Demographics

What type of institution do you hire for?

Academic Library 105 68%
Public Library 42 27%
School Library 0 0%
Special Library 3 2%
Archives 0 0%
Other 4 3%

Where are you?

Northeastern US 41 27%
Midwestern US 35 23%
Southern US 42 27%
Western US 21 14%
Canada 5 3%
UK 5 3%
Australia/New Zealand 1 1%
Other 4 3%

Where are you?

Urban area 42 27%
Suburban area 38 25%
City/town 53 34%
Rural area 19 12%
Other 2 1%

How many staff members are at your library?

0-10 35 23%
10-50 80 52%
50-100 17 11%
100-200 11 7%
200+ 10 6%

Are you a librarian?

Yes 145 94%
No 4 3%
It’s complicated 5 3%

Are you now or have you ever been:

a hiring manager(hiring people that you will directly or indirectly supervise)  105 69%
a member of a hiring or search committee  131 86%
human resources  6 4%
Other  5 3%
(People may select more than one checkbox,
so percentages may add up to more than 100%.)

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism   23    15%
Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears somethinga little less formal) 88    57%
Probably not (but it’s ok if the candidate does wear one) 23    15%
No way! It shows a lack of understanding about my libraryand/or the nature of librarianship 1    1%
I don’t care 8   5%
Other 11    7%

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

Counts as a suit 113 73%
Is totally different 16 10%
I do not know and/or care 19 12%
Other 6 4%

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

True 58 38%
False 47 31%
I don’t care 27 18%
Other 22 14%

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

Never, pantyhose is for my grandmother 7 5%
No, but it’s not a dealbreaker 55 36%
Either pantyhose or tights. Bare legs are inappropriate 30 19%
Yes, true professionals always wear pantyhose 5 3%
Other 57 37%

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

Always 7 5%
I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top 63 41%
I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’sin the brain that counts 69 45%
Never 0 0%
Other 15 10%

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

Yes, the higher the position, the moreformal I expect the candidate to dress   118 77%
No   24 16%
I don’t care   7 5%
Other   5 3%

Which jewelry may candidates wear:

Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring   113 74%
A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings   118 78%
All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings heor she can load on   27 18%
Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings   88 58%
Nose Ring (nostril)   55 36%
Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing,or other face piercing   42 28%
Earrings   119 78%
Multiple Ear Piercings   90 59%
Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)   34 22%
Other   51 34%
(People may select more than one checkbox,
so percentages may add up to more than 100%.)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink 87 56%
Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray) 48 31%
Other 19 12%

The way a candidate dresses should:

Show personality 32 21%
Be fairly neutral 63 41%
I don’t really care how a candidate dresses 18 12%
Other 41 27%

What the Library Wears

On a scale of  1 to 5, where one is too dressed up for your workplace, khakis and a polo shirt are:

1 –
Too dressed up for my workplace
1 1%
2 2 1%
3 116 75%
4 20 13%
5 –
Too casual for my workplace
8 5%

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

Business formal 4 3%
Business casual 88 57%
Casual 31 20%
I don’t even know what any of that means 2 1%
Other 29 19%

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code?

Jeans 38 27%
Flip flops 58 41%
Visible Tattoos 16 11%
Short skirts/shorts 52 37%
Tank tops 53 37%
Logos/band insignia/slogans 46 32%
Sneakers/trainers 21 15%
N/A: We wear what we want! 38 27%
Other 87 61%
(People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.)

Librarians at your organization wear:

Name tags 66 64%
Badges 22 21%
Uniforms 1 1%
Shirt, waistcoat/vest, or other single pieceof clothing issued by the library 3 3%
Other 40 39%
(People may select more than one checkbox,
so percentages may add up to more than 100%.)

When I start posting individual responses, you’ll see how the respondent answered each of these questions, as well as the following open-ended questions:

  • Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.
  • Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?
  • How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
  • How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
  • Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

If you have questions, comments or concerns, we’d love to hear them. You can either comment below, or email hiringlibrariansATgmail.

Thank you again, to all the respondents, and thank YOU for reading!

6 Comments

Filed under Academic, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, City/town, Midwestern US, News and Administration, Northeastern US, Public, Rural area, Southern US, Special, Stats and Graphs, Suburban area, UK, Urban area, Western US, What Should Candidates Wear?