Category Archives: Law Library

graduates really should have a better understanding of the various library functions and their interaction.

School Children in Keene New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a law firm 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:

Various law firm library positions

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

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
√ Collection Management
√ Research Methods
√ 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?

I think many graduates tend to lack both specific practical skills and the overall picture of the different elements of library operations. Library operations (including cataloging, research & reference, collection management, and budgeting issues) tend to be remarkably similar no matter the size of the collection. I think there’s only so much that can be done in the classroom to provide practical skills and knowledge, but graduates really should have a better understanding of the various library functions and their interaction.

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)?

I’m in a law firm. I don’t expect new hires to have specific experience searching the various databases we subscribe to.

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)?

Simmons is probably the only program that stands out for me, although I definitely consider the quality of the candidate far more than the reputation of the school.

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?

Either have practical work experience from a full-time or part-time library job, or do multiple internships during library school. The real world work experience is absolutely essential in order for me to even consider a candidate.

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

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Law Library, Special, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

A Positive Work Environment

This post originally appeared on May 1st, 2013. A year two follow up with Ms. Tribbett will post shortly.
This interview is with Ta-Shire Tribbett, a library associate at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library, where Edgar Allen Poe lies buried in the courtyard. Ms. Tribbett is pursuing her life-long dream of becoming a librarian as a result of winning an IMLS scholarship to North Carolina Central University. She has been looking for a new position for six months to a year in academic and special libraries, at the following levels: Department Head, Senior Librarian, and Branch Manager. Ms. Tribbett is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US, and is willing to move anywhere. You can find her on LinkedIn here, or on Twitter @l8teebug.

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

Room for advancement
Opportunities for professional development
A positive work environment

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, Indeed, LinkedIn, USA Jobs, Twitter

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?

I have a standard resume and cover letter and I tweak it according to the job description. I spend at least an hour making sure my information matches up with the requirements listed. I usually ask a friend to look over my application once before I turn it in.

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

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

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?

√ Email

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

√ Tour of facility
√ Being taken out to meal
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Be upfront about duties and expectations in the job listing.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Acknowledge receipt of materials, and I think they should let you know when you didn’t move to the next phase.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Flexibility and a great attitude.

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

I read the prior poster’s short blurb, and I’m sorry you had to deal with a snarky attitude! I love INALJ as it keeps me updated with library culture and the nuances of the employment process. Keep up the good work!

*Referring to this post:
https://hiringlibrarians.com/2013/01/31/since-i-have-an-advanced-degree-ph-d-in-addition-to-the-lis-degree-i-am-pickier-than-most/

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Law Library, Special

Further Questions: How do you count part time work?

This week I have a Twitter question.  I asked people who hire librarians:
How is part time work counted, when looking to see if a candidate meets a requirement for a certain number of years of experience?  For example, if a position requires two years of experience as an adult services librarian, and the librarian has worked 20 hours a week as an adult services librarian for two years, should she go ahead and apply?  What about if she had worked even fewer hours?  Any insight is appreciated!

Marge Loch-WoutersWe count years worked in a library – whether full or part-time – in exactly the same way.  It is immaterial whether you worked 5 or 40 hours a week in terms of longevity. In our opinion, you experienced/observed and immersed yourself in the library for every day you worked, no matter how many hours you put in.

– Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Coordinator, La Crosse (WI) Public Library
We do count part time work at my academic library. One year for every part time year worked (both for professional and non-professional positions). I know it is different at all institutions, but our online applications do not ask how many hours a candidate worked part time. So in the case of the Twitter question, four years of part time work would equal 2 years of full time work, no matter the hours so you could apply.
– Julie Leuzinger, Department Head, Eagle Commons Library, University of North Texas Libraries
In house–part time work is almost always pro-rated  (20/h/wk–22 yrs–11years exp).  However, I look at the whole candidate, and work experience is work experience–the only time it seems to be counted differently is management–and even then, every little bit counts, even life experience.  Its really how you package your time working outside of a field.   If you feel like you can do the job, and sell yourself through your resume and cover letter to get an interview, than YES!  definitely apply.  That leap of faith might be the best thing for you and the workplace.
– Virginia Roberts, Director, Chippewa Falls Public Library
Marleah AugustineIf I were that applicant, I would go ahead and apply. The burden of deciding whether the experience is enough lies with the interviewer, I think. I’d rather see someone who has worked part-time for that amount of time who has great potential and ideas rather than someone who has worked full-time for that amount of time and doesn’t have those other things. If the rest of your application speaks to the quality of your work and the potential that you have, I wouldn’t worry so much about the exact number of hours and if it qualifies you. Fewer hours than 20 can get iffy, but again, I think that lies with the interviewer and whether the rest of the application is enough to bring the applicant in for an interview.
– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

Cathi AllowayI would not mind hearing from someone who had been part-time for 2 years, IF they can make a convincing case for having experience.  The applicant should specify that a job is part-time or x hours in the week in the resume.  In the cover letter, the applicant should explain how their part-time status still makes them meet the basic job requirement of 2 years experience.  This could include:

  • part-time work included a wide range of experiences, major responsibilities, or major projects making the candidate viable.
  • part-time work included a lot of overtime hours.
  • other valuable experiences outside of library work such as other relevant non-library jobs, volunteer experience, workshops, formal education that supplement the part-time work.  For example, if an applicant had 2 years of part-time retail work and 2 years of post MLS part-time library work, I’d see that as equal to 2 full-time years; retail or hotel/restaurant work is a good customer service training field.
 Overall – if you are really interested in a job, but lack the basic posted qualifications, PLEASE explain why you think you meet the qualifications or deserve consideration in the cover letter!  To blatantly disregard basic requirements without a “pitch” as to why you should be considered makes the employer think you are careless, lack attention to details, or spray-painting your vita everywhere and not motivated for that particular job.
– Catherine Alloway, Director, Schlow Centre Region Library
angelynn king
In response to this question, part-time work has indeed counted at every place I have worked, but it is calculated as a full-time equivalency. In other words, if your hypothetical half-time librarian had worked for FOUR years, she would be qualified for the job with the two-year experience requirement.
-Angelynn King, Head Librarian, Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus
Jacob Berg
When we ask for years of experience, we’re looking for a period of time as opposed to something more like credit hours. If you work part-time for two years, I see nothing wrong with that being two years of experience. It may be a naive assumption on our part, but we assume that you do take at least some of the job home with you, that though you may work twenty hours per week, you are spending more than that amount of time thinking about the job. These candidates can and should apply.
– Jacob Berg, Director of Library Services,  Trinity Washington University

1) Apply anyway.

2) If we do calculate tightly, and in the public sector we often have to, we allow for “time served” at time of possible appointment, not as of the date of the application, which can be months before the appointment.

3) Other types of “experience” can count toward the minimum, e.g. volunteer or work experience in a closely related field, enrollment in a job-related course that has a substantial hands-on, practicum, internship, or similar component, lots of library professional association activities, etc.

4) Think about the reasons for that 2 year requirement: commitment to the profession, exposure to and experience with a wide variety library-workplace tasks, familiarity with the cycle of librarianship (budgets, grants, programs), which can be different in different types of libraries, special, federal, public (local), academic, etc., bibliographic skill development, etc.

– Laura J. Orr, Law Librarian, Washington County Law Library

bonnie smithWhen we indicate that a position requires a minimum of 2 years of experience we mean full-time experience, it definitely matters. We don’t consider applicants who don’t meet the minimum requirements. If you worked part-time you should indicate that in your resume and enter the full-time equivalence (FTE) for these positions. If you have unusual experience that doesn’t follow the expected path for the position you have applied for, that you think should be considered but might not be obvious to the committee, make your case in your cover letter.

– Bonnie Smith, Assistant Program Director for Human Resources, University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries

Sarah MorrisonGreat question!  At our library, there are a couple different things that happen.  First, all our applications are first reviewed by City HR.  HR interprets all “part-time” work as 20-hrs per week, and so they would disqualify anyone in the example you had given.  If the job description lists as a requirement 2 years and the candidate has only part-time experience, s/he would need 4 or more years.  Even if the candidate worked part-time at 30-hours per week, it would be safest to have double the experience.

If the candidate makes it through City HR, perhaps because of strengths in other areas/requirements, I do try to account accurately for work experience (15 hours/week vs. 35, etc.) whenever possible.

I think it’s always worth it to apply, especially if the candidate meets or exceeds requirements in other areas.  If nothing else, it’s good practice at writing a cover letter, and you never know.  I was encouraged in grad school to apply for jobs if I had at least half the requirements; in both of my full-time library jobs, I haven’t met 100% of the listed criteria (I had 2 yrs exp. but part time, good collection development exp. but no management exp., etc.).  The important thing would be to be able to show that those duties or tasks are attainable for you, not necessarily that you’ve done every single one.

– Sarah Morrison, Adult Services Librarian, Neill Public Library, Pullman, Washington

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 like reading, you might also like commenting.  You’re very welcome to try it out here.

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Filed under Academic, Adult Services, Cataloging/Technical Services, Further Questions, Law Library, Public, Public Services/Reference, Special, Youth Services

Researcher’s Corner: What are the Qualifications for an Entry-Level Music Librarian?

I’m pleased to introduce another guest post by Joe Clark, who described his research into nine years of job postings on the Music Library Association Job List and identified job trends for us here.

This post delves more deeply into the specific qualifications desired in entry-level positions.  While his research is specific to music librarians, I think there are wider implications for entry-level expectations across disciplines.

Please do click through and read his more formal account of this research, which was published last March in the journal of the Music Library Association. Notes is open access, so the entire article is available online here for free.


So you graduate with your M.L.I.S. degree ready to land your first professional job, but realize that institutions are asking for skills and experiences you didn’t learn in graduate school. Now what?

A firm understanding of the skills, knowledge, and experiences that employers want will give you a leg up in a tight job market. Not only does music librarianship require subject-specific knowledge, but sub-fields within music librarianship differ in required and desired abilities and experiences.

The Study

I examined all of the position announcements on the Music Library Association’s Placement Service Job List from 2008 through 2011 and identified those open to entry-level librarians. I then classed each position into one of five types: 1) public service, 2) cataloging, 3) administrative, 4) hybrid, or 5) archival. Hybrid positions involve work in both public and technical services, while administrative librarians might run a small library as well as catalog, provide reference, and supervise staff and budgets.

I recorded the required and desired traits, abilities, knowledge, and experience for each position by job type, and then compiled the data. I also totaled the numbers for all of the music library positions, which provided a broad picture of what employers wanted in music librarianship entry-level hires. I broke traits sought into the following categories: education, personal attributes, social attributes, experience, general knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs), and technological KSAs.

Results

Most of the entry-level music librarianship positions were in academic librarianship (95%). Twenty-eight percent of the vacancies were in public services, while the remaining four job types comprised between 17 and 19 percent of the advertisements.

As I examined all of the entry-level positions, it became quite clear what employers wanted in terms of education (other than the M.L.I.S. degree, which was a prerequisite for all of the jobs): 72% of positions required or preferred an undergraduate degree in music or the equivalent, and 40% desired a second graduate degree in music. Some public service and archival posts sought completion of music/arts library classes, while 27% of cataloging vacancies required cataloging coursework. A course in archival/preservation techniques was listed in 10% of all vacancies, and this figure was over half for jobs in archival environments.

The most commonly listed personal attributes included organizational skills/ability to prioritize, self-motivation, and flexibility/ability to handle multiple demands. Aptitude for scholarly production and professional development and analytical/problem solving skills appeared less frequently.

Excellent written and oral skills was the most commonly listed trait and the top social attribute. Other required or preferred social attributes included collaborative skills and a strong commitment to public services.

Previous library experience was desired in 42% of the listings, and appeared most commonly in administrative positions and least frequently in public service jobs. Experience with specific skills were also sought; cataloging was required or preferred in 36% of the announcements, and 30% wanted experience in reference and instruction.

The most common general KSA was reading knowledge of foreign languages, required for 25% and preferred for 19% of the jobs. Many of the other general KSAs were specific to the job responsibilities; for example, knowledge of AACR2, LCSH, and MARC21 was needed for positions that involved cataloging (including archive and hybrid posts).

Conclusions

In conclusion, institutions are looking for more than just an M.L.I.S.; they seek well-rounded individuals who can effectively communicate, collaborates, prioritizes, values excellent services, and self-motivates. These skills are in addition to subject expertise, which is highly valued in music librarianship. One should keep in mind that search committee members may want to see other qualifications not mentioned in advertisements.

The entire article, “What Employers Want: Entry-Level Qualifications for Music Librarians,” was published in the March 2013 issue of Notes (69:3), pages 472-493. All preferred and required qualifications for each job type that appeared in more than 8% of the announcements are detailed in the original article.  Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.


Joe Clark

Joe Clark is the Head of the Performing Arts Library at Kent State University. He has published articles in Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, Fontes Artis Musicae, Serials Review, Journal of Library Innovation and The Journal of Academic Librarianship. His research interests include employment trends in music librarianship, collection management, library administration, and American music. He is currently the Placement Officer for the Music Library Association.

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Filed under Academic, Guest Posts, Law Library, library research, Public, Researcher's Corner, Special

Further Questions: Could You Hire Two Probationary Workers?

This week’s question is from Twitter (check out @HiringLib).  I asked people who hire librarians:

In filling a position, could you hire two probationary workers, maybe each half time, and then decide a couple months later who got the job?  Why or Why not?

Marleah AugustineWe do hire staff for a 6-month probationary period and do an evaluation at the end of that time. I would not hire two employees and make a decision later. I think that would cause conflicts and bad feelings between those two hires and possibly among the other staff. Additionally, having a half time job vs a full time job could affect salary levels and benefits, especially if these are state- or board-mandated. I also think it would look bad to the library board if the person hiring was not able to make a decision.

If I hired someone and it didn’t work out, I would reach out to the other person that I didn’t hire and see if they were still available.

– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

Emilie SmartOur City will not allow us to hire 2 PT workers on probation and then choose which one to keep full time.  That being said, we can do a job share where we hire 2 PT people to share a FT job.  Both would be subject to our 6 month probationary period, but if we let one go, the other would still be part time.  We have not done this with new hires, though — only with permanent FT employees who requested that they be allowed to share the job (they both wanted to work part time and they worked in the same department).

– Emilie Smart, Division Coordinator of Reference Services & Computer Services at East Baton Rouge Parish Library

Dusty Snipes GresI think the answer should not  be based on could you hire but should you or would you?

For me, no. It seems a wishy-washy employment practice, at best, and as far as I am concerned would neither  bring out the best in either candidate, nor would it be fair to either candidate. Applying for a job is a stressful task. Having to compete in the workplace against another person takes the job to the level of a reality television show.  Make a decision. Allow the other candidate to continue to look or to take another position. If, after a reasonable probationary period, according to your personnel policy, the one you chose does not work out – see if the other is available or try again.

– Dusty Gres, Director, Ohoopee Regional Library System

I think there may be some HR issues in such a ‘contest’. I hope some people with more knowledge than I weigh in on that aspect. As I have said before, I hire people on a temp-perm basis through an agency to fill a position. I try them out to see if they will fit in with the rest of the staff and whether it takes them too long to learn the job. If a person doesn’t work out, it is the job of the agency to tell them and to get me someone new.

I also see a problem with the type of jobsharing your Tweep is suggesting. If people are job sharing, they would have to work together. Since it sounds like a competition for a job, I can see people sabotaging each other’s work, which would not benefit the organization.

– Jaye Lapachet, Manager of Library Services, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP

Laurie Phillips

We cannot do this. We do national searches for tenure-track faculty librarians. We couldn’t ask someone to move here for a half-time probationary position and it would jeopardize our ability to keep the tenure-track line. I would also think that this would be extremely awkward for the two people involved.

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

At my library, hiring is very tightly controlled by the Human Resources department at the City. Part time and full time are hired very differently, so this would never work for us. Part time staff are considered temporary employees (even if they work for the Library for 30 years). They have no guaranteed hours, no vacation/sick, and no benefits. They can be hired at the local branch level and the application tends to be pretty short. Full time staff is a totally different story and the hiring process is much more rigid. There is a probationary period.

Manya ShorrI think this is an interesting question, but I’ve never heard of a library doing something like this. To me, there are some troubling implications. We try to encourage applicants from around the country and I’m not sure why anyone would move to Omaha if this was the scenario. I also worry about the environment that this would create. Are these two people working side by side and potentially sabotaging each other’s work? How would this contribute towards a healthy team environment? I’m all for getting the right people in the right job, but if we want to trial new staff, we already have a probationary period. I see no reason to create a cage match to the death environment.

am interested in talking about developing internal staff so that they can advance in the organization. This seems like an excellent way to trial staff for more responsibility.

– Manya Shorr, Senior Manager, Branch Services, Omaha Public Library

Randall SchroederThat is an interesting proposition. I would not be opposed to the idea but I wonder about how it would work out practically. If nothing else, it would probably be a hard sell to the Dean or Provost that the library reports to. Also, would the staff get habituated to the idea of having the resources of having two people even if only half time.

I worked at a college where two people shared one faculty position. It worked in their special situation because they were also married with young children. I recall one, however, saying that it seemed like it was two half-time people working 75 percent of the job each. It was great for the college, but they wondered if the college was taking advantage of them somewhat.

In your scenario, someone would put their lives on hold for a potentially unfavorable outcome, although I suppose the benefit would be getting some experience.

It would have to be very special circumstances, not the least of which being the unlikely event that one candidate could not be differentiated over the other.

– Randall Schroeder, Department Head of Public Services, Ferris Library for Information, Technology & Education

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 contact me.

Thank YOU for reading!  Hey! Been trying to reach you!  Hey!  Must be a comment between us…

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Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Law Library, Public

A Positive Work Environment

This interview is with Ta-Shire Tribbett, a library associate at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library , where Edgar Allen Poe lies buried in the courtyard. Ms. Tribbett is pursuing her life-long dream of becoming a librarian as a result of winning an IMLS scholarship to North Carolina Central University. She has been looking for a new position for six months to a year in academic and special libraries, at the following levels: Department Head, Senior Librarian, and Branch Manager. Ms. Tribbett is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US, and is willing to move anywhere. You can find her on LinkedIn here, or on Twitter @l8teebug.

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

Room for advancement
Opportunities for professional development
A positive work environment

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, Indeed, LinkedIn, USA Jobs, Twitter

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?

I have a standard resume and cover letter and I tweak it according to the job description. I spend at least an hour making sure my information matches up with the requirements listed. I usually ask a friend to look over my application once before I turn it in.

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

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

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?

√ Email

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

√ Tour of facility
√ Being taken out to meal
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Be upfront about duties and expectations in the job listing.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Acknowledge receipt of materials, and I think they should let you know when you didn’t move to the next phase.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Flexibility and a great attitude.

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

I read the prior poster’s short blurb, and I’m sorry you had to deal with a snarky attitude! I love INALJ as it keeps me updated with library culture and the nuances of the employment process. Keep up the good work!

*Referring to this post:
https://hiringlibrarians.com/2013/01/31/since-i-have-an-advanced-degree-ph-d-in-addition-to-the-lis-degree-i-am-pickier-than-most/

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Law Library, Special

Be Clear about the Good Stuff, But Also Honest about the Challenges

Judy AndersonJudy Anderson has a JD and is also a 2002 graduate of San Jose State University SLIS.  She volunteers at a Department of Natural Resources Geology Library, where she likes the collaborative spirit. She has been job hunting for more than 18 months, in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, School libraries, Special libraries, and for Non-library work, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager, Director/Dean, and

Any library work, including paraprofessional.

She is in a city/town in the Western US, and is not willing to move.

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

I want it to be a library job or library related. (eg, working as an archivist, record keeper, etc.)
I want the chance to make use of my diverse background as a librarian and library director (mostly academic) and my medical and legal background.
I can’t relocate, so it has to be in reasonable driving distance.

Where do you look for open positions?

Publib, government sites (state and local), PNLA, career builder, college library listserv, and individual business and agency sites.

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?

That depends on the position and what they require. I can spend an hour to all day working on an application. It also depends on how much I really want the job.

Since I am forced to even apply for non-library entry type jobs, my efforts aren’t as intense as when I apply for positions appropriate to my background.

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

√ Other: No. But I have left off graduate degrees if I thought it would hurt my chances.

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ 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)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Other: An honest statement of the real challenges of the position.

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

Not ask people to list their salary requirements. It says they are looking for the cheapest candidates.

Be clear about what they want. Be clear about the good stuff, but also honest about the challenges. 

List preferred qualifications that are really relevant, not designed to keep people from applying. 

Have a clear job description and information about the company. If people don’t understand what the position involves, or what the company/agency does, then you get a mismatch of applicants and position. For example, I just applied for an archivist job that talks about having a biology degree and being able to go out in hazardous terrain. But the job description was about archiving legal and regulatory information and nothing to do with biology field work.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Don’t have people come for an interview if they already know who they want to hire. If they need to interview a certain number of people by law or policy, then just do it by phone. It’s frustrating to spend time and money going to an interview only to realize when you get there that they have no intention of hiring you.

Don’t have people do supplemental questions that have nothing to do with the job. Make them relevant.

Let people know what’s going on. It’s very frustrating to apply for jobs and never hear anything. Let people know if they don’t get it. If there is a delay in hiring, tell them. Be honest in the job description about the timeline or if their is still a question of funding for the position.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

If I knew that, I would have a job.

I think age is a big factor. The younger the better.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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