Category Archives: Midwestern US

Head librarian position (latest vacancy) handled by combination of judges, court executive, and librarian.

 Condiment Stand in Center Market This anonymous interview is with a law librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference, Technical Services, Branch Librarians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ more than 75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meets required minimum education and experience

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Staff librarian position handled entirely by library staff.  Head librarian position (latest vacancy) handled by combination of judges, court executive, and librarian.

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

Does not meet required minimum education and experience

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

√ Other: occasionally upon request

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

Get relevant experience, even if it has to be volunteer work

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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: None

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Yes – official requirement

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Traditional, book-based librarianship is dying, but there are still opportunities for librarians.  Many may not be in actual libraries, or called “librarians)

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Dying through self-inflicted wounds (intransigence) more than external forces (capitalism, vanity)

At center market. 11 year old celery vender. He sold until 11 P.M. and was out again Sunday morning selling papers and gum. Has been in this country only half a year. Washington D.C., 04131912 This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meet the posted minimum/required qualifications

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Search committee consensus, director is the appointing authority

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

No library degree or relevant experience

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?

Expand their search

I want to hire someone who is

kind

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

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

√ 3-4

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

√ 3-4

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Varies

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Yes

Why or why not?

Dying through self-inflicted wounds (intransigence) more than external forces (capitalism, vanity)

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

The fight continues.

Woman at a market stall This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference librarians, instruction librarians, electronic resource librarians, collection development librarians, subject liaisons.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

They met the minimum requirements on the position description.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applications are submitted directly to the hiring director at the library. There is a committee of 5-6 people (mostly librarians, but occasionally other staff as well) who score applicants based on a rubric. Based on the scores, there are usually 4-5 applicants who make it through to the telephone interview, and usually 2-3 selected from that round who are invited for an in-person interview.

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

Very often it’s because they are applying for a job in which they have no practical or theoretical experience. This might be skills associated with the position, or it might be experience. Sometimes it’s because they don’t have the required degree.

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

√ Other: No: we are legally constrained from doing so.

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

Get experience, even if it’s volunteer work, internships, or part-time! Nothing separates people from the pack like experience in the particular setting for which they are applying. Also, spend as much time on the cover letter and resume tweaking it for the specific position.

I want to hire someone who is

enthusiastic

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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

√ Other: 0

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

√ Other: 0

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No. While experience is preferred, if the position is entry-level, all applicants are considered.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

It is not a dying profession because the world has, more than ever, needs which librarianship can help to meet. Access to information, teaching users to be smarter consumers of information, advocating for minorities so that they have access to the information they need to improve their situation…the list goes on and on. I do believe it will BECOME a dying profession, though, if we are not strong advocates for why libraries and librarians are necessary in society. The fight continues.

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

Don’t lose hope! 🙂

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

I want to hire someone who is amiable

Market day, KillarneyThis 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 the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Met most of required and preferred qualifications.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

By search committee

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

Lack of relevant experience

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?

Listen during interview and ask appropriate questions

I want to hire someone who is

amiable

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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?

√ 1

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

 

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

 

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

If the applicant did not list any reference experience, they did not meet that criteria.

Paramaribo market scene. Women and men. 1922.This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference librarians
Library Directors
(Our cataloger position is a support staff position although it requires an MLS. It is going to be open this year due to retirement and we are going through the justification for approval to fill it now.)

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 51-75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Had relevant experience = we were searching for a reference/instruction librarian (academic experience)

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR used basic criteria to weed out first applicants (i.e. verification that they had an MLS). After that all application materials are sent to the committee members via an online ‘link’. Using a matrix that was completed before the process even began, the committee evaluated each application. After that, the committee met to talk about the applications and result of our criteria matrix and we decided on six people to interview.

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

They did not have the experience or qualities on our criteria matrix for instance one criteria was ‘experience providing reference assistance.’ If the applicant did not list any reference experience, they did not meet that criteria.

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 career advertisement carefully and be sure to address all of the aspects listed for the job in describing work experience. Read the library website information and include relevant information related to that library. Do not use a form letter changing the job information – there is always one person who has done that and does not check it carefully and has the wrong job or location in it. Make sure there are no punctuation and grammar errors on the online job application and make sure to include everything on the online job application form even if it is in your resume.

I want to hire someone who is

a team player

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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?

√ 2

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

It is not required, but preferred. The librarian that we just hired in in her very first librarian position – she worked in para-professional jobs before, but she was able to get the experience because in her case librarian positions were replaced with para-professionals.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

It has been a real battle to get any library positions approved for hire by the administration at my institution.

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

Job Hunters – it helps to have two master’s degrees for academic library work even if not required. Other faculty on the hiring committee look for subject knowledge beyond the MLS.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

The more librarians we have to help our users, the more users ask questions.

Push cart market -- New York (LOC)This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference, Technology and Special Collections librarian.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Midwestern 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”?

Meets minimum qualifications as listed in the job ad.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

A Credential Review Forms allows a committee (usually of three, though possibly more if its a management position) to determine basic qualifications. Does the candidate follow instructions and include all materials, communication skills as indicated in the cover letter, technology skills as evidenced in the formatting of materials and inclusion in resume.

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

Lack of basic qualifications. A cover letter that doesn’t reference the job ad and seems to be written for another of any job.

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

√ Other: Well, once a candidate called and some feedback was given in general terms so as to not violate are HR guidelines.

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

Proof read materials, have a friend proof read. Have good formatting. Have the basic qualifications and speak to your interest in the specifics of the job being advertised. Present a professional and yet friendly image.

I want to hire someone who is

Thoughtful

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

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

√ 3-4

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

√ 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 more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Yes. It is not always an official requirement, but it can give one person an advantage over another. For some positions it is an official requirement (3-5 years experience).

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We see individuals with information needs everyday and our skills and expertise are heavily utilized. The more librarians we have to help our users, the more users ask questions. Information seekers are still looking for unbiased guides to sources and they trust libraries.

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

Ask questions. Be positive and thoughtful. Research the place where you are interviewing. Know the demographics.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

Does not need library experience but customer service experience

Young boy tending freshly stocked fruit and vegetable stand at Center Market, 02181915This 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:

Catalogers, IT, Youth Services, YA, Adult

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a rural area in the Midwestern 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”?

Had basic qualifications and experience

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds out those applications which do not have the posted qualifications both educational and professional

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

Does not have basic educational requirements

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?

Complete the application in a professional manner, submit a good resume, be available for an interview

I want to hire someone who is

career-minded

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

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

√ 3-4

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

√ 5-6

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Does not need library experience but customer service experience

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Much of the community in our rural/small town area does not have internet access due to lack of funding or lack of internet providers reaching into their physical locations. Most do not have the education needed to research.

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

Act professional, look professional and view the interview as the start of your career with the library. Be prepared with thoughtful answers to basic questions. If a library director or HR officer hears “I want to work at the library because it is so quiet and I love to read” that is a dead giveaway that you do not spend time in a public library!

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 50-100 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015