Category Archives: Urban area

we’ve been hiring junior positions, so we don’t interview people who graduated more than 2-3 years ago.

Market scene. Women and men. 1922 2This 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:

web/UX, preservation, cataloguers, project managers, client services

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

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?

√ 51-75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Their cover letter suggested their were competent and ready to learn.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Committee members each make a top ten list, then we interview the common names across lists. If a committee member feels very strongly about a candidate who isn’t on many lists, we usually interview them as well.

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

Cover letter is sloppily done, or not tailored to the position. Lately we’ve been hiring junior positions, so we don’t interview people who graduated more than 2-3 years ago.

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

√ Other: if they ask, which is rare

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

You don’t have to have every single qualification, you just need to explain how you’d get there. Once you’re in the interview, be honest about what you don’t know and how you’d figure it out— this looks 100 times better than when someone pretends to know everything but can’t actually answer in any depth.

I want to hire someone who is

smart

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?

√ 2

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 more positions

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

√ No

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

√ No

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

Some experience that the candidate can demonstrate the relevance of — but this experience is not necessarily closely related to the job.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We’re very, very busy and always looking to expand.

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 10-50 staff members, Academic, Canada, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Hiring committees usually consist of several tenured librarians, one non-tenured librarian, one library staff member, and a tenured professor from outside of the library.

Market day, Killarney 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:

reference, instruction, web and systems, technical services

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern 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 educational requirements (MLS + second post-grad degree) and had at least some relevant experience.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

CVs are sorted into 3 catagories: 1) does not meet minimum qualifications (usually because they do not have an MLS or because they don’t have the 2nd degree); 2) meets minimum quals; 3) meets preferred quals; Hiring committees usually consist of several tenured librarians, one non-tenured librarian, one library staff member, and a tenured professor from outside of the library.

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

Not having the required education.

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?

Directly address the required and preferred qualifications from the job posting in the cover letter. Be specific about projects, experience, and industry-specific knowledge in the interview. Express your passion for the field or for what you do.

I want to hire someone who is

dedicated

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?

√ 1

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

√ I don’t know

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

√ I don’t know

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

√ I don’t know

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

No

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Librarians are branching out and taking on non-traditional roles. I honestly feel like we’ve adapted well and are actively working to help make sense of the deluge of information available to people. As long as we keep up with technology and technological standards the career will be as vital as ever, it will just require more specialized training and perhaps attract different kinds of 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 10-50 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

we ask for an essay and many fail to include essay

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

Reference librarians
Para-professionals

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

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Appropriate education, experience.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Both HR and the hiring manager look at applications. HR only weeds out those that don’t meet the minimum job qualifications.

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

Did not follow job posting instructions (we ask for an essay and many fail to include essay.)
No public library experience (if there are apps with 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?

Experience – if you just completed your MLS – some sort of library experience is critical (internship, volunteer, paid, etc.)

I want to hire someone who is

friendly

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

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

√ 7 or more

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

√ 7 or more

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

√ There are the same number of positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly 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 put “experience preferred” on our job postings.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

The nature of the job may have changed and continue to change but the profession still provides a vital service to our communities.

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 200+ staff members, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area, Western US

I’m not going to spend time on a candidate who has never stayed in a job for more than a year.

Crockery and S. Murray, Grainger Market This anonymous interview is with an 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:

Technical services, reference, children’s, teen.

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in an urban area in the Western US.

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

That magical alchemy of experience, personality and education.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds out applications. We only get the ones that meet minimum qualifications (education, experience). From those, we have to choose 5 (if there are more than 5, if there are less, we interview all). Since everyone who hits my desk meets the minimum requirements, I look at other things that I consider red flags-spelling, grammar, serial job-hopping, mysterious gaps or abrupt terminations, references, etc.

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

For me, serial job-hopping. I’m not going to spend time on a candidate who has never stayed in a job for more than a year.

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?

Be diverse in your experience, specialization is great, but I love to see people who stretch.

I want to hire someone who is

reliable

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 100-200

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

√ 5-6

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?

√ No

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?

Generally, we advertise for a minumum of 1 year, and we do take into account volunteering.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

The field is changing, not dying. Technology has altered the landscape, but I don’t think it’s killed the profession.

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 100-200 staff members, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area, Western US

Wait to discuss benefits until after 2nd interview

Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E N Clopper. Location Indianapolis, Indiana.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:

Education services

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Western US.

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

2 years experience
‘Lis degree in hand
Good interviewing skills

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Hr weeds
Sends to associate provost
Hiring committee discusses and ranks applicants

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

Degree not complete
Lack of 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?

Practice interviewing
Strong resume
Good cover letter
Thanks email,after interview
Sell themselves
Wait to discuss benefits until after 2nd interview

I want to hire someone who is

Compatable

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?

√ 3-4

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 the same number of positions

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

√ No

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

√ No

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

Yes, must have some experience for full time

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Too much information to shift through, still need navigators

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.

1 Comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area, Western US

If the applicant doesn’t have direct experience for the job posted, and he/she is trying to use previous skills, do a better job linking what you have done to the job posting

Crockery and S. Murray, Grainger Market This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Subject liaisons and specialist, technical services staff.

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in an urban area in the Southern US.

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meeting at least 75% of the qualifications of the position.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Search Committee

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

Lack of an ALA accredited MLS.  After that, lack of experience in the desired area.

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?

If the applicant doesn’t have direct experience for the job posted, and he/she is trying to use previous skills, do a better job linking what you have done to the job posting.  “I am willing to learn” or “I want to know about this area” is not a good enough response to get an interview for a job that requires specific experience.

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 100-200

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?

√ 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?

No, but it helps.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Not dying, but there will be fewer opportunities in the future.

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

Not sure that the people responding will be the people you need to get an accurate assessment of the workplace.

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 100-200 staff members, Academic, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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

Because they have worked in our system, we know who the top performers are

Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E N Clopper. Location Indianapolis, Indiana.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:

catalogers, adult and children’s librarians, department heads, outreach librarians

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

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

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

My library system tries to promote from within whenever possible. We tend to have lots of underemployed professionals and volunteers who are professionals to choose from. Because they have worked in our system, we know who the top performers are. This method works out well for the library system, but I’m sorry to see that so many degreed librarians are willing to take any job they can get at a library. Sometimes job candidates are employees who have earned their MLIS while working in paraprofessional positions.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

We receive all applications from qualified candidates. HR determines which are qualified. There are no rubrics. There are committees for all job openings, no matter what position is open.

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

Clear lack of experience/education requirements stated in the job posting.

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

√ Other: only if asked

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

Since we nearly always hire from within, a great track record in their current position is absolutely essential.

I want to hire someone who is

people-oriented

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

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

√ 3-4

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

√ 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?

√ 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?

Because we hire almost exclusively from within, all candidates will have library experience. Their experience might be as a paraprofessional.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Yes

Why or why not?

I am hoping that as economic times get better, libraries will be better funded resulted in better staffing. Like almost any other profession, constant change is required to stay ahead of customer needs/desires.

 

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 200+ staff members, Public, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area