Tag Archives: Academic Libraries

no red flags in their application (positive recommendations, no disciplinary/criminal issues).

Fruit and vegetable vendors, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WashingtonThis 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:

Subject Liaisons, Data Management Librarians

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a suburban 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”?

Possessed all of the required qualifications, some of the preferred, and had no red flags in their application (positive recommendations, no disciplinary/criminal issues).

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Applications are weeded by HR if they don’t contain all the required components. The search committee is 4-5 faculty and we use a rubric based upon the requirements listed in the job advertisement.

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

They lacked the recommended qualifications.

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

√ Yes

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

Make sure that each qualification is addressed, there are no typos or errors in the essay, and that the applicant treats it seriously and professionally.

I want to hire someone who is

curious

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?

√ 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 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?

√ 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 experience required.

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.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

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

Currently we have an academic president who does not support libraries

Young boy tending freshly stocked fruit and vegetable stand at Center Market, 02181915This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

There are only 3 of us here at a branch campus and we do instruction and circulation activities. Specific library jobs like cataloging are carried out at the main campus.

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area 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”?

We only interviewed about 4. Others did not have the right qualifications or just did not look “right”.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

A committee meets to go over applications and decide who looks eligible.

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

not sure. I was not on committee.

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?

not sure

I want to hire someone who is

a good fit

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?

√ 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 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

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

On one level (in the media and talk) it seems like it is. Currently we have an academic president who does not support libraries and I think there are others who are only looking at the bottom line for their institutions. On the other hand, the presence of a library is so historical I am not sure it is seen as something to eliminate.

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, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Residency Run-down: Mary P. Key Residency Program

I know a lot of you readers are new librarians or current students. And we all know it’s a tough market for emerging information professionals. That’s why I’m really happy to be able to share this interview with Brain Leaf of Ohio State University. In this interview, Mr. Leaf discusses the advantages of the residency at OSU and why residencies are a good choice for professional development.

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Mary P. Key Residency Program? Why was this program started? or Why does Ohio State University Libraries continue to fund this program? What makes it important to your organization?

It was started in 1989 to help students successfully transition into academic librarianship. Mary P. Key was an emerita assistant professor of the University Libraries. As the first chair of the Diversity Committee, she oversaw the implementation of the Diversity Resident Program as a way to help increase the diversity and development of librarians at Ohio State. It has been a successful effort as several alumni have risen to prominence and would attribute their early successes to this program.

What are the main job duties of residents – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?

Like other residencies, residents used to rotate through departments during their first year here before specializing in a specific department for their second. However, this has recently changed and residents now spend both years within one department. This means taking on most of the responsibilities of a new academic librarian minus the research component.

Are residents paid? Do they get any other special benefits?

Residents are paid the same as other librarians starting at this level. The big “special benefit” of the program is the opportunity (and funding) to tackle a wide range of professional development. The environment itself is very supportive, and I think that’s a benefit in of itself.

What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?

It’s a great way to get experience without the pressures of research, and there’s a fantastic support system of previous residents who have achieved in this field. I sometimes thought of it as time to polish and grow skills that needed work or gain specialized experience in an area that I might not had a chance to explore beyond theory in graduate school.The Ohio State University itself is a large university, which I find attractive because of the large impact I am able to make even as a resident.

What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?

The program seeks out recent graduates of library and information science schools. The application process is actually fairly similar to any normal job application. Since the position doesn’t rotate, they seem to seek out candidates who have the skills to accomplish the tasks required of that position as well as the potential to learn and grow.

When will the next residents be picked?

Good question! I don’t have that information, but I would just keep my eye out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Midwestern US, Residency Run-Down

Residency Run-Down: Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship

I know a lot of you readers are new librarians or current students. And we all know it’s a tough market for emerging information professionals. That’s why I’m really happy to be able to share this interview with Allen Townsend of Yale University. In this interview, Mr. Townsend describes the basics of the Kress Fellowship, as well as why Haas Family Arts Library is a great place to learn about art librarianship in all its facets and how this fellowship can help a new librarian begin a successful career.

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship?

During their eight-month tenure based in the Arts Library, the Kress Fellows have the opportunity to learn the profession of art librarianship and in doing so, to complete projects of their interests ranging from innovations in Library support for teaching art history, architectural archive management, digitization and delivery of art image resources, and the history of illustration and the book arts. The Fellows may draw upon the resources of the Yale University Library and the University’s two great art museums: the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. The combination of these resources provides for a multi-faceted professional development program of unparalleled depth and breadth.

Why was this program started? or Why does The Samuel H. Kress Foundation continue to fund this program? What makes it important to your organization?

The idea for the Fellowship was conceived by the former Director of the Arts Library at Yale, Max Marmor. The Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship was initially funded, and continues to be funded by the Foundation because of its ongoing interests in advancing and sustaining the highest standards of scholarly activity in the field of art history. The Fellowship has been, and continues to be important to Yale because it supports the University’s mission, that of creating knowledge through research.

What are the main job duties of residents – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?

The Fellowship is shared among various units of the Haas Family Arts Library, and rotates through the Arts Library’s departments e.g public services, special collections, and visual resources. The job duties vary based on the Fellow’s departmental assignment. The job duties are always professional level and mirror those of librarians.

Are residents paid? Do they get any other special benefits?

Fellows are paid through Kress grant funds. Yale pays health benefits and provides a stipend for professional travel.

What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?

The Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship at Yale was the first of its kind in the United States and has been the gold standard among professional development programs for art librarians since its inception in 1997. It is the most prestigious fellowship of its kind in the field of art and allied librarianship and is widely respected within the library profession at large. The ten individuals who have held the Fellowship to date have gone on to diverse and important careers in academic art and museum librarianship, visual arts resources administration, special collections and archive curatorship, and art information consultancy.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program for library and information science. Excellent analytical, organizational, customer service, and interpersonal skills. Ability to effectively build partnerships and promote the benefits of change in an academic culture that often values ambiguity, diversity of opinion, and historic precedent. Ability to communicate effectively through both oral and written expression. Ability to work both independently and collegially in a demanding and rapidly changing environment.

Preferred:
1. Advanced degree and/or relevant experience in history of art, architecture, or related arts disciplines.
2. Reading knowledge of two or more Western European languages.
3. Experience with web design and development and electronic information resources.
4. Experience with HTML and XML.

What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?

The selection process is not unlike the selection process for a librarian position, and does not differ greatly from a job application process.

Any tips for students? Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

In addition to the required academic credentials, actual work experience in any type of library is helpful.

When will the next residents be picked?

The next call for Fellowship applications and nominations will be posted in spring of 2014.

1 Comment

Filed under Academic, MLIS Students, Northeastern US, Residency Run-Down

Residency Run-Down: Penn State University Libraries Diversity Residency Program

I know a lot of you readers are new librarians or current students. And we all know it’s a tough market for emerging information professionals. It’s great to be able to share this interview with John Meier, Chair of the Diversity Committee and Science Librarian at Pennsylvania State University Library. In this interview, Mr. Meier describes the brand new Diversity Residency Program at Penn State, as well as what library students can do now to stand out in the job market, and why Penn State is a great place to learn about academic librarianship and research.

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Penn State University Libraries Diversity Residency Program?

Pattee LibrarySure. The Penn State University Libraries has been working on developing this residency program for a long time. Our Diversity Committee has been around for over 20 years and since Dean Barbara Dewey came to Penn State in 2010 things really started to happen. There are two residents in each biannual cohort who each rotate through a number of departments their first year and then pursue a research project in their second year. We have had great support from the University Administration including partially funding the program. That really shows how much Penn State values not only libraries but diversity.

Why was this program started? What makes it important to your organization?

We are looking to the future and feel that if we want our library staff to reflect the multicultural nature of our society we need to be part of building the next generation of professional librarians. While Penn State does not have a library school, we are one of the largest employers of librarians in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). We also have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in our services to the Penn State community and want to bolster our current successes. The University Libraries also wants to prepare the future leaders of the library profession and promote diversity in the next generation of library leaders.

What are the main job duties of residents – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?

The main job duties of these residents will actually be very similar to all their librarian colleagues. During the first year of assignment, the residents will rotate through different departments as full members of those units. They will be librarians, not interns or graduate assistants, and perform similar duties and have similar responsibilities. The only real difference will be the additional support from the residency coordinator and library administration.

Are residents paid? Do they get any other special benefits?

These are paid, two year contract librarian positions with benefits. Each year they will also get a professional travel stipend to attend conferences and workshops.

What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?

Knowledge CommonsOne of the highlights of the Penn State University Libraries is the high research productivity of our faculty librarians. The residents will benefit from a great amount of peer mentoring and the ability to build a supportive network of professional librarian colleagues. Penn State is also a very large library system, so the residents can pursue almost any aspect of academic librarianship here.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Candidates for our residency need to be recent graduates of an ALA accredited Masters program or an equivalent program. They also need to have the ability to advance our goals of diversity and inclusion. We are looking for the best overall candidates who will go on to be successful librarians and leaders in the profession.

What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?

Our selection process follows our regular job application process.

Any tips for students? Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

Be active in the profession while you are a student in a library school program. Join student chapters of professional societies and take a leadership role. Identify an issue you care about and pursue it passionately. Think of every class and class project as a way to make your dreams of the future a reality.

When will the next residents be picked?

We should be announcing our new residents in July 2013.

Anything else you want to tell us about the program, or about job hunting in general?

Have a number of friends, current librarians, and professors read your cover letter and resume and incorporate as much of the feedback as you can. It can be tough to stand out in the current job market, so you need to make the effort to learn about each job.

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, MLIS Students, Northeastern US, Residency Run-Down

If They Are Going to Weed Out Potential Employees by Their Resumes Anyway, Don’t Expect Every Applicant to Write a Paper or Essay

Rabbit hunting on the Otago Central Railway, ca 1900This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, and School libraries at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience. S/he is in a city/town in the Southern US and is not willing to move.

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

Location
Hours
Opportunity for growth

Where do you look for open positions?

Local sites
LinkedIn
INALJ

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?

4 hours

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
√ 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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

If they are going to weed out potential employees by their resumes anyway, don’t expect every applicant to write a paper or essay if you are not going to use them. It really wastes a lot of time for applicants. Please ask for those additional items only from people who make it past the first cut.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing someone

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Southern US, Special