Tag Archives: City

Health Insurance

Lake 'Hunt', c1910sThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for Less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience.  Here is how s/he describes her experience with internships/volunteering:

Independent study organizing archives for local non-profit
Paid internship with a Smithsonian Institution archive
Slightly more than 1 year of volunteer work (1-2 hrs/wk) in tech. services department of local public library while in library school
About 4 months of volunteer work (2-6 hrs/wk) at a NARA installation prior to beginning graduate school

This job hunter 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?

The chance to use and expand my professional skills
Health insurance

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs
Archives Gig
other library job listing websites
SAA job board
employer websites

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?

1. Read the application instructions.
2. Tweak my resume.
3. Draft the cover letter.
4. Revise the cover letter.
5. Revise the cover letter again.
6. And again.
7. Finalize cover letter and resume.
8. Complete online application, which often entails typing out what’s already in the attached cover letter and resume.
9. Submit the application.

The application process usually takes me 2-4 weeks, most of which is consumed by cover letter revision.

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 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?

√ Other: Any method of contact is okay with me.

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

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

Actually state what sort of work they’re hiring for in the job announcement. If you’re looking for somebody to take on all of your electronic records management and preservation duties (and do basic library instruction on the side), don’t make out that the job is an archival processing position with some incidental other tasks, ’cause that ain’t really what you’re hiring for.

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

Get rid of those stupid application questions that basically require applicants to type out information that is provided in cover letters and resumes anyway.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think it comes down to how one presents oneself, how diligent one is in seeking out job opportunities, and whether one can find a place that fits one’s skills and personality.

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 Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Public, School, Southern US

Further Questions: Does Your Library Do Background Checks?

This week I asked people who hire librarians:

Does your organization do background checks?  If it does, what exactly is checked? Credit rating, conviction history, job or education history, etc.? What kinds of things would keep a candidate from getting hired?

Emilie Smart

We do not do background checks on classified employees nor does the City’s HR Dept (which handles all City employment applications).

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

Marleah AugustineAt this time we do not do background checks. We do ask that if someone has been convicted of a felony, that they explain that charge. We haven’t had too many issues with it, but I think that a candidate would not get hired if their felony conviction was violence or theft related. As for job or education history, we just call references rather than doing a formal background check.

– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

Nicola FranklinAs a recruiter the type of background checks I do varies depending on the type of role I’m looking to place the candidate in.  For those seeking just a permanent position, I carry out an interview (to fact check their resume for the skills and experience they’ve laid claim to, and to assess personality, attitude and motivations).  Other checks (for example taking up references, medical, credit check) remain the responsibility of the ultimate hirer and are usually carried out by them (although once in a while a client will ask me to carry out the reference checks on their behalf).  For those seeking contract or freelance work, in addition to the interview, I take up the references myself, and also check their eligibility to work in the country where the job is based (UK, USA or elsewhere).  References could be from employers or educational institutes or both, depending on the person’s career history and the requirements of the job.

Reference checking in the UK can be a frustrating process as employers are very wary of committing anything to paper that could later be deemed to be a subjective opinion and so open to legal challenge if it caused any disadvantage to the candidate.  Many written references are therefore little more than confirmation of employment dates, job title and number of sickness days (if any).  To counter this I often take up a verbal reference, as people are often willing to be more frank on the phone.

The main thing that would stop me putting a candidate forward to a client would be lying on their resume/CV, whether about qualifications, length or type of experience or skills.

– Nicola Franklin, Director, The Library Career Centre Ltd.


J. McRee Elrod



No.  For a distance cataloguer it is irrelevant.

– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging


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.

Thanks for reading! I hope you found some comment ground!


Filed under Further Questions, Public