Tag Archives: libraries

Pay them enough. Hire other bright people. Trust them to do their jobs well until proven otherwise.

Nevins Memorial Library First Librarians c. 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 Less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience.:

I am in my second year of an MSLS program and will graduate in May. I have worked at the same job for two years, which is with a private, religious-affiliated college in its archives. I have appraised, processed, described, and digitized collections. I worked in a public library as an assistant in the circulation and reference departments before attending library school. I also volunteered as a museum intern for a local history society and as a processing intern for a state archive.

This job hunter is in a city/town, in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere in the Southeast.

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

Ability to cover my expenses, an environment that encourages development as a professional, and the ability to showcase my skills

Where do you look for open positions?

Archives Gig, job listserv through my graduate program, professional listservs, 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?

Read the job announcement, tailor the resume and cover letter to highlight skills mentioned in the announcement, proofread, and submit. It generally takes two 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 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

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

Pay them enough. Hire other bright people. Trust them to do their jobs well until proven otherwise.

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

I really hate Skype interviews. I realize that it’s supposed to save candidates and institutions some money, but they’re always awkward.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being genuine. You won’t fit every situation, so it’s far better to be honest about who you are so that you’re hired into the right place.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

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, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Southern US

Stats and Graphs: State of the Library Job Market

It’s Staturday!

It’s time for our annualish check-in with our surveys.  This week: What’s the JOB market like nowadays?

Last time we checked in, 204 people who hire librarians had responded to our State of the Library Job Market Survey.  Now we’re up to 267! (It’s still open, so if you’ve hired at least one librarian and want to add your voice, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey )

And now, here are the

Results!

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

 how many applied
25 or fewer    116    44.1%
25-75    98    37.3%
75-100    24    9.1%
more than 100, but less than 200    16    6.1%
more than 200    4    1.5%
Other    5    1.9%

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

 pct hirable
25% or less 164 62.6%
26-50% 55 21.0%
51-75% 15 5.7%
more than 75% 12 4.6%
other 16 6.1%

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

 feedback
Yes    21    8%
No    161    61.2%
Other    81    30.8%

The Workplace

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

 number of EEs
0-10    45    17%
10-50    109    41.1%
50-100    40    15.1%
100-200    36    13.6%
200+    35    13.2%

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

 FT lib
1    58    22.1%
2    61    23.2%
3-4    53    20.2%
5-6    32    12.2%
7 or more    27    10.3%
Other    32    12.2%

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

 FT parapro
1    41    16%
2    39    15.2%
3-4    53    20.6%
5-6    29    11.3%
7 or more    40    15.6%
Other    55    21.4%

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

 num of positions change
There are more positions    90    34.2%
There are fewer positions    94    35.7%
There are the same number of positions    56    21.3%
I don’t know    15    5.7%
Other    8    3%

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

 replace PT
Yes    73    27.7%
No    167    63.3%
I don’t know    16    6.1%
Other    8    3%

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

 replace para
Yes    73    27.7%
No    167    63.3%
I don’t know    16    6.1%
Other    8    3%

Is librarianship a dying profession?

 dying profession
Yes    76    28.9%
No    165    62.7%
I don’t know    15    5.7%
Other    7    2.7%

Demographics

Where are you?

region
Northeastern US    54    20.5%
Midwestern US    66    25%
Southern US    70    26.5%
Western US    60    22.7%
Canada    5    1.9%
UK    1    0.4%
Australia/New Zealand    0    0%
Other    8    3%

Where are you?

urban
Urban area    107    40.4%
Suburban area    97    36.6%
Rural area    51    19.2%
Other    10    3.8%

What type of institution do you hire for?

lib type
Academic Library    144    55.4%
Public Library    99    38.1%
School Library    1    0.4%
Special Library    4    1.5%
Archives    1    0.4%
Other    11    4.2%

Are you a librarian?

r u lib
Yes 189 93%
No 3 1%
It’s complicated 9 4%

Are you now or have you ever been:

hiring role
A hiring manager    214    81.7%
A member of a hiring or search committee    233    88.9%
Human resources    14    5.3%
Other    7    2.7%

Would you like to have information about you or your organization shared ?

anonymous
No, I prefer to remain anonymous    229    86.7%
Yes, and I’ll give you my email address on the next page    35    13.3%

I also have a post about the answer to I want to hire someone who is: here

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Filed under State of the Job Market 2015, Stats and Graphs

The word librarian isn’t in the job title

Jennifer BRidgensJennifer Bridgens is a search architect for the eBusiness department of Ferguson Enterprises Inc. Ferguson is headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, and is classified in the wholesale supply industry – perhaps best known for plumbing products but also catering to a variety of businesses in multiple industries. Here is how she describes her background and current work:

I have a master’s of science in information and library science from the graduate school of library and information science at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Illinois, and I received my Bachelor’s degree in English at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. I like to think that, while I learned a great deal about library systems and information theory from GSLIS, I really learned my analytic skills from my undergraduate degree. Nothing teaches you to analyze so well as parsing out the phenomenological meanings of Virginia Woolf’s works or the hidden biographical traces in Ernest Hemingway’s books.

I’ve had the opportunity to work on various projects, both here at Ferguson and previously at Yellowbook.com. I am proud of my achievements in both places, and none of them could have been done without the amazing development teams with whom I worked. Perhaps the hardest but most rewarding one in the past occurred while at Yellowbook. I and several others spent hours analyzing data comparison reports, making sure that businesses would show correctly in accurate search ranges. All the prep work that went into that first release was hard; I would close my eyes and see Excel spreadsheets floating in the air. But the search experience was so much better that it was worth the blood, sweat, and tears.

Currently, I’m buried in Ferguson product data, looking for methods to optimize the content for the search platform we use. It is again, like Yellowbook project, one that requires hard work and meticulous scrutiny, but having been down this road before, I know the reward will worth the work. My hobbies of coloring and crocheting keep me sane while I’m in the middle of these types of projects. My desk is quite messy, to be honest, with books, Stickie notes, and my Supernatural Pop Vinyl figurines. And Legos. I sit with the UX Design team—none of us would survive without Legos.

Ms. Bridgens is team lead and has been a member of a hiring or search committee. She person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Catalogers
Taxonomists
Reference Librarians
Collection Specialists

Ferguson Enterprises has more than 200 staff members and is in an urban area of the MidAtlantic 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?

√ more than 75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

they have organizational and analytical skills and come from a variety of undergrad degrees and backgrounds

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds them out, so I tend to hunt them down myself and pull librarians into corporate jobs

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

disinterest in working in a corporate setting–if they won’t be happy outside of a library, there’s no point in trying

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

√ Other: if they ask

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

tailor their application to the job, this is so unbelievably important; also do some research about the company you apply to–even knowing the basics like how long the company has been in business is good

I want to hire someone who is

Curious

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?

√ Other: the word librarian isn’t in the job title

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?

√ 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 look for talent (self-taught) for entry level and do temp to permanent (1st 90 days is temp). For positions needing more experience we will look for the MS in LIS as preferred. Data curation wasn’t always taken seriously, but it is now.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

“Information that cannot be found may as well not exist.” Nancy Mulvaney wrote that, and I learned it in “library school.” Search logic is only as good as the metadata that describes the thing. Without curation of the data, there is chaos, and finding the thing becomes more about treasure hunts with poorly marked maps than coordinates and GPS telling you in fractions of a second where the thing is.

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

If you are looking for a librarianish job that isn’t in a library, the corporate world needs librarians. Some of the companies don’t really understand the value librarians have, but most librarians have this unique trait of staring a large problem in the face (like a large truck of books that needs to be cataloged) and working out in their head from start to finish how it will get done. This is a critical analysis tool. If you know how to research, you can analyze. If you know how to catalog, you know how to handle product data. If you can learn MARC…seriously, you can handle any backend system anywhere.

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 200+ staff members, Special, State of the Job Market 2015

Don’t be diffident — we want to hire a colleague, not a supplicant

dtclark

At VCU, the largest research university in Virginia, Dennis T. Clark is is deeply involved in the design and programing of a $50 million library addition, reimagining the library service model, expanding the reach of digital media tools as well as invigorating partnership efforts to academic disciplines. Prior to his current appointment, he held evolving leadership roles in public services at Texas A&M University Libraries, where he earned tenure in 2010. He has extensive experience as a music librarian and served as Director of the Wilson Music Library and Lecturer of Music Bibliography at Vanderbilt University. VCU has 100-200 staff members, and Mr. Clark has experience both as hiring manager and as a member of a hiring or search committee. He is on Twitter @dennistclark

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

The first is the potential to do the job for which are advertising. On the surface, that seems obvious, but it’s not. A lot of really good librarians don’t get hired because employers are afraid to hire if he or she is not already in a similar position. A good track record is important, but more important is the potential to be successful. Potential can be demonstrated in more creative ways the already having done the same work. The second is a service perspective. We don’t want to hire anyone who doesn’t have their own intrinsic desire to exceed the expectations of his or her clients, customers or stakeholders, however defined. We can teach almost everything else, but we can’t teach that. The third is engagement with our context. Prove to us that you’ve researched and understand our state, university, library, students and faculty. The onus is one the candidate.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

We try to look holistically at a application, but candidates that don’t include everything we asked for in the advertisement aren’t going to progress very far. If we ask for references, provide them. This is easy stuff. Typos and grammar mistakes are deadly. We’re librarians, and most of us have an eye (and respect) for detail. Again, it’s easy — have someone proof your letter and CV.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Typos. Grammatical Mistakes. Don’t use contractions. Don’t assume a casual relationship, even if we have met. Odd fonts. More than one font. Mostly, bad or bland writing.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

This is one of the most formal pieces of communication that you will ever submit. Keep your lingo professional. Keep your sentences short and to the point.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, I want to look at every accomplishment

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ .pdf

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ No

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ As an attachment only

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Be prepared. Present yourself well, and with a lot of confidence. Don’t be diffident — we want to hire a colleague, not a supplicant. Dress well. This may be the most important day of your career thus far, look like it. If you use a slides for a presentation, own it. If you get stumped on a question, move it along. Don’t apologize for not knowing a particular fact. Have good questions for us, but don’t assume it’s a 1/1 ratio.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

Not being prepared. Not having questions. Mostly, common mistakes such as not looking directly at people when speaking, things like that. I had one interviewee who checked their email on their phone at the beginning of our one-on-one interview slot. Tsk, tsk.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses to this survey.

If you’re someone who has participated in hiring library workers, take this survey and share your viewpoint.

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

So many people apply for every job out there

Housewives league at Wash. MarketThis anonymous interview is with a public and consortium 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:

Directors, catalogers, systems

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

Meeting the requirements of the job description and providing a cover letter that demonstrates acceptable written communication skills.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

In my consortium myself or my Library Systems manager evaluate applications. I also serve as a consultant to library boards in my consortium that are hiring library directors. We are too small to have an HR department. Typically we will meet to review applications and select the most promising based on the consensus of the group and the discussion of each application.

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

Poor communication skills and/or failure to demonstrate the skill sets required by the job.

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

√ Other: if requested

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

Make sure they are well suited to the job and have the skills we are looking for. So many people apply for every job out there rather than self selecting jobs that match their skills. Tends to waste everyone’s time.

I want to hire someone who is

engaging

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: I am responding based on all the searches I have worked on. Not just my own organization.

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

√ Other: 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 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?

We don’t really have any entry level positions.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Because libraries are not dying. Librarianship is a changing profession though and our success will depend on how we adapt to the changes.

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, Northeastern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

Circulation has tripled over the last decade.

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

Adult, teen and children’s librarians as well as IT managers, technology, etc.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Having *some* experience in the field!

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Applications are evaluated by at minimum two department heads and the Director.

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

No previous work 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?

Gain some experience! We have many applicants for positions who have an advanced degree, but absolutely no work experience in a library. That can lead to disaster, especially when applicants are seeking positions that require at least 1-2 years of work experience in a busy public library.

I want to hire someone who is

ready

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?

√ 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 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?

No experience for an entry level position, but most candidates who apply already have experience.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Our business is booming and staff is growing. Circulation has tripled over the last decade. Foot traffic is up, programming is active and well attended. We are busy!

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, Public, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

Don’t be sketchy or verbose (either in print and in an interview).

Fish MarketThis 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:

youth services and adult reference librarians

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

Meeting the minimum qualifications for the position and satisfactorily answering the screening questions which as part of the application.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds out those who don’t meet the minimum qualifications. The rest are reviewed via NeoGov by the supervising librarian who is acting as the Hiring Manager for the job posting, and any other hiring committee members.

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

We only interview the applicants who rise to the top of the applicant pool, since it’s a very time- and labor-intensive process, so the most qualified few move on to the interview phase. We probably typically interview 9 or fewer.

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

√ Other: They may call HR.

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

Apply for what you’re qualified for. Paint a solid picture of how your experience pertains to the position. Don’t be sketchy or verbose (either in print and in an interview).

I want to hire someone who is

customer-oriented

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?

√ 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?

Library Assistant positions require
• Some (at least 1 year) experience in library operations, customer service experience, and basic computer troubleshooting and/or maintenance

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

As libraries become ‘third places’ and community gathering spots, people still walk in the door and need assistance in winnowing reliable info from poor info, and there are still many people who need access to technology that they can get for free with us. And children and their families still need to have early literacy skill information and techniques shared with them, as well as the joy of reading and stories.

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

I worked Black Friday at Toys-R-Us and when the search committee asked me to explain how I handle stressful customer interactions I was like, “Let me tell you!”

Clothes Market, but where Kildare TownThis anonymous interview is with an academic employee who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. When asked, “Are you a librarian?”  this person responded, “It’s complicated.”  This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

I have personally been a part of the following hires in the past 3 years:
Chair of Systems
Circulation Manager
University Archivist
Data Curation Librarian
E resources Librarian

Positions we have hired for that I haven’t participated in:
Dean
Chair of Public Services (circulation/reference)
Art Curator
E resources Librarian (different than above)
Metadata Librarian
Emerging Technology Librarian

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?

√ Other: 2

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ Other: 100%

And how would you define “hirable”?

Possessing a high ranking as defined by our rubric for the job. Mix of degree, experience, and general feel from their documents.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR has stop questions that automatically weed out applicants.

Rubrics depend on the number of applicants. Big searches get rubrics, 3 or less applicants we usually go for the gut based on what we need and skip the numbers.

There are search committees for staff (3ish people), salaried (5), and faculty positions (5). The committees consist of a mix of staff levels. Faculty positions include people from outside the library. Chair searches will often bring in more people related to the functions of the Chair. Dean searches are handled outside the library but with a library sub-committee.

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

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?

Before the interview: Describe how you meet requirements don’t just say it. They are short answer questions not check boxes.

During the Interview: If you got the interview we are most likely looking for fit, be yourself. Talk to us like we are already co-workers.

I want to hire someone who is

curious

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?

√ 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?

√ 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?

Usually, if the pool is expected to be small or we are hiring internally we shape the application so experience is not a stop question.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

The profession is dying in places where the people practicing it are unwilling to change.

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

For the love of god, do not type in documents (resume, cover letter) into an application. On my end it comes out in a mass of un-formatted, headache fuel. I have disqualified people because I didn’t want to read it. Upload your documents.

As for the state of the market. It took me a year of searching before I found my first library job, and I am one of the lucky people. Keep at it. Look at every experience you have until you get the job in terms of how it can help you get to where you want. I worked Black Friday at Toys-R-Us and when the search committee asked me to explain how I handle stressful customer interactions I was like, “Let me tell you!”. Stay positive about where you are now because it will help you get to where you want to be.

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

Too many people applied who were not qualified.

Astor Market - Demonstrating CoffeeThis anonymous interview is with a government librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

science librarians, data librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 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?

√ Other: Less than 5

And how would you define “hirable”?

They needed to meet the qualifications for the job. Too many people applied who were not qualified.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Library Manager reviewed ALL applications and Library Staff reviewed those applications that made the 1st cut. There was typically a 2nd cut before phone interviews were conducted.

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

The candidate’s experience didn’t match the qualifications needed for the job.

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?

Get as much experience as possible. Add to your Library Tool box. In addition to your main job function, know other library skills that can help the team. Apply for jobs that match your experience and education. And, use your cover letter to explain how your experience and education are a good match for the position.

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?

√ 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?

Yes, we require experience.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

Thank the hiring manager for his or her time after the interview. Seriously, it makes you stand out!

M. Robertson florists, Grainger MarketThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Adult specialist, cataloguer, a-v specialist

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 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”?

Applicable studies and/or prior experience, whether in a volunteer or paid capacity. Any kind of similar work where working with the public was considered.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

I read all resumes as they come in.

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

No applicable experience at all. For example, experience operating a forklift and heavy equipment is not a transferable skill to library work.

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

√ Other: Only I asked

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

Thank the hiring manager for his or her time after the interview. Seriously, it makes you stand out!

I want to hire someone who is

A team player

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?

√ 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?

No, but applicable and transferable skills are highly encouraged and regarded.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

Obviously budgets are tight all over the country as governments try to shave expenses. This does make for fewer full-time librarian positions and we are underpaid as a profession. Library budgets seem to be tighter in areas where communities don’t read, too. However, studies show that library use is higher than ever. I don’t think we’re a dying profession as long as we make it clear to governments how useful we are.

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 0-10 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015