Tag Archives: library hr

HR is Listening: Critique This Job Announcement

Readers and Job Hunters, I need your help!

My awesome city has put me on a committee that’s working on improving the way we recruit new employees. One of the many things we’re doing is turning an editorial eye on our job announcements.  Would you like to help?

Take a look at the announcement below, for a library assistant. Comment on this post to let us know what works, what doesn’t work, and what you would change.  HR is really listening!  I will share your comments, and we will use them to create a better job announcement.  Help us, and help future job hunters.

Thank you!


Library Assistant I/II (Part-Time)

Library Assistant I -$1,890 to $2,298 Monthly / Library Assistant II – $2,086 to $2,536 Monthly Comprehensive benefits package including generous paid leave, health, & CalPERS retirement (2.7% at 55 formula for classic members; 2% at 62 for new members). Employees contribute 11.5% to CalPERS with no Social Security deduction.

Are you looking for a job where you can join a team of highly motivated professionals who are committed to providing excellent service to the community they serve?  We are seeking a flexible, reliable, and organized individual to join the Library Department for the position of Library Assistant I/II (part-time) with the City.  The current opening is for one part-time (20 hours/week) position in Customer Services. An eligibility list will be established for future openings.

Our Ideal Candidate

We are looking for a fun and highly motivated individual with friendly customer service skills, attention to detail, and strong written and verbal communication.  The Library Assistant I requires a minimum of one year of clerical and/or library experience and training equivalent to the completion of the 12th grade.  The Library Assistant II requires one year of clerical and/or library experience and training equivalent to the completion of the 12th grade.

The Library is a busy environment with up to 3,000 people visiting each day and almost 1.8 million items loaned out each year. Customer Service Library Assistants are expected to provide great customer service, handle circulation and financial transactions, communicate policies, resolve account issues in a positive manner, answer general questions, troubleshoot equipment, and assist with the flow of library materials. Strong customer service attitude, verbal communication and computer skills are essential in our ideal candidate.

Library Department

The Library offers a full range of services to the community including an extensive print and virtual collection, with eBooks and a tablet loan program.  A wide variety of programs are offered, including story times and reading readiness programs for children, parenting programs, and adult programs including author talks, an ESL conversation club, and innovative grant-funded “maker” programs, including a 3D printer.  For teens, the Library has partnered with the local school districts to provide virtual library cards to all high school students.  Library services are also extended into the community via bookmobile visits to schools, senior centers, and local businesses.

How To Apply

Applications and resumes may be submitted online at www.calopps.org or can also be submitted to the Human Resources Division, [address and phone number]. Application materials will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 4, 2014, or until 100 applications are received, whichever occurs first. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply early.  Only the candidates with the most relevant qualifications will be invited to an oral interview (weighted 100 percent).  Depending on the number of applications, the above process may be altered.

Candidates with a disability who may require special assistance in any phase of the application or testing process should advise the Human Resources Division upon submittal of application.  Documentation of the need for accommodation must accompany the request.  The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Prior to hire, candidates will be required to successfully complete a preemployment process, including employment verification and a Department of Justice (DOJ) fingerprint check. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose a conviction will result in disqualification or termination.

Supplemental Questionnaire required

PS Considering making this a regular feature, if I can get enough interested organizations. If you’d like feedback on your job announcement(s), email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.


Filed under Critique this job announcement

Further Questions: Does HR screen applications before they even get to you?

Holiday schedule today here at Hiring Librarians! Here’s a Twitter question. This week I asked people who hire librarians:

Does HR screen applications before they even get to you?  If so, do they use a program that screens for keywords or do they use some other method?  Do you give them any instructions on what you are looking for?

Jacob BergYes, we have HR screen applications based on the desired qualifications.

Usually this is because we’ll ask for an MLIS or someone in an MLIS program, and HR can filter those folks, which gives library staff more time to consider those who fit the bill.

-Jacob Berg, Director of Library Services,  Trinity Washington University


angelynn kingYes, HR screens them manually for minimum qualifications.

Then they come to the committee.

-Angelynn King, Head Librarian, Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus


For faculty librarians, HR does not screen applications before we see them.  Our library has our own HR department, who would be willing to screen but don’t insist on it.  In the searches I’ve been involved with the chair of the search committee, or search committee members, have done the screening.

– Anonymous


Our HR does not screen for the professional librarian positions, which means we even get a lot of job applicants without their MLS or who are otherwise not qualified. Now if we tried to hire someone who did not meet the minimum qualifications, HR would not let us.

For support staff positions, HR does screen the applicants. Most of this screening is looking for years of experience or education.

I know the job market is very tight right now, but I strongly encourage you to not apply for positions you are not qualified for. The library community is a lot smaller than you might think so applicants who apply for every open position could get a bad reputation among hiring managers.

– Julie Leuzinger, Department Head, Eagle Commons Library, University of North Texas Libraries


Laurie PhillipsOur HR does not screen applications for faculty (librarian) positions. They do for library staff, but our faculty processes are different. The search committee chair develops a worksheet, based on the required and preferred qualifications.  Each person on the search committee goes through each application carefully and fills out the worksheet indicating the qualifications on the list that the person has. They then give the application a yes, no, or maybe vote. The committee goes through all of the applications together, about a week after the closing date, and makes a decision on whether each candidate will move forward to the next round. This is one of the reasons why, in our case, it is not helpful to contact the chair of the search committee before the closing date. At that point, we haven’t even been through all of the applications, so there would be nothing to say.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans


Christine Hage - Dark backgroundWe are a medium sized library and don’t really have an HR department. The applications are mailed to the manager that has posted the job. We don’t use any programs to scan the applications.  We just read them. Our instructions are included in the job posting and if they aren’t followed (cover letter, resume, answers to posed questions, formal online application), it doesn’t bode well for the candidate. If you can’t follow instructions in the application process, I’m not sure the candidate would follow them on the job. Following instructions is just as important as carefully wording the cover letter and answers to our questions. We are looking at grammar, layout, spelling and content.

– Christine Hage, Director, Rochester Hills Public Library


No, HR does not screen for us; we are in charge of our hiring process from start to finish.

We can set up screening questions in the hiring software the College uses, (i.e. do you have a master’s degree in library science from an ALA accredited institution? Would you be available to start work on October 1?) and then the applications are diverted to separate folders based on the score of the answers as determined by us (e.g. 50% or better goes in qualified, or only 100% sends an application into the qualified folder).

But we don’t use such criteria-based screening questions.  The one time we did use them people who were not qualified just said yes to everything, and some people who we would have counted as qualified excluded themselves by the way they interpreted the questions, so we ended up looking at all applications in all folders anyway.  Now we use the screening questions more like a phone or other preliminary interview, and we ask substantive questions about applicants’ experience or views, or about the area of librarianship (Access Services, Reference, etc.).  This works better to screen candidates than the other method did for us.

– Ann Glannon, Associate Director, Wheelock College Library, Boston, MA


Samantha Thompson-FranklinOur College HR office screens all applications for campus faculty positions using a program called Applicant Pro. They do an initial screening to make sure that the applicant meets the basic qualifications as outlined in the job ad and then notifies the search committee chair person. Beyond that the search committee does the more in-depth screening.

– Samantha Thompson-Franklin, Associate Professor/Collections & Acquisitions Librarian, Lewis-Clark State College Library

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.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  Peg you better look around.  How many nights you think you can run that body down?  How many nights you think that you can comment what you been commenting?


Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Public