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:
catalogers, reference, instruction, managers, programmers, outreach, access services, ILL, collection development, fundraisers, so many more…
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?
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
Met minimum qualifications; used proper grammar, spelling, punctuation.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Search committee. HR is not involved. We use a checklist to screen minimum qualifications and preferred qualifications.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Not completing our extra requirement – we often give direction on a hiring posting to respond with a short essay on a related topic.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Read all of the instructions.
I want to hire someone who is
How many staff members are at your library/organization?
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?
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?
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
We are too fragmented. Public, school, special, academic – totally different jobs even in each type. “Librarianship” is dying, but specific applications are thriving. Is a librarian who does websites the same as a librarian that does storytimes? Is a librarian who does marketing and supervision the same as a reference librarian? The term “Librarian” is wrong.
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.