Tag Archives: Midwestern United States

Talk to Library Schools and Professors That May Know Good Candidates

Meagan SchiebelThis interview is with Meagan Schiebel, otherwise known as Miss Meg. She will graduate from the SLIS program at UW-Madison in May with a concentration in public libraries and youth services. Miss Meg works as a storytime librarian and has a summer LTE job in the children’s department of a public library. She has been looking for a new position for less than six months, in public libraries and other youth services positions, at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she describes her experience with internships/volunteering:

I did a 120 hour practicum during the summer in a children’s department of a local public library. This included planning storytimes for all ages and book clubs for elementary age children, collection development and management, readers’ advisory, and helping with special events.

I also have done a 40 hour reference practicum at both an adult reference desk and a children’s reference desk.

Currently I work as a storytime librarian and do 1 storytime weekly at a local public library.

Meg enjoys spending time outside, weather permitting, and exploring the area on her bicycle. She is in a city/town in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere. Check out her new website, Miss Meg’s Storytime , or learn more about her via LinkedIn

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

The ability to be creative
New experiences
Professional development opportunities

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ
ALA listserv
local state library listserv

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?

I start out by looking up the library’s website and the wikipedia page for the town (since I’m looking nationally). If I still want to apply after looking up that information I start by making a cover letter. I have a couple templates that I use for cover letters that I usually combine and tweak to make a new cover letter. I use the language in the job description to help me make a cover letter that is specifically for that job. I usually end up spending about an hour.

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
√ 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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Outsource– talk to library schools and professors that may know good candidates for their position.

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

Communication!!!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being yourself and being able to take your experiences and tell the hiring staff why that will help you be the best person for the job.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Maybe a “how far are you willing to travel” question (my answer would be anywhere!)

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 City/town, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Public, Youth Services

Hire More Often

On the trail - Buffalo Hunt (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Senior Librarian. Here is how this person describes his or her experience with internships/volunteering:

I’ve had two internships, one at the area Historical Society, the other at the genealogy department of the county library. I learned a lot at the historical society, no so much at the library. I’ve also volunteered at the state archives and the local genealogical society. For me personally, it’s hard to keep a commitment to a place where you don’t get paid.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.

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

1) a feeling of my contribution being important
2) something interesting to do, something that will aid and/or benefit patrons, users, etc., even if it is just ‘busy work.’
3)decent pay

Where do you look for open positions?

everywhere! I have a list of websites local to my area that I check at least twice a week.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Even though I find the whole thing somewhat time-consuming and sometimes, at least at this point (over two years of effort with no luck) futile, I do try to write the cover letter to respond to the needs of the advertisement, and hope for the best.

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
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?

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

Be willing to be flexible on requirements.

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

Hire more often.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I don’t know….If I knew, I wouldn’t be filling out this survey!

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

How much impact, if any, does entering this field at a later age have on the ability to get a job? For me personally, I quit a long-term secretarial job several years ago to return to school full-time, completed both a Bachelor’s and a Masters, and now I cannot find work. I don’t know if its because I’m older, or that I have limited experience in a library setting, or that I’m essentially changing careers in mid-life. Probably a combination all these things.

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

Sadly…..being young

Hunting party on the shore State Library and Archives of FloridaThis 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, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels:Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Western US and is not willing to move.

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

1. Job satisfaction
2. Job security
3. Fair compensation

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ
SimplyHired
Library websites
various listserves

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?

I modify an existing application to fit the job.
Two hours of rereading and 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 acknowledge my application
To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
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?

Email

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
Being able to present

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

Not limit hiring to inhouse or interns only.

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

Have applications online.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being positive.
Doing research about the library.
Knowing someone in the organization.
Sadly…..being young

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Being able to relocate or travel is very helpful.

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

Business Casual Wear- Nice Blouse and Khakis/slacks

Necktie 13 by Flickr user shindoverse

This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works in a city/town in the Midwestern United States, at a library with 10-50 staff members.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ False

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ No, but it’s not a dealbreaker

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Extremely skimpy clothing showing lots of breasts, butt crack or underwear. No pants falling down.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Only if at either extreme of too sloppy / too casual or way too formal.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

In business casual wear- nice blouse and khakis/slacks.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Other: no code

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code?

√ N/A: We wear what we want!

Librarians at your organization wear:

√ Name tags

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Necktie 13 by Flickr user shindoverse via Creative Commons License

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, What Should Candidates Wear?

Be Specific … and Be Honest

JJ Pionke

JJ Pionke is currently a graduate student in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. She is looking forward to being an academic librarian, and has spent less than six months looking for a position in an Academic library, for positions requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

I have 10 years of teaching experience, changing careers, 2 overseas internships in information literacy and cataloging, 4 semesters as a TA, 1 internship building an online and physical exhibit.

Ms. Pionke is in a city/town in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere. In her spare time, she rides a motorcycle, plays video games, and of course, reads a wide range of material including science fiction and Victorian poetry. You can find her at jjpionke.com.

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

job fit, salary, flexibility

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, ALA Joblist

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Other: I prefer to see a salary listed but it’s not necessarily a red flag if it is not.

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

My first packet took about a day because I didn’t have anything put together. Now that I have everything organized, I probably spend a few hours on each packet with proofreading and updating any information.

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
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

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

Be specific in what they are looking for and be honest. Example: if there has been a round of retirements as a cost saving measure, knowing that would be useful.

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

Be more communicative and be explicit in what they are and are not looking for.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

How well you fit with what they are looking for.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Ultimately, I think getting hired is a confluence of things, including fit. The job market can be an intimidating place but staying positive, keeping skills sharp, and continuing education while you look, are the keys to finding a job that will make everyone happy.

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

MIGHT Be OK for a Page or Shelver if the Applicant is Teenaged (i.e. Too Young to Know Better)

Dress For Success 3 by Flickr user pennstatenewsThis anonymous interview is with an Public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a

semi-rural college town

in the Northeastern US.

*This person also said that they would like a bio/info about his/her library included, but then didn’t leave contact info. If this is you, and that is still the case, please let me know at hiringlibrariansATgmail.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ I do not know and/or care

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ True

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Other: I don’t care

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top
√ I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts
√ Never
√ Other:

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Inappropriately casual and/or sloppy attire – sweatpants, etc. This MIGHT be okay for a page or shelver if the applicant is teenaged (i.e. too young to know better), but anyone applying for a professional or paraprofessional position should take the opportunity seriously enough to wear something that looks reasonably nice.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Other: Yes, to some extent; a director candidate should dress better than a circ sub, for instance. But this isn’t a hard and fast rule for me.

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Nose Ring (nostril)
√ Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
√ Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)
√ Other: (dependent on position to some extent; directors, for instance, should show sensitivity to the general aesthetic preferences of the community they’ll have to interact with)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ I don’t really care how a candidate dresses

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Very little unless it’s pretty inappropriate. Sometimes the clothes give an impression of the kind of personality the applicant has (e.g. wearing a sweater-vest and tie rather than a suit) but that only applies as far as possible “fit” with the organization goes.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

I wear my normal library-wear, which is business casual. (I try to make sure to select one of my “nicer” outfits.)

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Other: I’m not actually sure – would have to check my handbook

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Name tags
√ Other: occasionally, pins as part of our word-of-mouth marketing

Do you have any other comments?

You are an Ask A Manager reader, aren’t you? (This survey bears striking resemblance to some topics discussed in a recent blog post!) 😉

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: 

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Northeastern US, Public, Rural area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Fewer “Must Have” Requirements and More “Desired” Qualifications

Man and Hunting Dog: Tallahasee FloridaThis 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 A year to 18 months. This person is looking in Library vendors/service providers and Special libraries, at the following levels:Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Senior Librarian.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.

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

1. Salary at least on par with the area.
2. Benefits at a decent cost and decently generous (e.g. more than 2 weeks PTO, health premiums less than 10% of salary)
3. Flexible time and/or work location.

Where do you look for open positions?

LinkedIn, Indeed, INALJ, SLA Job Board,

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Depends on the size of the packet and the type of firm. For a special library I spend an hour or two on the cover letter crafting to fit the ad specifications. For government jobs more time spent on KPIs and showing where my qualifications fit each position point.
Generally would say I spend 3-4 hours on an application.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

Yes

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?

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)?

Meeting department members/potential co-workers
Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Fewer “must have” requirements and more “desired” qualifications. This way people who have say 2 years instead of 5 years but every other desired qualification may apply.

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

Contact us when we’re not getting a shot. Most firms now have emails into their contact databases, it would be easy to send out thanks but not at this time letters en masse.
Acknowledge when things don’t go forward. Sometimes I have had a great interview, the recruiter is very positive, but something happens and I’m not the candidate. I simple, we’ve gone another direction is very useful at that point.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I don’t think there is one, I think it is more of a match. I got my recent job because they needed someone they didn’t have to train much to stabilize a situation. I had worked at the firm in the past, left on good terms, and was trusted by the project head.
If your personality doesn’t match the firm’s culture it simply won’t work and that is really one of the most important pieces in today’s workplace.

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 Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Other Organization or Library Type, Special, Urban area