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Aisha Conner-Gaten's picture

Discussion Notes from LLAMA Emerging Trends @ALAMW2017



My name is Aisha and I am the chair of the LLAMA HRS Emerging Trends Discussion Group. I am so glad to have been a part of the Midwinter meeting along with several other wonderful librarians and ALA members!


Event details:

LLAMA Human Resources Section Emerging Trends Discussion Group

Saturday, January 21, 2017

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Room: Georgia World Congress Center, B209


For those unable to join us, here are a few highlights of our conversation:


Attracting qualified applicants

  • Base salary at 40K
  • Must tell administration what it takes to retain folks
  • Not posting salary vs range vs open to negotiation
  • What do you want your reputation to be based on librarianship
  • Dean/administration makes decision so we need to have conversation early
  • Concerns with equity
  • For applicants with families are attracted to medical benefits, quality of life, cost of living comparisons

How to hire millenials

  • Must have mentorship
  • Must have competitive salaries
  • Must have a job description that uses language that they can understand (transferring skillsets to job tasks)
  • Must have developed on boarding and culture
    • Capitalizing on their strengths to add value to the organization (enrich their experience)
    • Students know the theoretical, need to bridge this to practical at that particular library
    • Meeting and support systems learning culture
      • “Lab”: 2 hour every week to meet with team and trickle down information to folks
      • Meeting with individuals or groupings to discuss specifics

Job details and working on search committee

  • Too much jargon
  • What are you trying to relay?
  • Who are you looking to attract
  • Support positions
    • Unrealistic expectations
    • Salary vs job description
    • If post is up more than 6 months w/ no applicants, something is wrong!
    • Rethinking the way “experience” works in hiring
      • 5 years experience may not be better hire than those with less but have robust engagement
      • Using instructor and/or assistant professor titles with librarian
        • Allows you to compare across experience ranges
        • Less experience means instructor
        • More experience means asst professor
  • Posting using open rank in academic libraries to provide room for growth and development
  • Change the way you describe your location, city, etc. and use dynamic language
    • Let newer hires create a description
    • What drew your hires to this area?
    • Possible apprenticeship with librarians where they can gain experience
    • Online degrees and who how to gain experience
      • If you are straight out of UG and do online MSLIS, how to get experience?
      • How to give practical experience to folks who don’t have chance for assistantships and on campus jobs


Richmond commonwealth university, Richmond, VA (contact A. Kathy Bradshaw)

  • 2 IT positions
  • 2 Health sciences librarians
  • Business librarian
  • Public affairs librarian (government



Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions,


Aisha Conner-Gaten

LLAMA HRS Emerging Trends Discussion Group Chair