Core Library Leaders and Managers Interest Group

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Purpose: Organizes, moderates, and distributes summaries of virtual and face-to-face discussions on topics of interest to leaders and managers at all levels and types of libraries.

This interest group is part of Core's Leadership and Management Section.

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  • 1.  Recruitment obstacles?

    Posted Apr 17, 2023 07:06 AM

    What do you see as the primary obstacles to recruiting strong candidate pools?

    Are these idiosyncratic to your institution - location, size/status of your institution, unusually compressed pay scales?

    Or so sense larger, national trends that are impacting recruitment?

    It's quick and easy to hit the "reply key" and share your thoughts here. 



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    Erik Nordberg
    Dean of the Paul Meek Library
    University of Tennessee at Martin
    He/Him/His
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  • 2.  RE: Recruitment obstacles?

    Posted Apr 18, 2023 07:35 AM
    Our rural location and low salaries are definitely an obstacle to recruiting candidates.  I think our size is also a challenge.  Since we have a small staff, we all have a range of job duties.  So for example, our technical librarians must also teach and act as liaisons which is unattractive to many candidates for those positions.  

    A larger trend which also impacts our recruitment is the expectation that we will offer hybrid or remote work options.  Since our staff is small, we can only offer very limited hybrid work during the fall and spring semesters as we need staff in the building to serve students.  

    I have been thinking of all of these issues a lot as we struggle to recruit for an open librarian position.  

    --
     
    Kathleen Baril (she/her)
    Director
    Heterick Memorial Library
    Schedule an appointment
    419-772-2188
    k-baril@onu.edu





  • 3.  RE: Recruitment obstacles?

    Posted Apr 18, 2023 08:26 AM

    In various conversations with other library colleagues, I sense that the smaller pools may be part of a larger, national trend.  I also believe that the ability to offer hybrid or remote work options is playing a more significant role in which positions individuals consider.  In particular, we have had much more difficulty in recruiting technology focused positions than in the past.  Pay and location will definitely play a role given the cost of living in an area.  Our librarians also hold faculty status which requires service and scholarship in addition to regular position responsibilities.  This might not be of interest to some candidates. 

    Kathleen Schmand

    Dean, James E. Walker Library

    Middle Tennessee State University



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    Kathleen L. Schmand
    Dean, James E. Walker Library
    Middle Tennessee State University
    Kathleen.Schmand@mtsu.edu
    she/her/hers
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Recruitment obstacles?

    Posted Apr 24, 2023 08:26 AM

    Another response, shared to me through a private message:
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    We've also struggled in the Libraries and across campus with recruitment since the pandemic. Here are a few variables we've identified:

    - rural location
    - housing scarcity/cost
    - limited job opportunities for partners to interviewees
    - our liaison librarian job ads and salaries aim to be flexibly open to many (minimum requirements) but our institution caps is to have a narrow salary range so it tends to only attract new entrants
    - distance from library schools; we just got our first one in the state recently 
    - remote work offering is a challenge in a residential Campus environment & political environment 
    - observed people leaving the profession as a whole
    - gaps in library school education and our needs- very few offer liaison specific coursework 



    ------------------------------
    Erik Nordberg
    Dean of the Paul Meek Library
    University of Tennessee at Martin
    He/Him/His
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Recruitment obstacles?

    Posted Apr 18, 2023 04:14 PM

    Is it just me, or does it seem strange that on the one hand library leaders are experiencing recruiting challenges,  while on the other, recent grads complain about how hard it is to get a first interview for an entry-level job?  I keep hearing how "saturated" the industry is with the increased number of recent grads from online programs.

    Are our recruiting problems primarily with those positions requiring more experience? And, as a result, experienced librarians can expect/require more flexibility for hybrid/remote work?

    Is there a urban/rural issue at play?  People don't want to work in small towns any more?



    ------------------------------
    Erik Nordberg
    Dean of the Paul Meek Library
    University of Tennessee at Martin
    He/Him/His
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Recruitment obstacles?

    Posted Apr 19, 2023 02:52 PM

    We, too, have seen low applicant pools. Prior to the pandemic, we would get anywhere from 25-50 applications for a librarian position. The two most recent searches (2022 and 2021) barely yielded double-digits. We're not rural - it's a suburban area 20 minutes from downtown Milwaukee. And we are sandwiched between two library schools in Milwaukee and Madison.  When I talk to HR, the university is seeing low applicant pools for all positions across campus. 

    Typically we post on ALA's JobList, the Chronicle, INALJ, the state library association, and the two library schools in our area.

    In talking to MLIS students, seeing salary info posted is a big thing. Some will not bother with a job ad that doesn't have salary info. And I can't fault them for that.

    As a private institution, our HR has an across-the-board policy of not posting salary info for any job ads. But it's a discussion I'm going to keep encouraging. Frankly, it's a DEI issue. Our librarian salaries are competitive (and sometimes exceed) our state university system counterparts. I have no way to "shout that" when we have a job posting. So I end up relaying salary info when reaching out to candidates for 1st-round interviews to be as up-front as I can be. 

    Lately, for recruitment, it's been tapping into our support staff and part-time staff to see if they might be interested in going on to library school. Although we can't "promise" them a job (or pay for the degree), I can give them professional development time and projects that can help them take the next step.



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    Joe Hardenbrook
    Library Director
    Carroll University
    He/Him/His
    ------------------------------