by R.C. Miessler, former Head Editor, INALJ Indiana
previously published 8/16/13 & 9/25/14
Highly Desired: Straightforward Library Job Ads
When searching for jobs, sometimes the requirements seem ridiculous. Some job listings appear to be a list of all the library buzzwords and trends over the past 10 years, which can be a bit discouraging when trying to figure out exactly what the position entails, especially when put along the soul-crushing (for a librarian right out of school, anyway) “1-2 years professional experience required” line on what seems to be an entry-level job. Granted, many job listings are very clear and straightforward, a sign of a good director and human resources department. However, sometimes I look at a listing and wonder who really is going to be a master of all of the required skills, with the additional caveat of “desired” skills.
I’ve had hiring managers tell me in the past that when they are creating the job listing, they will sometimes list all the skills the previous person had for that position, even though it’s been admitted that a lot of the time most of those skills were learned during the former person’s time on the job, making the description a wishlist more than a hard set of skills that needs to be in place on day one. Sometimes this means reading between the lines and finding comparable skills in your own experience that can be applied to the list of duties, requirements and skills, and being really enthusiastic about learning new things quickly.
So, if the job looks interesting and appears to be a good fit, even if you don’t quite understand what a DIALOG search is, apply; the worst that will happen is you will get a rejection and some more time to work on your resume and cover letter. That is, unless it’s one of those damn online applications that require you to copy and paste your resume into tiny little boxes … in that case, it may not be worth it.
That being said, here are some definite warning signs in library job requirements*:
- Must be willing to run the Proust summer reading program (NSFW language in link)
- Salary based on late fees collected
- Advanced experience with AltaVista highly desired
- Ability to create a National Union Catalog Christmas tree each winter
- Create Cutter numbers without Cataloging Calculator
- Small enough hands to fix paper jams in copier
- Should enjoy the sight and smell of mold and mildew
- Dog lovers preferred