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May 07

Attention to Detail: Observations from a Search Committee Member

Author: Felice E. Maciejewski, University Librarian, Rebecca Crown Library, Dominican University

Having worked in academic libraries for almost thirty years I have had many an opportunity to serve on search committees, both as Chair and committee member. I have also been a member of the audience as a candidate gets grilled and have been the grillee. I have hired many a student assistant, hourly staff, salaried staff, and academic librarians over the years. One of the joys of being a seasoned librarian is to be able to serve as a reference, and often times a mentor, to fledgling librarians. This joy has lead me to volunteer as a resumé reviewer at the ALA Job Placement Center at ALA, and participate in panels to guide soon-to-be- librarians on the dos and don’ts of the job search. Facing two back-to-back searches at my own institution recently made me reflect once again on the academic librarian search process. In this blog series I’d like to address the dos and don’ts of the search process, focusing on the newly minted librarian in search of employment. What is the hiring process at an academic library? Dissecting the job ad, pulling together a C.V. (or do they want a resumé? What’s the difference?) What to put in a cover letter? When will I hear? What to expect during a phone interview? Do you have any questions for the committee? You should! Making a list of questions for the committee. You have been asked to come for an on-site interview. What to do in preparation for the interview? You got the offer, now what? How do I negotiate a decent, fair salary without seeming too greedy? And finally, your first day. Making a good, positive, first impression on your boss and colleagues.