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Job hunting during COVID-19 (part 3 of 3)

The Core New Members Interest Group would like to present a series of resources based on survey responses from hiring institutions on what has changed/evolved in the search process as a result of the current COVID-19 climate, and any tips they have for early career librarians. We have answers from a range of institutions (academic, public) in regards to a range of career paths (public services, children’s librarian, instructional). It is our hope that this will help to prepare job seekers and hiring institutions during this unprecedented time. 

Part 3 features an interview with Tanya DiMaggio, Assistant Director of Support Services at St. Tammany Parish Library – hiring manager for the current vacant position of Children’s Services Coordinator.

1. Has your need for this position changed since the pandemic? Have your institutional needs changed since the pandemic when it comes to hiring?

Tanya observed that the COVID-19 pandemic placed severe challenges on library staff’s ability to meet life and work obligations. “The Children’s Services Coordinator is a critical position, especially in the new year and the spring when preparations are being made for the summer reading program. We could not wait for post pandemic to fill it.” Tanya also noted the importance of library PR during the pandemic and the inherent challenges that come along with virtual work. “We do have another position open that we have put off hiring because of the pandemic. we have not been comfortable with interviewing virtually for this specific position.”

2. Have you found that your pool of applicants is different now from hiring similar positions pre-pandemic?

“It is too soon to tell. The position has only been open for three days and I’ve only received one application so far.”

3. Do you have any tips for job seekers in this new environment?

“Be prepared to interview on a video/virtual platform and be prepared to show off your skills in presenting on a video/virtual platform.”

4. What’s been your biggest challenge as a hiring manager during the pandemic?

“Not being able to interview candidates in person or give them a tour of a library.”

5. What is your advice for job seekers on what it means to be a successful librarian?

“To be successful you need to find the right position for your career goals. If you do not want to be a children’s librarian, don’t apply or take that job. However, if you are not sure where you fit in the library- try different positions. If you want to work in public libraries, be aware that working with the public can be stressful. Be committed to public service.”

We would love to hear from you for future programming! Have you started a new position during the COVID-19 pandemic? How did this influence your interview and hiring process? Leave a comment below.

Narine Bournoutian and Laura Haynes, CNMIG Co-Chairs.