Libraries, unfortunately, are not immune to the current economic climate, which translates not only into budget cuts, but also into fewer vacant positions being posted and filled. Library school graduates entering the profession not only are forced to compete for fewer jobs, but face stiff competition from other applicants with previous professional experience. In the current economy, many applicants in various stages of their careers are competing for the few entry-level positions available. Furthermore, applicants seeking tenure-track positions in college and university libraries often confront challenges that are unique to the academic environment.
In this essay, the Chair of the Search Committee for a recent entry-level, tenure-track reference librarian position at the University of Louisville and the successful candidate for this position share their perspectives on the search process. The Chair provides insights into applicant selection and hiring procedures in academic libraries, while the candidate reflects on the experience of preparing for and negotiating the particular demands of an interview in this setting.