As we near the end of the first semester, I have more added to my plate than last minute reference questions concerning papers, projects, and presentations. A long time staff member has decided to make a career move to another institution and we will have to hire a replacement. As a result, I have become a member of the search committee to hire a replacement – something which I have never done before. Although graduate school covered hiring practices in my administration & management classes, it has been quite challenging with many promising applicants. The other librarians and older faculty members on staff have been most helpful in the beginning stages of the process. The second challenge that we will be facing as a library staff is a major conversion of our circulation, acquisitions, and cataloging systems. Again, older staff members and librarians at other institutions have been most helpful during the first few weeks on a topic that is not covered in library school. A topic that is not necessarily able to be covered in school, but one of those changes that you can only work through and learn from the experience. The unseen challenges and preparation work make me a little nervous, but once we complete the switch (and hire someone new just before it happens), it will be a learning experience that can be applied again and again in the future.
2 thoughts on “End of the semester changes & challenges”
I am a fairly recent graduate in a management position, and I agree that our education was definitely lacking in that aspect. Maybe our former professors and other educational institutions should conduct mock interviews with us, both to prepare us for our job search, and then have us conduct them with our classmates to get the feel for them from a management perspective too. Let us know how it goes as I will be in a similar situation soon.
Hiring a colleague may well be one of the most lasting and important tasks you’ll ever do in your career. Because laws change and the work environment is different in each institution, I’m not sure there is any prep except jumping in. How do you pretend not to notice that the applicant is 8 months pregnant, or that he wrote his bio without ever creating a new paragraph, or that she chews with her mouth open at the lunch meeting, or that she hasn’t changed her hair style in 25 years (and maybe her thinking?), or that his last job was selling cars but he’s your only minority candidate.