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Unlocking library search committees at ARL public universities: Techniques and best practices for getting hired

Tina P. Franks (University Libraries, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)
Tina Budzise-Weaver (University Libraries, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Leslie J. Reynolds (University Libraries, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to offer insights into the hiring process for candidates seeking entry-level and mid-range librarian positions at ARL public university libraries. Whether a recent librarian graduate, a seasoned librarian seeking a different academic institution or a librarian transitioning into academia from a different library environment, an understanding of how search committees function and the importance they contribute to identifying the best candidate can be beneficial to any job seeker.


This paper offers universal best practices, techniques and “keys” to unlocking the secrets of the recruitment process from the candidate’s perspective to help librarians seeking employment in an Association of Research Libraries (ARLs) public university environment. The scope of this paper is for entry level and mid-range librarians, but some ARL’s do use executive search firms for upper level administrative positions.


This paper describes the search process, offers insiders’ perspectives and provides techniques along with best practices on how to be a successful applicant and candidate.

Practical implications

As experienced professionals who have served on search committees, this paper explains the “keys” to best practices and how to enhance one’s resume and curriculum vita.


This paper walks potential job candidates through the process of how to apply and what to expect during an ARL Library Search Committee application review.



Franks, T.P., Budzise-Weaver, T. and Reynolds, L.J. (2017), "Unlocking library search committees at ARL public universities: Techniques and best practices for getting hired", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 118 No. 5/6, pp. 252-265.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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