[Libs-Or] Interview questions for teen librarians?

Marta Murvosh murvosh at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 24 18:00:55 PDT 2016


Hi Buzzy,
I'm a teen librarian up in Washington. I'm an Emporia grad, which is how I got on this listserv and like Zoe I stay because it's awesome. This is also where I say that I'm expressing my own ideas and opinions. :-) 

I'm pretty new to the teen services, just hitting the 3 1/2 year mark. Below are some questions that I remember from interviews and some questions based on situations that aren't uncommon to being a teen librarian. 

I'll ditto Zoe about the importance of gaining insight into how candidates balance intellectual freedom with appropriateness of content/subject matter for different patron's ages and/or individual's personal tastes and/or values and patron privacy. Maybe ask: A parent approaches you to complain that you gave their teen a book with a queer character or sex or information about a sensitive topic. How would you respond?

Here's some questions that might be helpful:

- [Give them a situation of a teen or group of teens being disruptive at the library] What steps you you take to handle this problem. What would you say to the teen? If these steps don't work, what would you do next?  

- Ask candidates to describe or summarize their process to develop, plan and implement teen programs. Ask how they tie programs to library services. Then ask how the candidates would determine if a program is successful, especially compared to the resources needed for the program? 

- Ask: You planned a program for teens but only 1 or 2 teens showed? What steps do you take to determine why the program wasn't successful? 

- If one of your coworkers is not teen friendly or teen welcoming, how would you approach or work with them to ensure that teens have a welcoming experience at the library.  

- What steps would you take to encourage school officials/teacher to let you talk to students or teachers about the library's homework resources or promote summer reading when that school doesn't have a track record of allowing guest speakers from the library.
-  Where are some of the places in our community you would be interested in promoting the library to teens. And what is it about these places that makes you think outreach would work. 

- A teen comes to the desk with the parent because the teen needs to pick a book to read for school. The teen's parent keeps talking over the teen when you are trying to do a reference interview, telling you that the teen doesn't like to read and telling you what the teen likes and doesn't like. You can tell by the teen's body language, eye rolls and grimaces that the parent's knowledge of the teen's likes and dislikes isn't accurate. What can you do and say to help the teen find a book that the teen will enjoy and make the teacher happy? 

- There may not be enough time for this, ask the candidates in advance to prepare to give the first 5 or 10 minutes of a program aimed at a specific goal that your library system has for teen services. You could ask them to present on a STEM program, or to a school class or group of teachers on homework resources at the library. If you ask them to present on homework resources, it will give you insight on their presentation skills and how they would pitch your tangible and digital holdings. 

I hope this is helpful.
Good luck finding an awesome teen librarian. 

Best,

Marta
 Marta Murvosh, MLS
librarian and freelance writer
murvosh at yahoo.com360-610-9642 - mobile
Everett, WA - Pacific Time zone
Linkedin - Facebook - Website
 

   From: Zoe <ztrope at gmail.com>
 To: Buzzy Nielsen <buzzy at hoodriverlibrary.org> 
Cc: Libs-or <libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>
 Sent: Friday, June 24, 2016 11:12 AM
 Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] Interview questions for teen librarians?
  
I started volunteering at the Multnomah County Library Gresham branch when I was 13 years old, and I have memories of being asked questions about what I would do if I didn't know the answer to something, and how I might respond if I thought someone was looking at something offensive on a computer, etc. -- basically, age-appropriate questions that gave me an opportunity to talk about the importance of information freedom! :) 

Cheers,
Zoe Fisher (who is still a member of libs-or because it is the BEST libraries listserv in the country!)

On Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 9:56 PM, Buzzy Nielsen <buzzy at hoodriverlibrary.org> wrote:

  Hello oh great hive mind,
 
 Do any of you have good interview questions for teen librarians you'd please be willing to share? If so, I would love to see them. Thanks for your help!
 
 Cheers!
 Buzzy
 
 
 ************************************
 Library Director
 Hood River County Library District
 502 State Street
 Hood River, Oregon 97031
 541-387-7062
 http://hoodriverlibrary.org
 
  
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