The School Library Supervisor as Integral to the Hiring Process

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Former libraries director Kathryn Roots Lewis illustrates the importance of engaging multiple stakeholders within the hiring process for school librarians and the role of the library supervisor at every stage—from crafting a job description, to assembling an interview committee, to sharing feedback during debrief sessions.

My palms were sweating, my neck was red, my mind was racing, my words seemed stuck in my throat…yes, I am remembering my first interview for a school library job. I had walked into a small conference where eight people, a principal and seven teachers, sat ready to rapidly fire questions my way. When I finished that day many years ago, I knew two things. First and most immediately, I knew I did not get the job. More importantly, I knew I had to up my interview game. Through extensive research about the school where I was applying and lots of practice with friends and family peppering me with questions, I got my first school library job. Much later, I landed my next dream job as a school library supervisor. I prepared extensively for the two interviews for the supervisor position. The first was with a dozen principals and curriculum directors, the second with the superintendent’s cabinet. I still exhibited all the previous signs of nervousness, except this time I was focused and the words came more easily. Again I had researched, practiced, practiced, and practiced. The long-awaited call inviting me to be the district’s school library director came within a day! These experiences and what I learned from them have shaped my thinking about the employment process for school librarians…

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