Volume 27, Number 4, Winter 2005

Florida Library Jobs

by Jeannette Smithee, Associate Director for the Community of Learning Program, Southeast Florida Library Information Network

The state of Florida’s continuing increase in population and economic growth is reflected in increased demands for libraries and librarians. Recognizing the need for new library staff, the response of the Florida State Division of Library and Information Services is an LSTA funded statewide FloridaLibraryJobs site. The Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN) developed and manages the site, which is based on SEFLIN’s successful regional jobs site. FloridaLibraryJobs.org debuted in October 2003 and has recorded over 500,000 searches of the job listings.

FloridaLibraryJobs.org is more than a list of open positions. The site includes innovative features to allow job seekers and employers to add and update information online. Job seekers may register to receive e-mail alerts when new jobs are posted. They may also register to post a resume. The resumes can only be viewed by employers registered at FloridaLibraryJobs.org. Job seekers can update the resume, which remains on the site for one year unless removed or renewed.

Job seekers search for jobs in Florida libraries by job classification, by library type, or by location in the state. Using a clickable map, they view the job listings for northern, central or southern Florida. A planned enhancement will add MapQuest maps to individual job listings.

Last year 211 job seekers posted resumes to the site. Most resumes were from Florida job seekers, but postings also came from thirty-six other states. One way that job seekers find the site is through advertisements placed in American Libraries. However, a recent survey of job seekers using the site reported that most learned about the FloridaLibraryJobs site through the web, either from a specific link or from browsing or a search. Of those who responded to the survey, about 39 percent were contacted about a job and about 18 percent obtained a job as a result of using the Web site. One job seeker called this a “great site that was particularly helpful with my successful job search.”

FloridaLibraryJobs.org allows library employers in Florida to post open positions. Registered library employers complete a form with the job description, requirements and deadlines. They also add information to specific descriptive fields for searching. Currently, the site accepts only jobs requiring a master’s degree from an ALA accredited program. In the coming year, employers will also be able to post other library positions. Postings are flagged as “New” for the first week on the site. Registered library employers log in to view resumes posted by job seekers.

In a recent survey of the registered library employers, over 80 percent reported that usage of the FloridaLibraryJobs site increased the visibility of the organization’s job vacancies and 78 percent reported that usage of the site assisted the organization in filling a vacancy. One library employer commented: “This is the FIRST place we turn to for advertising professional positions at our library.”

Employers and job seekers find it easy to use FloridaLibraryJobs.org’s innovative and dynamic design. The site plays a significant role in matching qualified and eager job applicants to Florida’s many open library positions.