15 Librarian Interview Questions and Answers

Updated on: September 12, 2021

Here are some questions (and answers) that you may expect during an interview for the position of librarian.

15 Common Librarian Interview Questions and Answers

1. Tell me about your educational background and experience? How do they qualify you for this job?

I am a graduate of library sciences and have been working as a school librarian for the past five years. My experience and education are highly relevant to this position.

2. What are your strengths as a librarian?

I am a good leader, organized person, possess remarkable skills in record keeping, am detail-oriented, have excellent interpersonal skills, and full command over cataloging, classification, and referencing styles which make me a strong candidate for a librarian.

3. What referencing styles are you familiar with?

I am familiar with APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago referencing styles since these are the most popular and are widely accepted around the globe. I am also a quick learner and quickly grasp new referencing formats.

4. What are the duties of a librarian?

Duties of a librarian include; maintaining book issuance records, ensuring barrier-free access to available material, carrying out manual and digital cataloging, providing referencing assistance and guidelines, and facilitating the students and patrons in search of specific reading material.

5. How much do you believe in the standard depiction of the “stern” librarian? Why?

The “stern” librarian is very passé. I do not believe in it much. While I think it is essential to have an attitude that will keep discipline within a library, I do not believe in making yourself unpopular by your behavior. Librarians are hired to help people and not drive them away!

6. What is the most critical skill that a librarian should possess?

Librarians need to be great researchers. They need to possess a working knowledge of electronic information resources and corresponding delivery methods.

7. How do you feel about free online resources such as Wikipedia?

I think free information sources are a great idea. They provide people with much insight into concepts and histories. However, open sources are not always accurate, so if one wants to gain precise information, one needs to be aware of where to look for it.

8. If we were to contact your references, what skills do you think they will chart out as your best?

I am known at my workplace as meticulous and detail-oriented. I believe that my referees will highly commend my customer service skills and research abilities.

9. What kind of experience have you had with library groups?

I have led a number of reading and research clubs during my time as a librarian. I have had experience with leading both children’s clubs and those for adults.

10. What is web 2.0? Should it be present in a library?

Web 2.0 refers to the transition or development of cyber technology from static to dynamic web pages. Web 2.0 enables online databases and e-books to work and makes navigation through online material very easy which is why it is essential for any modern library.

11. What is your favorite online database for a book reading and why?

My favorite is ‘WorldCat’ since it has never disappointed me. Whatever is published, I believe they have it. I also like the database because they provide handy referencing guidelines and showcase publications from all over the world.

12. Which library classification systems are you familiar with?

I am familiar with the universal classification systems used in the English-speaking world like congress classification and Dewey decimal. I am also well versed in a couple of facet-based classification systems. These include Bliss bibliographic classification and colon system.

13. In what ways has the ‘library’ evolved? What changes do you foresee in the coming years?

The concept of a library has become digital over the past decade. Gone are the days of manual cataloging. We have a computerized record of every book now. Online libraries have made access to books even more comfortable. I foresee the library evolving into a massive collection of e-books on cyberspace in the coming years

14. Would you allow a teacher to photocopy some books, bind them and enable students to issue them?

As per the generally applicable copyrights policy, I would not allow complete photocopying and binding, however, copying small parts from the book to facilitate students is permissible provided that the photocopied pages are appropriately referenced when used.

15. How do you handle a student who is spoiling the books?

I take immediate disciplinary action as per policy because books of the library are public property and being the librarian makes me their custodian while placing a heavy responsibility on my shoulders.