Top 21 Librarian Interview Questions in 2021 [with Answers]

The best way to make oneself erudite, knowledgeable, and well-informed is by visiting a library. It won’t be wrong to say, the libraries are the temples of knowledge having tens of thousands of books acting as disciples of the lord of knowledge and wisdom. Librarian is one of the most sought-after professions in the world with some prominent institutions attending to a huge number of footfalls every day. If you have relevant interests, skills, and educational background, then opting for the librarian as a full-time career is an outstanding option.

Latest 21 Interview Questions for Librarian

1) The Role Of A Librarian Is Boring, Is It?

This question test your perception and thinking towards your own profession. You must always respond in a positive manner.

Sample Answer

Libraries possess incredible power and can completely transform the lives of the people. Books are the oceans of knowledge and if one starts reading books with interest and intent, it has the ability to make that person a man of repute. Being a keeper of books and libraries, the ocean of apprehension and cognizance, I feel proud of myself. The role is not at all boring, rather adventurous and entertaining.

2) How Important Is Proper Sanitization Of The Library?

All the places are required to be sanitized and clean properly. Hence answer accordingly.

Sample Answer

This crazy virus has wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent people all around the world. The number of victims is already huge and still counting. The best way to protect oneself from this virus, is proper sanitization at regular intervals of time along with effective cleaning of the workplace, so as to ensure proper hygiene and high levels of cleanliness.

3) Are You Interested In Library Training Programs?

In order to keep one self aware of the latest techniques, a librarian is expected to attend various training programs in order to learn latest skills and techniques to manage the resources of a library in a better way.

Sample Answer

One must be always open to learning new skills, methods, and procedures. I hate obscurantism and am always devoted to investing my time in attending training programs and conferences to improve my skill set and knowledge. Hence, you will always find me as the first person to attend a training session.

4) Can You Handle Work Stress?

The job of a librarian may require you to work for long hours without any break. At peak times, you have to be on your toes at all times. You are expected to work under stress for long hours maintaining your efficiency and concentration levels.

Sample Answer

Yes sir absolutely. I have the ability to work for long hours without even taking a break. For this, I always keep myself fit by taking part in regular exercises and yoga. In addition to this, I always do 20 minutes of meditation every day, so as to improve my focus and concentration skills. Hence, I can assure you that I can work for long hours with the same proficiency and efficiency.

5) When Can You Start?

This is a common interview question. Sometimes an organization is in urgent need of an employee and they want to fill the vacancy or hire as soon as possible. This question in no way guarantees your selection, hence don’t be over excited, rather control your emotions and hold your nerves.

Sample Answer

  • In case you are employed and working somewhere: Being in employment currently with XYZ Library, I need at least 15 days to get my relieving letter. Hence, after taking two days of margin, I can confirm (______mention your date of joining_____) as my date of joining.
  • In case you are unemployed/fresher: Since I have no prior commitments or any pending obligations to complete, I have the ability to start immediately.

6) Are You A Technologically Savy Person?

With the advent of technology, gone are the days when physical registers were maintained. Nowadays, all the records are maintained on specialized software and digital worksheets. You are expected to have at least a working knowledge of common utility software.

Sample Answer

Yes sir. I have expert knowledge of MS excel and Koha: Integrated Library System. I have also worked on NewGen Library System during my internship, but I still don’t have its expert knowledge. Further, I am a quick learner and have the ability to learn any of the software used by the organization quickly.

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7) How Will You Prevent Books From Termites?

Spoilage of books by termites, insects and other similar species is a common problem in big libraries managing several books. Explain your procedures clearly.

Sample Answer

Termites are the only enemies of books. I always try to prevent books from them. For this, I periodically clean the bookshelves with an alcoholic solution along with spraying a borate solution on them, that repels the termites away. Further, I always ensure that the books are kept in sunlight from time to time, so as to prevent them from similar insects.

8) What Will You Do If You Ever Encounter Unethical Practices In A Library?

Being a silent place with everyone minding its own business, mischievous students, engage in unethical practices. They must be dealt with strictly.

Sample Answer

Unethical practices of any nature are strictly prohibited in a library. I will make sure that such practices do not happen under my supervision. For this, I will regularly patrol the area and make several rounds of inspection at regular intervals. If still, I encounter such a situation, I will immediately report to the management. In matters of serious concern, I will make a call to the police.

9) What Will You Check When An Issued Book Is Returned?

Customers tend to issue books from the library for a specific period of time and take them to their colleges or homes. In absence of any sort of vigilance, these books can be mishandled and ripped.

Sample Answer

First of all, I will take out the ‘Books Issued Register’ and check for the number of days. In case, the days have exceeded I will charge as per the policy of the library. Further, I will carefully examine the condition of the book. If I feel that the book has been mishandled or ripped, I will deduct money from the security deposit of the customer. Further, I will check whether the book contains all the pages and no page has been torn.

10) What Advice Will You Give To Customers Handling Books Roughly?

The mishandling of books in a library is a grave concern. Customers treat books in a rough way and sometimes tear useful pages too. Such situations must be handled properly.

Sample Answer

There are always a few customers that treat books as a property of the library which they can use in any manner. During my previous tenure, I have personally seen books, that were completely torn, pulled apart, and in some cases even burnt. Such situations must be strictly dealt with, and any such nuisance must be immediately reported to the management and the guard so that appropriate fines could be levied on the notorious customer.

11) How Important Is Sorting In A Library?

This question tests your practical working procedures.

Sample Answer

Sorting in the library is as important as wearing a helmet in a war. Libraries contain tens of thousands of books, written by varied authors and publishers. If these are not sorted as per the subject, then it would take almost a complete day to find even a single book. It is my habit, to sort books first on the basis of subject/niche and then arrange the books in alphabetical order. I try to create several sections in a library so that books can be found easily,

12) How Will You Help A Confused College Student?

Students form a major chunk of libraries’ attendance and almost all of them have to do researches or simply make a project. For this, they are in need of plenty of books.

Sample Answer

I have met, encountered, and helped a number of students during my previous tenure as well. First of all, I will completely understand their requirements by invoking my active listening skills. I would try to understand the key points on the basis of which they want to select the book. Post this, I will recommend a few books to them, which they can choose as per their convenience and preference.

13) Do You Think Libraries Are Losing Relevance Due To The Digital Age?

Digital age has disrupted so many businesses and library can be considered as one of them. But still there is hope. Answer this question smartly.

Sample Answer

In my humble opinion, not at all. I see libraries still experiencing a heavy footfall and demand for popular books is still huge as they are not available on the internet due to privacy laws. The digital age might have brought a lot of transformation to almost all the sectors, but over here, the demand is still there and there are still people who love to read books in a library.

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14) How Will You Handle A Poor Student Asking For Favors?

Books are the ocean of knowledge and must be available to everyone. Yet, subscriptions of some of the famous and in-demand books are quite heavy and large to pay. Answer this question in an impressive way.

Sample Answer

Poverty is the most unfortunate situation, but promoting obscurantism is almost a crime. If ever I encounter such a situation, I will report the same to my senior management and their decision would be the final one. However, if the kid is genuinely broke and needs some serious help, I will personally move to the management and request for complete waiver or substantial discount from the subscription fees.

15) How Will You Handle A Situation In Which A Customer Is Caught Stealing?

The stealing of books is a serious concern in institutions like libraries. It must be stopped pro-actively by taking extra precautions and adopting effective measures.

Sample Answer

I consider this to be a highly unfortunate condition and situation wherein somebody is stealing the epitome of knowledge. I condemn this vehemently and at first, I try to give warnings to the customers. If I ever find someone stealing the book again, I immediately take stern actions like calling the police or calling the parents of the students in case one is a minor. In order to prevent such precarious situations, I generally keep making rounds at regular intervals.

16) Will You Give Books To Your Known Without Charging From Them?

Theft, pilferage, and mishandling of books are quite common in an institution like a library. The answer to this question is a big no and you must convince the interviewer that you will never indulge yourself in such practices.

Sample Answer

Being a committed and dedicated employee, I will never perform such activities. I am here to contribute to my organization with my skills and attitude, rather than leading them to a loss. I will never give any book for free to any of the customers no matter they are my relatives, known or not. Be assured from my side, that this will never happen during my entire course.

17) What Do You Mean By and How Do You Prepare, A Catalog?

This question tests your practical working procedures.

Sample Answer

A catalog in a library is of utmost importance as it contains the details of all the books that are kept on a shelf or a particular section. It helps a user to identify which section he or she has to go to in order to get the preferred book. First of all, I will divide the library into several sections. Post this, I will prepare a catalog in MS Excel containing the names of all the books that are kept in that particular section. I will paste the printout in front of that section and would update it daily so that all the changes are accounted for appropriately.

18) Why You Chose Us?

This is a common interview question which tests your loyalty, commitment and seriousness for working with the organization.

Sample Answer

Being a two decade old library with almost 50,000 subscribers and a daily footfall of around 800 students, adults, and even sexagenarians, this is the best place to work and shine. I am and have always been an admirer of the shape of this building and its adorable infrastructure. I wish with all my sincerity to be a part of this wonderful organization and contribute with all my passion and zeal. In addition to this, the pay and incentives are very much satisfactory too.

19) Have You Read Any Book Recently?

Since a librarian is surrounded by huge oceans of books ranging from fiction to romance to horror, you are expected to have a liking for books and journals. This means, you are a vivid reader and must have read any book recently. You are required to share that book with your interviewer.

Sample Answer

I am a bibliophile and love to read books of various niches. Fiction is my favorite category and I have recently read (____mention the name of the book____). The plot of the book is very carefully and intelligently written. It has an impeccable climax and ending which you won’t be able to guess until even the last paragraph.

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20) What Is Your Biggest Strength?

This is a common interview question related to your personality, nature, and behavioral aspects. Detailed self-scrutiny is required to answer this question in an effective way.

Sample Answer

In my humble opinion, my ability to work for long hours with high levels of concentration makes me distinct and unique. I can keep myself composed and highly devoted or concentrated for long stretched hours without a break. This helps me to improve my individual performance and perform my duties more effectively and efficiently.

21) Do You Have Any Questions For Us?

The most sought after and widely followed method to conclude an interview session is by asking this question in which an interviewer wants you to shoot a few questions towards him or her which are related to the job profile, duties to be performed, and the organization you have applied with. Skipping this question is a bad idea and that would imply that you are not serious enough for this job or were not involved or engaged in the interview session. You can ask a few questions based on the model questions mentioned below.

Model Questions

  • How many books does your library have?
  • What is the company’s policy for reimbursing petty expenses incurred by the employee?
  • What benefits are extended by the organization to its employees?
  • Do you have separate rest rooms?
  • What are the work timings?
  • Do you provide insurance facilities to your employees?

Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (if you want to crack Interview):

Conclusion

The role of a librarian is simple yet demanding and hectic. A librarian must be active, vigilant and must keep an eye on almost all the customers present in the libraries. The pay is bright and incentives are lucrative making it a popular profession. The vacancies are usually low with high number of applicants, thus a serious preparation is required in order to get a job. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.

References

  1. http://crln.acrl.org/index.php/crlnews/article/view/9013/9814
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0098791313000567

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