Publication Date

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)




Anthony Bernier


academic libraries, library employment, recruitment, research, search committee, skills

Subject Areas

Library science


This study examines the impact of a single knowledge, skill, and ability (KSA), specifically research and publication experience, on the hiring decisions of selection committees for entry-level public services academic librarian positions in the United States. Current library and information science literature contains few studies focusing on a single KSA factor. For this study, respondents (n=141) from a selective sample of 382 institutions of higher education completed an online survey in January and February 2015. The results show that research and publication experience had a greater impact on hiring decisions at urban research universities with large full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollments, and very large FTE library staff. Forty-five percent of respondents who hired an entry-level public services librarian in the previous 5-year period encouraged research and publication as a primary or secondary duty, and 21% felt its impact on hiring decisions had increased over the previous 10-year period. However, only 14% of respondents categorized research and publication experience as extremely or very important when making hiring decisions. A future investigation of the exact sub-skills associated with research and publication could illustrate how this KSA is currently utilized in the practice of academic librarianship.