New Library Directors Handbook


Use your job descriptions as a basis for hiring. To avoid discrimination or any appearance of discrimination, all job openings at the library should be advertised in the local newspaper. The advertisement should briefly describe the position and the minimum requirements. It can also include the anticipated starting salary. Those interested should be encouraged to ask for further information and an application form from the library. You can also request a resume, if you would prefer that. Once someone asks for further information, you should include the complete job description and the anticipated salary (if this wasn't included in the paper). You may want to use county or city forms and procedures.

The only exception to hiring in this manner should be when you promote from within your library. This process should be addressed in your personnel policy and you should only promote qualified employees.

Application Forms: The application form, in addition to asking for name, address, and telephone number, should ask for information that will tell you how well the applicant meets the minimum requirements and the desired traits of the person holding the position. It should not ask for unnecessary information that could lead to a charge of discrimination. Such information would include race, marital status, number of children, pregnancy status or religion. In other words, if you don't need information in order to evaluate the person's ability to do the position's work, don't ask for it. A reasonable deadline for applications should be set. Applications received after the deadline should not be considered.

The best way of evaluating applications is to quantify information. If years of applicable schooling are important for the position, you could award a certain number of points for each year of schooling. The same can be done with years of relevant experience. This scoring system needs to be worked out before looking at the applications. It should be applied in writing to each application.

MCA 39-29-101 through 39-29-112 spells out a requirement that military veterans be given some preference for hiring for public employment in Montana, which means that you should ask for veteran status on your job applications. This requirement can be met by using a scoring system, such as the one outlined above, that automatically adds 5 points for veterans or veterans' widows, or 10 points for disabled veterans. If you do not wish to use such a system, you would probably be wise to interview all veterans who apply.

MCA 39-30-201 gives preference to persons with disabilities. The code states that a public employer shall hire a job applicant who is a person with a disability over any other applicant with substantially equal qualifications who is not a preference-eligible applicant.