Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery - Staff Wiki

Search Committees

Review the recruitment and hiring documents available on the Human Resources website. For Faculty searches, review the Recruitment/New Hire Checklist for Faculty Positions.

Review and/or revision of position duties and classification:

  • The Unit Head and Director determine whether the position description and job class should be changed and assess the budget impact of any proposed changes. If the changes do not substantially impact other units, then the Unit Head, Director and Administrative Assistant redraft and redate the position description and organizational chart. If the changes substantially impact other units, discussion with those units or in LEC must take place prior to revisions. 

  • If reclassification of the position or change in budget is needed, the Director acquires Vice Provost for Academic Affairs approval and Library Administration submits paperwork for the reclassification.

Initiation of the search:

  • The unit head, Director and Business Manager create long and short versions of the job advertisement. A statement on inclusive excellence is now suggested for faculty searches.

  • Director determines the composition and chair of the search committee in consultation with the unit head. The Unit Head, Director or Search Committee Chair asks members to serve. The Business Manager normally serves as an ex officio member of search committee without vote. 

  • Business Manager prepares paperwork and the Director reviews and sends it to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Human Resources for approval.

  • Library Administration post ads, sends recruitment letters, and posts a Library web announcement, per Library Administration guidelines. Faculty ads should be sent to Susan Mocko, Executive Administrative Assistant in the Provost's Office (; she will post to HERC and, which populates the Faculty employment listing on the UMBC webpage. Typically the faculty librarian positions are posted to the ALAJobs board, but you can request it to be posted to more specialized boards if appropriate (for example, the Society of American Archivists).

Search Committee Chair role begins after the above steps are completed (unless Chair is also the Unit Head).

Initial steps of the search committee:

  • The Chair can use Google groups to create an email list for the committee.

  • The committee can share relevant documents in

  • The Chair should schedule an initial meeting with the search committee to review the search process, timeline, discuss the responsibilities of committee members, and to answer any questions. Chairs should stress the importance of confidentiality regarding search materials, deliberations, and outcomes. This meeting should include discussion on the importance of confidentiality, privacy, fairness, and a commitment to diversity, and could include an overview or training session by the UMBC STRIDE team.

Receiving resumes and the review process:

  • Library Administration receives, acknowledges, organizes, and makes application materials available in Box for all members of the committee.

  • After the closing date and the distribution of resumes, the committee should be given one week to review applications. The Chair should provide a checklist or rubric (additional example) to aid the evaluation process. It can be helpful to have the committee create the checklist/rubric together, if time permits.

  • The Chair will schedule a meeting after the week of application review. Remind committee members to bring their calendars. This meeting should address the following:

    • Determine a ranked list of applicants to offer a phone interview. There is no set number, but committees often offer phone interviews to five or more candidates. Discuss with the committee one or two back up candidates in case any initial candidates decline the interview.

    • Determine dates/times available for phone interviews. Work with Library Administration to reserve 353G for these times. The length of the phone interview will range depending on the position, number of questions, and candidate. Offering half hour to an hour blocks is generally sufficient.

    • Finalize phone interview questions.

  • The Chair contacts the Library Administration office with a list of names and times/dates of possible phone interviews. The Library Administration office contacts applicants and offers them the interviews and finalizes times and dates.

  • The Chair should schedule the phone interviews using the UMBC Google calendar and invite committee members. Interview slots can be labeled as "Held" until they are confirmed.

Conducting phone interviews:

  • Prior to the phone interviews, the committee should assign individual questions to be asked by various committee members. The same core questions should be asked of all candidates.

  • At the beginning of each phone interview, have committee members introduce themselves. At the end, the Chair should thank the candidate and give them a way to follow up with the committee (by email, phone, etc). If possible let the applicant know of the time line of the search (such as when the last phone interview is scheduled).

  • Encourage committee members to take notes on the interview and to record any thoughts they have on the candidates. A rubric can be used to assist this process, as well.

  • Schedule extra time for the last phone interview. During this time, the committee determines ranked list of applicants to bring in and possible dates for interview. The Director, 353G, and 259 (if presentation required) must be available for those dates - work with the Library Administration office.

Phone interview follow up:

  • There is no set number, but committees often offer in-person interviews to three candidates. The committee should try to determine one to two back up candidates in case any of the initial candidates decline the interview.

In-person interview preparation:

  • For reserved interview days, the Chair books 353G for meetings and interview (through the Library Administration office) and 259 for presentations (through the Reference department).

  • Send list of applicants and dates to the Library Administration office.  Also let them know the topic of the presentation and remind them to arrange for dinner. They will contact applicants and make arrangements. The Library Administration office also handles all travel and hotel arrangements.

  • Candidates who accept in-person interviews should be contacted by the Chair for general follow up, to get permission to contact their references and to let them know a detailed interview day schedule will be sent shortly.

  • Contact references by email or phone. Ask similar reference questions for all candidates. If contacted by phone, it is recommended that two committee members are present for the conversation. Send responses to committee members.

  • The Chair prepares interview schedules and sends them to the candidates, search committee, and the Library Administration office. 

  • The Chair sends message to the Kuhn list with dates/times of presentations and encouraging attendance.

  • The Chair schedules a meeting with the committee to determine in-person interview questions. It is a good idea to do some initial brainstorming using a shared online document before the meeting. During the meeting, finalize questions, order of questions, and who will ask what. 

  • Prior to the in-person interviews, determine who will pick up and drop off (from hotel, train station, or airport) out of town candidates. Rides may need to be arranged for the interview and for dinner with the search committee. Candidates are usually asked to take the hotel shuttle to and from the airport, if possible. Talk to the Library Administration office if there are questions about transportation.

In-person interviews:

  • Candidate is transported to and from hotel, if necessary (see above).

  • Full day interview includes dinner (usually the evening before) and lunch that day. Dinner reimbursement includes applicant and two committee members. Lunch reimbursement includes applicant only. An itemized receipt is required for full reimbursement.

  • The Chair sends message to Kuhn list advertising all of the presentation dates and times.

After interviews:

  • The Chair sends message to Kuhn list soliciting feedback for the candidate presentations. Compiles feedback and shares with committee.

  • The Chair schedules meeting with committee to select candidate and rank others.  Committee determines order and why they were not selected, and if anyone is an acceptable 2nd choice.

  • The Chair writes a letter of recommendation to the Director. Must clarify order of applicants, why those not chosen were not chosen, and if 2nd choice is worth pursuing.  Wording is very important. Every committee member must initial. If decision is not unanimous, state “majority of committee members decided on X.”

  • When delivering letter to the Director, tell him how “hard” to pursue this candidate. In other words, how much we should be willing to negotiate.

  • The Director makes phone call to candidate and gives offer/negotiates salary. Chair is often present during these phone calls.

  • After applicant has verbally accepted offer, the Library Administration office sends all other applicants a rejection letter, which is signed by the committee chair. The Chair can also call/email those interviewed to touch base.

Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery . University of Maryland, Baltimore County . 1000 Hilltop Circle . Baltimore MD 21250
(410) 455-2232. Questions and comments to: Web Services Librarian