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Public Libraries: Fresno County Partners with AIM

Article List
Academic Libraries
      Disaster Recovery at Rio Hondo Community College
      Serials Holding Display Project at University of Southern California
      Staffing Strategies in Academic Libraries

AIM in the News
      Belinda Beardt, Speaker at SBVC Fall Convocation
      Belinda Beardt, Speaker at SCALL Fall Meeting
      Linda McKell Awarded the Mark Baer Award

AIM Services
      AIM Outplacement Services

Job Search Tips
      Electronic Resume
      Frequently Asked Interview Questions
      Interviewing Tips & Techniques
      Interviewing: From Both Sides of the Table
      Networking Quickies
      Questions to Ask the Interviewer
      Resume Writing Tips
      Retooling Your Career
      The Ten Commandments of Interviewing
      What else can I do with my Library Tech degree or certificate?
      What NOT to ask during an interview?
      Where to Find Library Jobs

Professional Development
      SCHOLARSHIP TO ATTEND the Annual General Meeting of the Society of California Ar

Public Libraries
      AIM's Project Team tackles San Francisco Public Library Project
      Creative Staffing at Torrance Public Library
      Fresno County Partners with AIM
      Solano County Library Expands

Special Libraries
      Consultants Provide Solutions
      Law Libraries - Staffing Strategies
      Microfilming History
      Non-Traditional Libraries
      The Law Librarian Employment Market

Growth at Fresno County Library

Fresno Partners with AIM To Meet Increased Staffing Needs

Fresno County Library system has been steadily growing to serve the needs of its patrons. In 1998 a sales-tax initiative, Measure B, was voted in to increase library funding by $8.5 million annually for the 35-branch library system. These new funds have trebled library material acquisitions, doubled library hours, and increased literacy services. Additionally, the funds are enabling the building of new library branches.

A key element

John K. Kallenberg, recently retired County Librarian, directed and led the expansion of these library services. A key element needed to implement these new services was to hire additional professional staff. He approached Advanced Information Management (AIM) a staffing firm specializing in libraries since 1984. Aware of the work AIM did to help Solano Country ramp up staff several years before, he recognized AIM’s ability to supply professional staff quickly.

Since the partnership was established, Fresno County has hired over 30 librarians using AIM’s services. AIM uses nation-wide recruiting as well as its own extensive staffing database. Candidates have been attracted to Fresno County because of its quality of life and the many opportunities available to its residents. Presently, interested candidates contact AIM directly for initial information. Their materials are processed, they are pre-screened and initially interviewed before being referred to the Library. Nation-wide advertising is done and information about the positions is posted on AIM’s web site,

Long-range planning

A major benefit of Measure B is the building of new library branches within Fresno County. In 1990, Fresno County released a long-range planning document that envisioned ten new regional libraries. By June 2002, the first new library opened in the town of Kerman and Caruthers will open in April 2003. Other libraries are currently in the planning stages, such as a new 22,050 square foot, $7 million regional library facility for a heavily developed area in North Fresno is scheduled to open in January 2004. In the near future, new libraries are planned for the communities of Fowler, and Mendota. Also many existing branches have been refurbished. Ultimately, 43 library locations will be available to serve Fresno County Library's clientele currently consisting of over 800,000 users.

Cultural Diversity

Because of the rich cultural diversity of the Fresno region, increased efforts have been made to reach non-English speaking residents. For example, the Fresno Bee newspaper reported in June 2002 that the Kerman library houses one of California’s most extensive collections of Punjabi language books and literature. Continued growth in library staffing is anticipated to mirror the steady growth of Fresno County. Based on the 2002 Census, Fresno County is the 10th largest county in California.

Partnering with AIM has worked well for Fresno County Library. Being able to focus on the final selection of candidates, they have saved time and money in processing potential applicants. With library schools turning out fewer graduates due to program closures and greater number of retirees, there is much more competition for professional librarians than ever before. Successful recruitment in this field requires expediting the hiring process to not lose good prospects to competing library systems, in addition to offering competitive salaries and good benefits.

Staffing for Rapid Growth

Meeting the needs for rapid staff growth is not a new experience to AIM. AIM has provided similar services to other county library systems, for example, the Solano County Library. AIM has worked with public libraries since 1984 when it assisted San Jose Public Library to open for longer hours after a similar bond issue. Each public library system chooses different approaches to meeting their staffing needs. San Jose Public used AIM to bring in professional librarians on a temporary basis until they were able to hire candidates directly. Solano County worked with AIM in a similar manner to Fresno to expedite their hiring process.

AIM’s long experience and proven track record ensures a successful outcome to any library’s recruiting needs. In the case of Fresno County, AIM’s expertise and experience in library staffing provided an efficient and cost-effective solution to the Fresno County Library’s challenge for their rapid growth needs for qualified library professionals.

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