This anonymous interview is with a public librarian.
This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Southern US.
Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?
√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate
Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)
What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?
√ Grant Writing
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships
When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?
√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it
Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?
Workflow management, programming, marketing (because each organization has different standards).
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement