Category Archives: What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

know where you want to work and what you enjoy.

School Children In ParaguayThis anonymous interview is with a special librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

reference librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a city/town in the Southern US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Yes

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

5

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Other: Knowledge Management

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Knowledge Management, Budgeting, Negotiating with Vendors, Human Resources Skills

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Knowledge of how they should perform reference work and manage projects so they can effectively put it into practice.

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

UNC Chapel Hill

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

no

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Work at several internships in a various types of libraries so you will know where you want to work and what you enjoy.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, City/town, Southern US, Special, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Play the game, but shake a lot of hands of those who will be hiring you.

Keene High School (old) Graduating Class of 1875, Keene, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a special librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

As positions open and are replaced… types aren’t as important

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern 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)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Reference
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Finishing multi-site tasks, notes for coverage of projects that are worked on by more than one person

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)?

Specific databases, particularly the more obscure ones

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

Big Ten (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan)

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

Not really.

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Network, network, network. It is a really tough job market.

Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?

I had one two hour course from one practicing librarian at the University of Illinois. As union cards go, I’m glad that I didn’t pay today’s tuition rate. I also loved the perspective that I was given lower grades because someone had to be given Bs and I was going into business libraries where my GPA didn’t matter.

Play the game, but shake a lot of hands of those who will be hiring you.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Midwestern US, Special, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

general clerical and maintenance skills

Alstead School House and Students, Alstead, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a special librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

clerical library workers

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Western US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ You can’t teach the job skills I need in library school

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

3

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Skills needed for my particular library, general clerical and maintenance skills

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Professional organization involvement

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Try to work in a library of any kind to ensure this is the field you want.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Special, Urban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Have a sister-in-law who’s a library director.

Westmoreland School House Number 9, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

electronic resources trainers, reference librarians

This librarian works at a library with 200+ 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?

√ Other: I’ve never interviewed someone who did not also have library work experience, so I don’t know

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

2

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Research Methods
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

some didn’t have the office productivity software skills they claimed to have, not enough spreadsheet or desktop publishing experience.

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)?

class instruction can be learned on the job. readers’ advisory. programming. most of that stuff has already been created and might be library specific as in, “our patrons love mysteries” or “we don’t do music programs here.”

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Student organization involvement
√ Other: all I had was student organization involvement when I got my first job, so that’s the least anyone should have, I guess.

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

?

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

never thought about it. but I guess I might avoid distance MOOCers.

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

try to get a line on a job asap. be willing to relocate. have a sister-in-law who’s a library director.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 200+ staff members, Public, Southern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

More advanced computer skills

School Children In Anzac AlbertaThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

acquisitions, digital, instructional, student services

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a city/town in the Western 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)

3

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Vocabulary Design
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Outreach
√ Instruction

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

More advanced computer skills

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 of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Scholarly publication
√ Other publication
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience
√ Other: complete projects to show

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

Texas

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

University of Washington Law Track

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

get as many skills as you can, show initiative, do something interesting

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, City/town, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

as any part of any kind of crazy project you can find.

Alma Public School - opening of new playground for infants departmentThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern 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)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Context

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

procedures (should come in with general awareness of workflows)
local policies

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Network
Use library school as an excuse to visit every library, talk to every librarian, vendor, educator, etc. as you might possibly be interested in
Use library school as an excuse to work or volunteer in a number of settings or as any part of any kind of crazy project you can find
Talk to everyone about what you expect to enjoy most to help you figure out your dream job, then tell everyone what your dream job/functions are so we can all help you find your place

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Fulfill all the assignments, no matter how uninteresting at the time.

Keene High School (old) Students, Keene, New Hampshire

 

This anonymous interview is with a special librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

reference

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a suburban area in the Midwestern 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)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Information Behavior
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

budgeting / accounting

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

software specific to the institution ; special collections resources ; community resources and outreach

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Other publication
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

fulfill all the assignments, no matter how uninteresting at the time; network with professors and other librarians and local libraries

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Midwestern US, Special, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School