Category Archives: What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

We’re researchers and you are only as secure as your least private online friend.

School Children Visit State Capitol (MSA)This anonymous interview is with someone who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring or search committee, and a training coordinator at a public. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

All levels and positions – from hourly pages to full time librarians — for every department in a mid-size public library system.

When asked, “Are you a librarian?”, this person chose the response, “It’s complicated.” This person works at a library with 200+ staff members in an 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)

4

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

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Outreach
√ 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?

The ability to manage — people, projects, and money.

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)?

The community or institution specific rules or norms.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

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

UCLA and FSU. One of which is my alma mater so I might be a little partial.

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

No necessarily reluctant per se, but I get a lot of applications from SJSU students/graduates and have found that the quality of these candidates is very hit and miss. SJSU is viewed as a diploma mill; they’ll pretty much let anyone in and you can really see it when their 500+ graduates start flooding the market every year.

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

Get work experience in the type of library environment you hope to make a career – volunteer or intern if you can’t get a paid job! Take initiative during that experience, treat it like one big long interview. Show professionalism and display leadership. And be very, very careful with your online reputation through social media. If we like you, know that we will likely Google you before coming to a final decision on whether to bring you into our organization — we’re researchers and you are only as secure as your least private online friend.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom 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, City/town, Public, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Network Now. Get out and talk to practitioners.

Public Schools Athletic League (LOC)This 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:

Catalogers, Liaisons, Collection Development and Supervisors.

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in an suburban 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)

3

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

√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ 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?

How to apply for jobs, Cover Letters, Resumes.

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)?

Cataloging, Budgeting, Circulation, Authority Control, Interlibrary Loan, Software Packages.

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

√ Internship or practicum
√ Professional organization involvement

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

Network now. Get out and talk to practitioners. Get input on your resume.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom 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 100-200 staff members, Academic, Southern US, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Never think that you will be prepared for a job without actually spending time doing that job

School at Anthoston. Census 27, enrollment 12, attendance 7. Teacher expects 19 to be enrolled after work is overThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee.

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 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)

5

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

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ Research Methods
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ 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 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)?

ALA Ones.

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

Non ALA accred.schools.

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

Spend as much time as possible either working or volunteering in an actual library.

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

Never think that you will be prepared for a job without actually spending time doing that job. At the very least, get an internship or field placement.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom 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, Northeastern US, Public, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Concentrate less on the ‘philosophy’ aspect of libraries

Keene Grammar School Class, Keene 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:

Library managers for small/medium rural area libraries. Some of the hires manage up to 3 or 4 libraries — so some practical work experience in a public library setting is essential!

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an rural 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)

3

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

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

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

Customer Service, dealing with a diverse public, Managing staff!, budgeting, collection development/weeding!, working with boards – city/county officials,

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)?

Technical skills such as using various ILS systems, copy cataloging, some budgeting etc.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

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

No preference.

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?

Get some practical work experience! Concentrate less on the ‘philosophy’ aspect of libraries -although I do feel that a basic knowledge of theory/practice is needed to get the background and to buy into the core beliefs of library service – it is much more helpful to have the ‘practical’ knowledge of budgeting, managing people, customer service, collection development/how to weed.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom 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, Midwestern US, Public, Rural area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Be respectful to practicing librarians

New England Girls School, ArmidaleThis 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:

circulation and access, discovery services, interlibrary loan, electronic resources, metadata and digital services, all tech services areas such as acquisitions

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in an city/town 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)

3

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

√ Cataloging
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

People skills– library schools should interview applicants and screen out truly dysfunctional people, especially those with advanced degrees in other areas.

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)?

how to work with a specific system, how a library structure works, supervision

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

√ Library work experience
√ Conference presentation
√ Other presentation
√ Professional organization involvement

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

Illinois, UCLA, North Carolina, Indiana

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

San Jose State

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

It’s about what they put into it; even if courses are easy, work hard to get to know your instructor and find library work as a student. Be respectful to practicing librarians and try to attend at least one library conference to network and get a bigger picture.

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

Most library schools do a very poor job of teaching digital topics, and do not orient students to seek continuing education as well as they should.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom 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 100-200 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

It is so important to learn how to give back to our communities.

School girls in AlgeriaThis 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:

Subject liaisons, copyright/open access specialists, collections librarians, etc.

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an city/town in Canada.

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)

2

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
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

I am not sure whether this is a skill or an attribute, but recently I’ve noticed an alarming lack of curiosity/ability to ask questions about assigned tasks from new graduates. They have great reference interview skills but don’t seem to translate this to other areas of their work. Communication skills like conflict resolution, interest-based negotiation, and empathy, which are all key to successful collaboration/group work, are also needed.

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

√ Other: it is candidate dependent. A candidate with lots of initiative will take skills they learned through coursework and apply them in useful and novel ways. A candidate with no initiative will not utilize skills no matter where they gained them.

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

How to use our specific ILS, and other computing systems specific to our workplace, including vendor software for ordering books.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement

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

Canadian library schools with the exception noted below.

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

University of British Columbia

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

Librarians work collegially. Get to know your fellow students, what their areas of specialty are, what their ambitions are, etc. Having a strong network before you leave school is vital. Approach group work enthusiastically. Almost everything I do in my workplace is team-based. Good skills in working in groups (in all roles: leader, worker, finisher, etc.) is extraordinarily vital. Find something humanitarian/charity-based in which to volunteer. It is so important to learn how to give back to our communities.

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

Library school students need to tailor their cover letters more to show me they have, indeed, read the job ad and to show me, briefly, they have something to offer my organization. It is not self-evident from their CV, as many seem to think. Students should attend as many professional conferences as possible while they are still students, and they should be asking a wide variety of librarians about the actual work they do in their positions. Be curious.

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, Academic, Canada, City/town, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

The “common sense” skills are what seem to be lacking

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

branch managers, reference librarians, business librarians

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

4

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

√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Reference
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: personnel management

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

The “common sense” skills are what seem to be lacking – how to manage day-to-day operations in the public library (basic customer service, management of employees, etc).

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)?

library-specific policies and procedures

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other: volunteer experience in a library

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

UNC-G does a pretty good job.

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

UNC-Chapel Hill

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

Get all of the practical experience you can – volunteer, work part time, seek out internships. Be sure to gain experience in the type of library that you eventually want to work in. If your goal is public libraries, school and academic library experience is better than none, but public library experience is what you really need. If you are interested in public libraries, also get as much customer service experience as you can, in a variety of settings.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom 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, City/town, Public, Southern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Take at least one course aimed at librarians outside your chosen specialty

Blumengart School Children 1963This 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:

Generalist librarians, paraprofessionals, children’s librarians, branch supervisors

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 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?

√ 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?

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Field Work/Internships
√ Other: Children’s/Teens Services (for public librarians)

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)?

Particular vagaries of ILS systems, and honing of taught skills (storytimes, reference, RA, etc.)

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum

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

San Jose, particularly the online-only program. I wouldn’t be reluctant, exactly, but I’d want to be sure the applicant had significant real-world library work experience, as the degree itself does not prepare graduates, IMO.

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

Take cataloging so you understand the backbone (and limitations) of ILS systems. Take at least one course aimed at librarians outside your chosen specialty – the likelihood that you will land your niche job right out of school is slim. See if you can take some courses from teachers who are currently working as librarians. Make friends with the folks in your cohort who are working in libraries (if you aren’t one of them) and listen to what they say. Get as much real-life work experience as you can.

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 100-200 staff members, Public, Urban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Many students try to get through school as quick a possible but this sometimes limits experiential opportunities

Work with schools, Hudson Park Branch : children gathered around librarian who is reading in the park, ca. 1910sThis 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:

Reference and Instruction Librarians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a city/town 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
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ 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?

We do a lot of instruction (a credit course and one-shots) not many students come out of school with any teaching 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?

√ 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)?

Our systems and programs – Aleph, LibGuides, Gimlet, Moodle, etc…

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

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

None identified.

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?

Gain as much hands-on experience as possible. Many students try to get through school as quick a possible but this sometimes limits experiential opportunities, like working at the reference desk, being a teaching assistant or doing an internship.

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

The field of librarianship is constantly one in flux

Sydney Primary Schools (N.S.W Rep. Team), 1922 who beat Q'ld [Queensland] Reps. 2 Matches to 1This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Children’s Librarian

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

5

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

√ Cataloging
√ Vocabulary Design
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Library Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

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

Soft Skills
Information Behavior
Reference

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)?

Programming (Events)

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Professional organization involvement

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

SUNY at Albany San
Jose State University
Simmons College
Univ. of Illinois@ Champaign-Urbana

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

Get enough practicum at the same time and take online courses at a university because it expands your knowledge and contacts beyond the region where you live and work

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

Continue to realize that the field of librarianship is constantly one in flux and is an on-going changing area of expertise. Be prepared to spend your career that way!

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, City/town, Northeastern US, Public, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School