Category Archives: What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Few have actual coursework or background in instruction.

Keene High School (old) Students, Keene, New HampshireThis 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 and instruction librarians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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)

3

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

√ Cataloging √ Library Management √ Collection Management √ Web Design/Usability √ Metadata √ Research Methods √ Reference √ Readers’ Advisory √ Information Behavior √ Outreach √ Instruction

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

Few have actual coursework or background in instruction.

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)?

Our own policies and procedures and philosophy

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?

Get as much experience or instruction in as many areas as possible so that you can figure out what areas you prefer and which ones you feel most confident in.

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

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Library schools should spend more time on handling cuts to library budgets.

N.S.W Primary Schools' Rugby Leauge Football Team v Queensland Brisbane, 1932This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Branch Manager
Youth services/computer classes instructor

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Mid-Atlantic 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
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships
√ Other: HR employee rights and personnel policy

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

Engaging the communities
Collaboration with other agencies
Focus on teen programming

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)?

Procedures specific to my system
ILS of particular system
time records

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Other: know how to do cataloging, circulation , collection development

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

UNC-G
UNC-CH

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

NCCU

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

get a part time job in a library – any library

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

Library schools should spend more time on handling cuts to library budgets. I see many MLIS managers not doing anything because they do not know what to do.
Accounting, projections and coming up several different budget options yields the best outcomes.

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, Public, Rural area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

the management class was worthless and there was NO interaction with campus librarians or library managers from the local public library

Keene High School (old) Graduating Class of 1875, 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:

children’s, reference/adult librarians

This librarian works at a library with 200+ 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?

√ 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
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations

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

Interpersonal skills; dealing with masses of people, difficult customers, culturally diverse patrons.

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)?

Policy and procedures; budgeting, accounting, HR stuff,

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

√ Library work experience
√ 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?

Get an internship or practicum or part time library job!
Be interested in libraries as a profession. Read the professional literature. Know the current issues in your specialty (public or academic, etc).
Develop skills that make you desirable. Can you create spreadsheets for schedules or budgets? Do you have web design skills? Are you involved in professional associations? Do you have lots of experience working w/a population in your area (elderly, foreign language speakers, writers, etc?)

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

Library schools have been moving to the online model of instruction but in the case of our local school, it seems to coincide with the watering down of the curriculum a LOT. If libraries need motivated, tech savvy leaders, our local school is not turning them out.

And even when I was in library school 8 years ago, the management class was worthless and there was NO interaction with campus librarians or library managers from the local public library. Wasted opportunity.

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

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Filed under Public, 200+ staff members, Southern US, City/town, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Real life experience will trump classroom knowledge if all else is equal.

Public Schools Athletic League (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Children’s librarian
Reference Manager
YA librarian
Director
Assistant Director

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

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
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: Supervision

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

Experience or coursework in Supervising staff
working with and handling a budget

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)?

dealing with the public
library procedures
creating reports

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

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

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

none to me

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?

take the practical classes that will give you real world experience or knowledge.

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

Only that real life experience will trump classroom knowledge if all else is equal. Get out and work in a library either as paid staff or as a volunteer.

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

Information Architecture and Knowledge Management aren’t covered well in many programs

school children in japanThis 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:

librarians for a branch library (all levels – entry through supervisor and youth librarian)
Library Assistants
Pages

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

4

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

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Marketing

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

Library Management is consistently lacking and was when I was in library school.
Reader’s Advisory – especially for public library-focused students – is important, especially in youth and teen areas and is not taught well in many places.
Technical skills are getting better, with many schools requiring blogging or web site development, but both Information Architecture and Knowledge Management aren’t covered well in many programs.

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 coursework 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)?

Customer service, staff interaction (especially as we’re seeing younger and younger LIS and IS graduates, for whom this is the first job), the specific ILS that the library uses

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)?

No real preference – it all depends on the candidate.

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

University of South Florida

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

Do as many internships and get as much practical experience as you can. Theory is an excellent start, but nothing beats experience.

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, Public, Southern US, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

That reference class by Bill Katz not only taught me resources, but behaviors by librarians and our customers.

Blumengart School Children 1963This 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:

searchers

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area. The respondent did not list a geographical location.

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
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Metadata
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ 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?

Project management is huge, no matter where you work, or what your job turns out to be. Being able to break down a project into the individual bits, delegating where possible, and seeing others’ strengths to use for your project are vital.

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: I want to see the skill, not just hear about it.

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

individual site/group processes. I expect them to build upon what they learned in school. That reference class by Bill Katz not only taught me resources, but behaviors by librarians and our customers.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other: some experience with the tools they’ll be working with in their new job

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

learn some programming to understand IT, people skills to understand management needs later on, and expose yourself to as much as you can

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

Be open to those ‘other’ opportunities that come up. Volunteer for all sorts of cross functional teams once you’re in a job, and learn from everyone. If you’re not an extrovert, try to channel one when you can. Smile.

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, Special, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

more in-depth knowledge of cataloging would be helpful

Keene High School, (Keene Academy), Keene, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been 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 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?

√ Cataloging
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Instruction
√ 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?

A little more in-depth knowledge of cataloging would be helpful also pedagogical methods.

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)?

Reference interview, anything to do with our OPAC

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum

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

Take a wide variety of courses not just what you think you will be using right away.

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

You may have a master’s but that you will work for someone who will direct and supervise your work

Lagere school in woonwagenkampThis 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:

children’s librarians
young adult librarians
reference librarians
catalogers
collection development librarians
library managers
outreach
programming

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 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?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Digital Collections
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: physical plant/facilities; strategic planning

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

Soft skills: collaboration, teamwork, communication, understanding that you may have a master’s but that you will work for someone who will direct and supervise your work; you cannot make up your job.

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)?

Local resources, assessing community’s needs, personnel laws/regulations.

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?

Learn about a broad range of library services and types as you never know where your career will take 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 50-100 staff members, Public, Urban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Learn to teach – don’t be afraid!!

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:

Reference and Instruction Librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a 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?

√ Cataloging
√ Vocabulary Design
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Outreach
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

Yes, mostly instruction skills. I find that most recent graduates do not know how to give a good library instruction presentation. The main problem seems to be that they do not consider their audience – particularly when it comes to new undergraduates.

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)?

Collection Development, as it pertains to our institution. Each library is a bit different in this area. I expect them to know some reference desk work, but, again, this is something they will learn on the job as it pertains to our library.

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)?

University of North Texas

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

Not really, there is another school in our area that is good, but not as much for academic/community college libraries. They are better suited for school libraries. So, I would not say I am reluctant to hire these grads, because I am sure they are great in their area(s) of expertise. It just doesn’t happen to match our institution’s needs.

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

Learn to teach – don’t be afraid!! The best teachers have all been afraid, especially in the beginning. Any kind of public speaking helps – presentations, tours, etc. Also, be sensitive to your audience/patron needs. Find out where they are coming from and their level of knowledge. I know many schools teach this, but it surprises me how many people don’t actually learn this skill. I think this comes more from practice, so students need to be in the field working with a wide variety of patrons.

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

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

When you start a new job, be nice to everyone (not just the librarians – everyone)

Rural school children, San Augustine County, Texas (LOC)This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

subject liaisons with key functional areas – i.e., outreach + subject area responsibilities.

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

5

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

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ 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?

√ 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 be a good colleague (can’t teach that – that’s why the pre-professional experiences are so key)
+ Community/campus-specific information – culture, programs, majors, etc
+ Refining of their research agenda – I wish LIS schools trained students in methodologies and statistics.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Other: conference presentation OR scholarly publication – either is a plus but not required in my opinion

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

University of Illinois
UNC-Charlotte
Simmons

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?

+ Find a job/internship that will give you practical experience and good, solid professional references who can speak to your collegiality, willingness to work hard, and flexibility

+ READ THE LITERATURE, especially if you want to be an academic librarian on the tenure track. Try writing and submitting your work.

+ Go to professional conferences to listen and participate.

+ Take research methodology courses if your LIS program doesn’t offer them – sociology or anthropology departments may offer something of interest.

+ Have people read your cover letters, practice doing phone interviews, practice your presentations for on-campus interviews, and send written thank you notes after on-campus interviews.

+ When you start a new job, be nice to everyone (not just the librarians – everyone), learn the culture and keep up your connections with your library school colleagues and faculty.

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