Category Archives: What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

First of all, could you please call it graduate school, not library school?

Blumengart School Children 1963This anonymous interview is with an employee who works in a special library who has been a hiring manager. When asked “Are you a librarian?” the respondent replied with “It’s complicated.” This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Researchers

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

3

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

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Other: It’s impossible to answer this out of context. Different settings require different skills and background.

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)?

First of all, could you please call it graduate school, not library school? Let’s operate in the 21st century, please.

Again, this is very context-dependent. Can’t really answer. What someone learns in my legal research center is very different from your public library, or school library, for example.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Other: If, by “should”, you mean that this should be required of them, then I’d say none of the above – it’s not always reasonable to expect a student to meet such a requirement. However, if you mean that ideally a student should have this experience, then my answers are noted above.

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

Why are you asking this?

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

Get a job.

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, Northeastern US, Special, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

True to who librarians should be and not what corporate America is trying to push us into becoming.

Keene High School, (Keene Academy), Keene, New Hampshire

 

This anonymous interview is with a  library worker who has been a member of a hiring or search committee.

 

This person 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?

√ No

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
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Archives
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Field Work/Internships

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

Common sense. To work in any library you must have a feel for your work, that intangible feeling for the job as a librarian.
True to who librarians should be and not what corporate America is trying to push us into becoming.
Yes the job should evolve, but as with teachers, the basics never get old or outdated.
Learning how to garner information from secondary sources and books, is a skill. I thank Mark Schwartz formerly of West Thomson for all his seminars and training…

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)?

Everything! too many to name.

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

√ Library work experience

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

volunteer AND or do an internship in all libraries. And if you can, try both in corporate and public venues.

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

Try to like what you do! if not Don’t do it.

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, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Library schools need to update the curriculum for children’s and YA librarians

Blumengart School Children 1963

 

This 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 200+ 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)

3

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
√ Programming (Events)
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships
√ Other:  child development; business writing; public speaking; evaluation techniques, including community needs assessments;

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

Evaluation, including the whys and hows of community needs assessments; comfort in outreach to various racial and ethnic groups; public speaking; how to be an effective advocate with elected officials and policy makers, not just the general public who Loves us. (the professional needs more political hacks and I mean this in the best sense of the term)

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)?

How to adapt classroom learning to the policies and procedures of the hiring organization..best practices evolved in the field and evaluated locally or nationally, i.e. ALSC/PLA’s Every Child Ready to Read do not necessarily conform to some outmoded class work.

 

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

√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Other presentation
√ Other publication
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

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

St. Catherine’s University
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Illinois, Champagne Urbana
San Jose State

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

Get involved in your state ALA chapter…great networking opportunities; follow what’s going on in ALA divisions in your area of interest; attend conferences if possible. Initiate a practicum or internship in your area of interest. Sumit an article for publicaton that’s related to your practicum.

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

Library schools need to update the curriculum for children’s and YA librarians. Less focus on programming and more intensive work on project management, budget, grant writing, etc…all the skills a manager needs to be successful.

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Digital Collections and Grant Writing are the biggest.

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:

Public services librarians

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)

4

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

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Library Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction

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

Digital Collections and Grant Writing are the biggest.

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)?

Budgeting and outreach.

 

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

√ Conference presentation
√ Professional organization involvement

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

URI
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?

Do as much hands on work as you can. Put the theory into practice in whatever way you can find-internships, volunteering, part-time work.

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

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

Leave a comment

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

many have applied for a paraprofessional position that specifically noted that MLS holders were not being sought

Lagere school in woonwagenkampThis 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:

general academic librarians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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)

2

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

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Research Methods
√ Reference

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

critical thinking

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 systems, programming languages, acquisitions, outreach, grantwriting

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)?

brick and mortar

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

fully online degree

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

fully comprehend the principles of librarianship and learn how to apply (good) theories; this is what separates professional librarians from paraprofessionals

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

In my locale there seems to be a glut of junior librarians; many have applied for a paraprofessional position that specifically noted that MLS holders were not being sought. I think there’s one or more online college nearby churning out librarians needlessly. On the other hand, it’s very difficult to recruit seasoned librarians with experience under their belts.

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, Academic, Urban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Stay tuned in to what is going on in the profession

Rural school children, San Augustine County, Texas (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a school 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:

Elementary-High school

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?

√ Yes

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
√ Grant Writing
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Research Methods
√ Outreach
√ Marketing

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, lesson planning, adaptation

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

√ Internship or practicum

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

University of North Texas, Texas Women’s University

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

Get internships with Professors, stay tuned in to what is going on in the profession

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

Whats the idea behind all this weeding?

Keene Grammar School Class, Keene New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a person who hires librarians and library technicians for a school library. This individual works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a city/town in Australia/New Zealand.  When asked, “are you a librarian?” this person responded,

just someone who’s been subjected to useless librarians!

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

√ No

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
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ 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?

Practical understanding of library practice and what students require in a school library. (Whats the idea behind all this weeding?)

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)?

Enhance the skills they all ready have. Knowledge of the collection.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Other presentation
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

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, Australia/New Zealand, City/town, School, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School