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

Skills that utilize important aspects of LIS education

Hunting Party at Norderhamn beach near the Cave of Stora Förvar, Stora Karlsö, Gotland, SwedenThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in academic libraries, archives, library vendors/service providers, public libraries, and special libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory, department head.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move

within a commutable distance.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1.Skills that utilize important aspects of LIS education.
2. Salary
3. Location

Where do you look for open positions?

jobs list, blogs, listservs, referrals, email digests

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

30-60 minutes

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be honest in their interview

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Follow-up quicker if the candidate is not a good fit

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

There is no secret. Many factors go into choosing the right candidate

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

Kill Them with Kindness

Hunting Giraffe, Kalahari.' Author of work: Lulu Farini. via National ArchivesThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for less than six months This person is looking in public libraries, at the following levels: department head, senior librarian. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I interned at a HS Media Center and the experience was great, but what really helped me land jobs was the fact that my internship gave me a great reference and the training I received when I was there.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Southern US and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

High Salary, Location, and Responsibilities

Where do you look for open positions?

listservs and local libraries’ websites

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Probably 2 hours or so. I update my resume, cover letter, and let my references know what I am applying for and why. If I get an interview then I put together a portfolio of things that I have done (flyers, programs, bookmarks, etc.) to take on the interview.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Require several references

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Make the application process clear.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Kill them with kindness

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under City/town, Job hunter's survey, Southern US

supportive management (not micromanagement)

Czar Ferdinand hunting (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking in academic and special libraries, for a senior librarian position.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Southern US and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

supportive management (not micromanagement), reasonable funding for professional development (conferences) and non-tenure

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, USA jobs, various listservs

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

reread CV to make certain that I have included any recent State or National conferences, special projects, etc. then attach, along with transcripts. Spend an hour or more tailoring cover letter before attaching

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Being able to present

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

post salary range

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

none come to mind

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under City/town, Job hunter's survey, Southern US

a quick note saying that applications are still being reviewed and that mine hasn’t fallen into the black hole

Hunting party, probably Christchurch district, [ca 1915]This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory.

This job hunter is in an city/town in the Southern US and is willing to move within Texas

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Instruction as a main duty of the position
Colleagues that have a sense of humor
Professional development support

Where do you look for open positions?

Instruction as a main duty of the position
Colleagues that have a sense of humor
Professional development support

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I spend most of my time drafting the cover letter (about an hour). I usually take the job description, review previous cover letters I have written and cut/paste relevant sections and re-draft them to make them relevant for the position I am applying for. I also restructure my resume as applicable.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
√ Other: If the review process is taking longer than expected (a quick note saying that applications are still being reviewed and that mine hasn’t fallen into the black hole)

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Being able to present

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

- Honestly list expectations of someone in the open position. Some institutions have a blanket librarian job description that doesn’t cover actual expectations.
– List a salary range in job postings.
– Advertise the position through professional organizations.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

- Communicate at all stages with applicants.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Not applying for jobs for which you don’t have the qualifications. It bogs down the selection committee unnecessarily, but also wastes your time. And be yourself, it comes out in the interview anyway, so try to portray your personality a little in the cover letter so the interviewers know what to expect and it may help you get to the interview stage in the first place!

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under City/town, Job hunter's survey, Southern US

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