Tag Archives: librarians

Best methods for collection development for the community

Keene Grammar School Class, 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:

Director and Children’s Librarian

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a rural 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
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ 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?

Budgeting/Fundraising/Grantwriting
Library management; particularly with supervisory skills

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

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

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

How to apply theory in the exact setting – tailoring programming to specific audiences, the best methods for collection development for the community, 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?

Not schools, but any primarily online courses make me pause

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

Volunteer or work in an actual library

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 0-10 staff members, Northeastern US, Public, Rural area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Push (hard and quickly) beyond your love of books and personal nostalgia about libraries

Work with schools story hour in the open, librarian and ch...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:

Instruction/Information literacy, Cataloging, Media services

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?

√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Outreach
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations
√ Portfolio/ePortfolio
√ Field Work/Internships

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

Emotional intelligence, demonstration of knowledge of pedagogy and teaching skills, strategic planning, project management, assessment and data analysis, leadership skills (not the same as the bullet selection above called Library Management)

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)?

Exposure to software and applications are nice, but competency is built using them in the specific context of the practice of a particular library/institution.

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

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

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

Indiana University-Bloomington, Syracuse University, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, UIUC

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

University of Wisconsin- Madison

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

Push (hard and quickly) beyond your love of books and personal nostalgia about libraries. Find your professional voice. Build competency with assessment and data analysis. Practice talking to people outside librarianship about what you do– using *their* frames of reference.

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

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

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: LisList

Ever wished for a REALLY BIG LIST of LIS jobs?  Look no further than LisList.  Keep reading to learn more.


lislist

What is it?  Please give us your elevator speech!

LisList is a list of U.S. library jobs, updated daily.  It includes public, academic, school, and special library jobs.  We are especially interested in  those that require an MLS or equivalent.

 When was it started?  Why was it started?

It started in February 2014, so it’s brand new.  It was started to fill what we saw as a gap in the job search resources available for librarians.  There are a number of good sites that offer articles and advice, and some of them include job listings by state or specialty, or job listings submitted by employers .  But other than LisList, there is no clearinghouse with one big list of jobs (like the one Lisjobs featured in its heyday).

Who runs it?

Amadee Ricketts, a youth services librarian from Colorado, and James Orndorf, a photographer who happens to be married to a librarian.

 Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?

We are definitely not career experts, but we’re good at making lists.

 Who is your target audience?

Librarians, aspiring librarians, and library workers.

 What’s the best way to use your site?  Should users consult it daily?  Or as needed? Should they already know what they need help with, or can they just noodle around?

The list grows every day, but users can check it out as needed.

Does your site provide:

Job listings

Should readers also look for you on social media? Or is your content available in other formats? 

√ Twitter: @theLisList (highlights a Job of the Day)

√  Tumblr: http://lislist.tumblr.com (highlights a Job of the Day)

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No.

Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using your site?

Not yet, but hopefully in the future.

Anything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?

Nope.

Do you run a web resource focused on LIS jobs or careers?  Or is there one you’d like to know more about?  Email me a hiringlibrariansATgmail to suggest a site for the Job Hunter’s Web Guide.

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Filed under Job Hunters Web Guide

You need to follow Strunk & White’s rules for parallel construction. FYI.

View of a Pine Crest School student reading in the library Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1966 or 1967This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring committee, and a library director.  This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members.

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

Ability to do the work, willingness to be a part of a team, and excellent rapport with the patrons we serve.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

No, not really, but if an application is riddled with typos, grammatical errors and the like, I’m going to knock it out of th [response ends here].

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

I don’t know. I get kind of tired of seeing lists of classes that the applicant took in library school, but I can see where others would find that valuable.

I will say that if you’re using bullet points (and if it’s a resume, you are) then you need to follow Strunk & White’s rules for parallel construction. FYI.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

If it’s an academic library gig, *everything* goes on the CV.

Library schools need to stop advising graduates to use 2-page resumes. Applicants should be more interesting than can be detailed in just two pages.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ As many as it takes, but shorter is better

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, I want to look at every accomplishment

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ Other: I have no preference as a hiring agent, but I recommend PDF so the applicant can “lock down” the formatting to their tastes.

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ I don’t care

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

I don’t know. I think this question assumes that there *is* such a thing as winning someone over, and I’m not sure that’s really true.

That said, acting like you have a big ol’ stick up your butt will almost certainly have the opposite effect, so there’s that.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

In the past, the directors before me just hired whomever they wanted. I wanted more voices in on the decision, so I always charge a search committee to recruit some candidates, rank their capabilities, and give me some options in hiring. Making the process a collaborative one is the right way to go.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Interviews go both ways. It’s as much about finding the right fit for you as us finding the right applicant.

Be patient. The right job is very much worth every bit of your patience in finding it.

Do you hire librarians?  Share your perspective with job hunters by taking this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibsurvey

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

Help Wanted

Hey, I’m back!

You may not have noticed, as I had posts scheduled to run automatically, but I spent most of February ignoring this blog.  It was great!  I did all sorts of cool things like going on long bike rides on weekends, and sitting and watching movies without the presence of my laptop.

bicycling

The thing that it made clear is that I’m no longer interested in spending such a large chunk of my time on this blog.

I started this blog when I was unemployed and had more time.  I’m not unemployed anymore, I have an interesting, permanent-with-benefits position, and another job as an on-call librarian.  My career is in such a place that I’m less interested in the process of becoming librarians, and more interested in the work of being librarians.  And being able to do non-library things and achieve some sort of, you know, work-life balance, is actually pretty important to my continued enthusiasm for libraries.

However, I’m not quite ready to kill this blog yet.

I’m wondering if there might be a few of you out there who are willing to share the work with me.  What’s primarily needed is people to transcribe the completed surveys.  They are in an Excel spreadsheet, and need to be re-written into blog format.  Are you interested?  If so, please fill out this form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ipbkNNJjUd-EgwMbnK5Buks82vYoUNlivV2iy0_GYZU/viewform

Oh yeah and

Your Monthly-ish Reminder:

Have you been on a library interview recently?  Or are you prepping for one?

Sounds like you could use The Interview Questions Repository!

If you’ve had a library interview recently, help this resource grow by reporting the questions you were asked:

http://tinyurl.com/interviewquestionsform

or by sharing this link widely with your friends and colleagues.

If you are about to go on an interview, use the spreadsheet:

http://tinyurl.com/InterviewQuestionsRepository

to help you prepare.

Top tip: Switch the spreadsheet to list view, in order to be able to limit by answers – you can choose to only look at the phone interviews at public libraries, for example.

Bottom tip: For respondents, you should be able to edit your answers, if you think of something to add, etc.

You will also always be able to find these links in the sidebar to your right —>

If you’d like to respond to any other surveys, or otherwise participate in this blog,

this page

will give you links and options.

Thanks for reading, readers!  Thanks for contributing, contributors!

If you think a repository of questions  that people have been asked in library interviews is a useful tool, please help keep it dynamic and relevant by sharing this post with at least one person today.  Thanks!

YOUR PAL,

EMILY

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Filed under News and Administration, Op Ed

Everything we do here is based on understanding those MARC records

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

Catalogers, Children’s Librarians, Reference Librarians.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Outreach
√ Marketing

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

In this day and age, librarians need public speaking skills!

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

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

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

The ins and outs of our particular ILS

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)?

We have 2 library schools nearby (UNT and TWU) and we have noticed that the UNT students have more of a technical edge.

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

No, it matters not. Each candidate is judged on their own merits.

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

I would suggest that all students take a cataloging class. Some schools apparently do not require it. Meanwhile everything we do here is based on understanding those MARC records. Also, we need people who are comfortable speaking to groups, so any form of public speaking opportunity should be taken.

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.

Leave a comment

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

Get a job in a library.

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:

Young Adult, Reference, paraprofessional.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 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?

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

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

4

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

√ Cataloging
√ Vocabulary Design
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Portfolio/ePortfolio
√ Field Work/Internships
√ Other: Doing a storytime, not storytelling (puppets, flannel boards, songs, games, etc.)

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

They don’t know how to plan. They don’t understand the need to publicize programs and events (or how to go about it). They don’t know the ins and outs of 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?

√ 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 do a reference interview.

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 a job in a library.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Public, Southern US, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Discipline or security issues, information privacy, working with police

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:

All public library employees.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area Midwestern 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?

√ Vocabulary Design
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ 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?

Practical skills: How to communicate with patrons, social service needs of some patrons, discipline or security issues, information privacy, working with police, basic computer skills/knowledge.

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: Practical experience

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

Working together as a team, accomplishing goals, budget maintenance, programming, building community.

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?

Volunteer at a library or get some intern 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.

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

They’re stitched up tight with theory, but have no real grasp of practical applications

Keene High School, (Keene Academy), 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:

Those interested in digitization or digital preservation.

This librarian works at a library with 200+ 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)

3

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

√ Cataloging
√ Metadata
√ Field Work/Internships

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

I primarily deal with SI students coming from our university, and they’re stitched up tight with theory, but have no real grasp of practical applications. They’ve read about metadata, but have never tried to put data into any schemas, manipulate the data, or work with it in databases (on or offline). They know the theories of digitization, but have no experience performing digitization. Those who work with web applications understand the concepts of information presentation and how people learn, but haven’t worked with programmers, server admins, or 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)?

The in’s and out’s of each particular job: how each organization works; who does what; the network setup; how to use particular equipment and software; the preferences of each organization in choosing the materials they work on and the volume of work they do.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation

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

Actively seek out internships or work-study/wage positions in libraries or academic units that are doing the work you would like to do. Real world experience is invaluable for your education, as it gives context to your theory, and makes you a more viable candidate.

Also, learn as much as you can about everything you can. Even if you dislike metadata, be sure to know schemas and how to work with some, because that knowledge may be the difference between you and some other candidate.

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

I didn’t see any questions or options in any comments regarding computer/network skills, which are enormously valuable to the work I do. Familiarity is good, advanced computer usage is invaluable. Some candidates feel that knowing how to work office computers and web applications will suffice; it will not.

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.

Leave a comment

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

everyone has a slightly different take, especially in archives

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:

Archivists

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)

3

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

√ Cataloging
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ 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)?

I expect to train on how we do description since everyone has a slightly different take, especially in archives.

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

√ Student organization involvement

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

Make as many personal / professional connections as possible.

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.

Leave a comment

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