Get Involved in Several Ways

School Children in Keene New Hampshire2This 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, outreach, reference, public services in general

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban 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?

√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Research Methods
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ 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)?

our methods and approach to teaching; our communication and culture; our project and group work style

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

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

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

UNC; Illinois; Wash U

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

San Jose

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

Get involved in several ways – internships, student organizations, attend conferences. I like to see someone who has eagerly jumped into the profession already.

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

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

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