This 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:
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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?
Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)
What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?
√ Collection Management
√ 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)?
Programming competency, interacting with children and/or patrons
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?
Get practical experience!!!!! Do an internship or practicum, do volunteer work, etc. When hiring children’s librarians I particularly look for candidates who have had some experience working with children.
This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!