This anonymous interview is with a special 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 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)
What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?
√ Vocabulary Design
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
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 of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?
Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Talk with people in the field you want to go into before starting school. Understand the pay grades that you will be offered upon completion.