I would still hire an online-degreed person if they had the right mix of personality and experience

Alstead School House and Students, Alstead, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

LIS professionals include 1 each of director, public services librarian and technical services librarian

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in Texas.

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?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Marketing
√ 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 of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Professional organization involvement

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

Haven’t had the opportunity to hire enough MLS/MIS candidates to know

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

Prefer someone who attended graduate school in person over and online degree, but would still hire an online-degreed person if they had the right mix of personality and experience.

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

Get some practical experience in as many types of libraries as can, or if you know which type of library you want to work in, then concentrate on that. There is no substitute for exposure to real-life experiences with actual libraries and their varying populations served.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.