Outreach and children’s librarians.
This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a suburban area in the Western 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?
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Field Work/Internships
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
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)?
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?
None. Only experience in libraries give candidates an edge.
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Try to get a job or volunteer in a library. That’s where you get your knowledge and practice. Library school is another way of wasting time and money. Librarians should be formed in the library environment and not in school.
Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?
I know many people who are efficiently in charge of libraries and don’t have a library degree. It shouldn’t be necessary.
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