I am slightly reluctant to consider alumni from my library school

New England Girls School, ArmidaleThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

reference, catalogers, digital services, etc.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a city/town 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?

√ Cataloging
√ Metadata
√ Reference

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)?

using specific programs and locally adapted guidelines

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

√ Internship or practicum

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

I am slightly reluctant to consider alumni from my library school which is way more theory than practice and really doesn’t offer much in the way of advanced courses, but I try to keep an open mind. And I don’t think it would help alumni much if I pointed out which school it is!

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

Get as much experience as possible whether it’s an internship or two internships, a job, or through volunteering. Get to know people in the field. It’s a really tough market and chances are, there are 50 other people vying for the same position with a lot more experience.

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

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, City/town, Southern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

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