reference librarians, archivists
This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area 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)
What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Information Behavior
√ Field Work/Internships
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
critical thinking; basic “how to be an employee” skills (many, many have never held a job before).
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)?
reference interview skills, customer service skills, project management skills
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Internship or practicum
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience
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?
Get some real library experience thru a graduate assistantship or a PT library job (especially if you’ve never held a job). If these aren’t available to you, volunteer at a library.
Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?
stop tracking on library type and start offering skills tracks that focus on the commonalities in all library types.
Public service skills: reference, marketing/outreach, web/social media, instruction, project management, instruction, etc
Collection management and organization skills: cataloging, archive development, electronic resource selection (evaluation, license negotiation), project management, etc
Administration/management skills: project management, basic budgeting, grant writing, policy development, supervision, etc.
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