Public librarians – children’s, information, housebound services, adult services
This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in Australia/New Zealand.
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?
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Research Methods
√ Information Behavior
√ Field Work/Internships
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
Often the focus is on best practice for the profession, but little to address the gap that lies between this best practice and the realities of the industry. Change management and the ability to implement innovation are vital skills for the future of the profession.
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)?
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
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?
Do what you have do to pass, but go out there and get as much experience as you can in the field, even if you have to volunteer to get it.
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