This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an suburban area in the Midwestern US.
Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?
√ You can’t teach the job skills I need in library school
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
√ Programming (Events)
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: Library maintenance you know how many toilets I’ve unclogged!
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
I really think internships should be required some graduates have not dealt with patrons 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?
√ 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)?
Most things you learned you won’t use!
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)?
Have they worked in a library? Writing papers and presenting is great but do they have experience?
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 in a library!!!! Know if you are a manager of any type you will become a janitor, negotiator, complaint listener 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