Reference librarians and subject liaisons
This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban 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?
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Research Methods
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
Search strategies and skills in helping users find information
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)?
Software can be learned on the job. Instruction skills can be learned on the job, but candidates must give a simulated instruction as part of the hiring process.
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)?
University of Texas at Austin and other schools who do not rely entirely in online coursework.
Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?
University of North Texas
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Do a practicum or volunteer in a library.
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