This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires “all” types of LIS professionals.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern 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?
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
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
Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?
Organizational procedures and specific software packages.
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Scholarly publication
√ Other: Depends upon type of library
Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?
University of Pittsburgh, Michigan, Drexel
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 a balanced education so you have a base knowledge in a variety of subjects to supplement your focus area.
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