cataloguers, reference librarians
This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in Canada.
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
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
Financial management/budgeting, grant writing, project management, leadership, change management, negotiation,
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
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience
Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?
None – all library schools are the same
Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?
No – all library schools are the same
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
get management skills – you will be managing people
Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?
You will become managers – library schools are not developing managers with change and leadership skills. This is the reality of libraries in North America.
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