Library schools should spend more time on handling cuts to library budgets.

N.S.W Primary Schools' Rugby Leauge Football Team v Queensland Brisbane, 1932This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Branch Manager
Youth services/computer classes instructor

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Mid-Atlantic US.

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)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships
√ Other: HR employee rights and personnel policy

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Engaging the communities
Collaboration with other agencies
Focus on teen programming

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 it

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Procedures specific to my system
ILS of particular system
time records

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Other: know how to do cataloging, circulation , collection development

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

UNC-G
UNC-CH

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

NCCU

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

get a part time job in a library – any library

Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?

Library schools should spend more time on handling cuts to library budgets. I see many MLIS managers not doing anything because they do not know what to do.
Accounting, projections and coming up several different budget options yields the best outcomes.

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

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, Rural area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

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