A lot (perhaps most) of a job can be learned AT the job

Sydney Primary Schools (N.S.W Rep. Team), 1922 who beat Q'ld [Queensland] Reps. 2 Matches to 1This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee.

This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

varies

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 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?

√ 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?

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Outreach
√ Field Work/Internships

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

An understanding of the history of the book and the history of the profession, an ability to catalog, and experience in providing actual services (of any type) to patrons.

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 coursework 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)?

Depends on the position – a lot (perhaps most) of a job can be learned AT the job, assuming the candidate has a sufficient capacity to learn. This is something that can not be assumed judging by the caliber of students accepted to library schools.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement

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

Ensure that they are benefitting from their internships. So many are unpaid today, and it is unfortunate that some of these unpaid positions do not even attempt to prepare students for professional positions.

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 100-200 staff members, Northeastern US, Public, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

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