children’s librarians, catalogers, reference librarians, outreach librarians, technology
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a city/town in the Southern 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?
√ Collection Management
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
Soft skills, outreach, reader’s advisory
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
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Use/visit as many different kinds of libraries as possible,
Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?
You really have to LOVE public service and have lots of patience to go into Public Libraries as a specialty…it’s NOT about loving books or loving to read.
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