Any who might work in my library.
This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Western 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)
What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?
√ Research Methods
√ Information Behavior
√ Field Work/Internships
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)?
Collection development is very difficult to learn in a course and not many students have experience with it at a library job.
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Library work experience
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Get experience in a library! Through a job or internship — it doesn’t matter. Use that to more deeply examine your coursework. If you are working in a library, then a part-time or distance program is okay. If you are new to libraries and librarianship, it is crucial to have some kind of experience in a library during school.
Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?
If you aren’t willing to re-locate, this is not the field for you.
This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from 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