Reference, Instruction, Cataloging, Archives
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?
√ Field Work/Internships
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
How to teach library skills in a one-shot setting, how to write a peer-reviewed article.
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)?
Things that are specific to my library and not all libraries in general. Such as: where things are located in the building, the policies and procedures for my library, the organization of my library. These will be different for each library.
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)?
Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?
No, as long as it is accredited by the ALA.
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Get real world experience.
Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?
Work in a library, get experience, even if it is volunteer experience. I got my job based on my volunteer work at a library.
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