This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Northeastern 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?
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Research Methods
√ Information Behavior
√ 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?
People skills, I am tired of running into candidates that went to library school because they like to read books and think that’s all we do. It’s not, and we want people with enthusiasm and technology adaptability.
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)?
-some basic IT
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Library work experience
Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?
Simmons is the closest to me, but it’s a bit of a factory. Drexel has some good people
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Get a full time job and go to school part time.
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