This anonymous interview is with a special librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
Reference librarians, library technicians, cataloguers, metadata specialists.
This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in Canada
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?
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Field Work/Internships
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
Basic knowledge of statistics, either in terms of scrutinising data for client research or library management purposes.
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)?
None. Hires should be ready to go on day one.
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?
University of Toronto
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Outside work experiences and internships are key. I don’t give coursework or on-campus student jobs much value.
Do you hire librarians? Tell us your answer to, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey
This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!