We hire generalists – people who can and want to do some of everything.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban 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?
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Other: social media, presentation and public speaking
When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?
√ Other: attributes more important than skills – energy, ambition, positive thinker, lifelong learner (other things being equal)
Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?
local policy; day to day front line management of subordinates; organizational politics
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Create a project you can put your name on and own. Get some kind of experience in the field you want to be in.
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