This anonymous interview is with an academic 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:
Public services librarians
This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern 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?
√ Grant Writing
√ Library Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
Digital Collections and Grant Writing are the biggest.
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)?
Budgeting and outreach.
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Conference presentation
√ Professional organization involvement
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?
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Do as much hands on work as you can. Put the theory into practice in whatever way you can find-internships, volunteering, part-time work.
Do you hire librarians? Tell us your answer to, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey