This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
catalogers, subject specialists
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 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
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Field Work/Internships
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?
√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it
Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?
actual reference interviewing.
Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience
Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?
UIUC, UWashington, UNC-Chapel Hill
Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?
This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!
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