Tutors, Reference Librarians
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Southern 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?
√ Collection Management
Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?
Instruction skills – No gimicky/latest technology skills but solid skills such public speaking, how to explain a database etc.
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 of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?
√ Library work experience
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience
Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?
No preference. Its more about the individual as opposed to a school or program for me.
What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
Take as many classes in as diverse an area as you can. Internships are also extremely helpful and remember to network, network, network. Even if you have library/research experience getting that first library job is going to be the hardest.
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