Learn about instruction – this is absolutely required for any public services academic job

New York Public Library Central Information, n.d.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:

Public Services (reference & instruction)

This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in an urban area in the Western US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Other: You can’t teach the job skills I need in library school

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

2

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Instructional design, assessment, ability to conduct research

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)?

local practices/policies and subject specific resources

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

no preference as long as the coursework lines up with what we’re hiring

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

online only schools with no coursework in desired areas

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Learn about instruction – this is absolutely required for any public services academic job

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses to this survey, or specific analysis of the responses discussing online school, the amount of coursework students should take, and preferences/reluctances for candidates from certain schools.

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!

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1 Comment

Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, Urban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

One response to “Learn about instruction – this is absolutely required for any public services academic job

  1. I actually think learning about instruction is priceless if you want to get into ANY library job. You never know what sort of library you’ll end up working at or what their structure will be…and even more behind the scenes positions could be called upon for instruction duties. That’s how it is at my library.

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