Get lots of exposure to the things that you love doing

Australian Institute of Librarians' inaugural meeting at Canberra, August 20, 1937. Photographer A. Collingridge, CanberraThis 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:

Subject Liaisons, Web Designers, Instruction Coordinators, Department Supervisors, Data Specialist

This librarian works at a library with 50-100  staff members in a city/town 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)

4

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

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

Data Management, Grant Writing,

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)?

Collection Management, Library Management

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

√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Professional organization involvement

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

UT Austin
UCLA

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

Drexler University
San Jose State

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

Get lots of exposure to the things that you love doing. Take classes based on your interests and intern at any and every institution type you may want to work at in the future.

Also student organizations are highly recommended as are conferences to meet other librarians.

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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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, City/town, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

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