How all parts interconnect — perhaps something learned in the real world.

School Children in Keene New Hampshire2This anonymous interview is with a special 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:

Librarians and library assistant

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a city/town 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)

3

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

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Marketing
√ Instruction

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

General overall understanding of libraries and how all parts interconnect — perhaps something learned in the real world.

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)?

Reference interview techniques, how our reference sources work, cost recovery

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

√ Library work experience

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

Take practical courses and do work study

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

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, City/town, Southern US, Special, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

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