Take a class or two that you would not normally take

Director of the John F. Kennedy Library Dan Fenn, Jr., 1971This anonymous interview is with an academic public special librarian who has been member of a search committee a human resources professional. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

This librarian in an urban area 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)


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

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: vendors, vendor relationships

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 of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum

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

Take a class or two that you would not normally take. It could broaden your outlook and give you some experience for the future that you had not planned on.

Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?

Some classes should be required in library school: one cataloging class (should you have to catalog anything, ever!); library management- whether it’s a public, academic or special library; collection dev/mgmt- print, media, and electronic PLUS different vendors, relating to vendors, buying savvy; budgeting; supervising 101- you may never be a supervisor but the people skills learned WILL assist you in all relationships.

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 Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

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