What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?
"Do not go to library school. Librarianship is a dying profession. But if you are going to go, get as much technology training as you can and get a wide array of experiences in a library so you know what you want to do and have a better understanding of how libraries work."
So basically this whole interview is saying their candidates lack technology skills and library schools don’t teach anything useful. Alright. But instead of telling us not to go to library school, maybe you should encourage us to go to library school, learn from the experience (even if all we learn is that things need to change) and then work to MAKE the changes?
Not to mention ‘technology skills’ doesn’t tell me much. What do you want me to bring to the table? I’d already be concerned entering a library work environment where my superiors think that librarianship is dying and that makes me wonder if you want me to come in with programming skills or just be able to fix the jammed printer. Is there any support for innovative thinkers or is it seen as a waste of time? Are the librarians there just holding things together or trying new things?
It’s food for thought, certainly. I actually appreciate this person’s candor, though like you, I’m frustrated by the vagueness: Okay, if not library school, then what?
I’d say reports of the profession’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
While I think it’s becoming clear that a master’s degree to begin your library career (the way I did) is becoming less and less necessary, I don’t think that translates to “Librarianship is dying.” It just means that an old tradition about entering the professionis dying off.
It just means that librarianship is evolving— possibly to a point where the master’s degree may become less necessary unless you want to go into administration. I still think training in librarianship principles is necessary,but I wonder if it couldn’t be done instead with certification programs, or apprenticeships, in addition to a master’s level education. Since a lot of library work like acquisitions or cataloging or ILL is specific to the individual library, an apprenticeship may go a lot farther in teaching the “technology skills” that are so necessary, and allow for practical application of important concepts.
If someone mentions interest in librarianship as a career to me these days, I typically recommend that they seek out library work first, and then, if they find that they like the work and want to advance, look into library school.
Takeaway: Librarianship is dead; long live librarianship.
Yes, much of this.