Are we taught what we need?

Since I live in Vermont I decided to look at the job openings in the state.  I found this listing for a Bibliographic Database Coordinator.  Of note, it is only a part-time position.

http://www.vermontlibraries.org/bibliographic-database-coordinator-vermont-state-colleges-montpelier-vt

The qualifications section is as follows: Masters degree in Library Science with additional expertise in IT desirable, plus one to two years of experience in library technical services. Teaching and training experience. Planning, writing and organizational skills. Experience with CSS, responsive web design, HTML 5.

The Tzoc reading generally seemed to find LIS schools matched up with the skills required by most job postings.  Looking over job postings however it is hard to feel as positive.  I still have a year left before graduation and I wonder how I will master all of the necessary tech skills.  One of the questions by our discussion leader was how we feel about our UW training.  I can say in my first two years my knowledge of technology has expanded, however I wish my hands on skills with technology was greater.  I have often reflected that I should have gone back to school to obtain a degree in computer science.  There is a reason many jobs note a desire for continued professional development is important.  Personally I am already planning on taking some of UW’s continuing education classes on XML & RDA next year even before I finish up my degree.  I am torn how I feel about having to take continuing ed classes while still in school in order to gain the skill set I feel I need.  I think the more tech programs taught by LIS schools the better off the profession will be.  We all spoke earlier in the semester on the divide between librarians and IT departments.  LIS schools have a chance to create a group of IT professionals who view issues from a library perspective.

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5 responses to “Are we taught what we need?

  1. I guess the frustration might have come from the overwhelming of so many buzz words. In fact, no undergraduate or graduate program can teach everything specified in job postings. Formal education just equips us the capability to learn new things by ourselves. Even for computer science graduates, they have to pick up industry-specific knowledge by themselves, and they usually eyewitness several cycles of technology evolution in their life time. I think it is a good idea to take courses in continuing education because computer science academic programs basically won’t teach those stuff.

  2. I am in complete agreement with hsikaiyang… we learn lots of buzzwords that feel like separate buckets during our training, but when it comes right down to it, many o f the technologies have significant overlap. The most important thing seems to be to pay attention and to be willing to give it a try.

  3. I will agree with the number of buzzwords that are tossed our way during training. Of course, one then wonders how many of those buzzwords are just tossed into job postings.

  4. I felt the same way. With the limit on the number of classes we can take outside of the required classes, it’s difficult to really get what you want out of SLIS. I am taking extra classes while working full time before I graduate in order to get the most out of SLIS, but I’m also doing things in my free (ha!) time. I use CodeAcademy and Lynda.com to expand my skills and to try things out without the pressure of an assignment or a grade.

  5. I agree with all the comments here – it really is almost impossible to come out of an LIS program with complete experience in every single area. I’ve definitely taken the route of using work experience to fill in the gaps, and I’ve gotten a lot out of it so far. I highly recommend this approach!

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