British Columbia Library Association

Survey question 1: What are the most valuable skills your education provided?

By Various

Here, we saw research and information retrieval and cataloguing jump to the top of the list. Some research and information responses were internet specific, some were broader. We have grouped them together.  

Other common responses receiving votes: Networking (3), business communication (3).

Educational Skills

From Library Technicians: 

> “Database knowledge. How to use all academic and general library use Databases. Also how to use software to code Table of Contents data into the Search Engines of our College.”

> “The fact that I wouldn’t have advanced at the library without the courses is the most valuable part of my lib tech education.” 

> “Thoughtfulness, respect for knowledge, adaptation for a changing social cultural and technological environment with set social mores.” 

> “I am a library technician. The skills that I use the most are: library philosophy and ethics; cataloguing (AACR2; MARC); communication (I still refer to my business communication textbook when needed!); and reference.” 

From Librarians 

> “General knowledge so that I have an understanding of all subject areas. With regards to my library school education, it also taught me general issues in the profession and emphasized that as a professional librarian I had certain values to uphold, defend.”

> “Assuming you are talking about my MLIS, I would say that I made valuable connections with colleagues and received a broader knowledge of librarianship theory and practice than my extensive experience in the field had allowed. Taking courses such as cataloguing and archives for librarians gave me an understanding of areas in which I would likely never be a practitioner but whose work I might supervise.”

> “It helped me to understand the larger scope of the work I was entering. I understood the principles, relationships between concepts and institutions as well as larger trends and changes. It gave me confidence in my decision-making process.”

> “How to manage deadlines on multiple projects at once How to work effectively with other people on those projects How to think abstractly about the organization of information, and then apply it How to teach people and make presentations (written and oral) effectively.”

> “1. Search skills. I took two classes on Search & Retrieval during grad school and they have both been invaluable… command line searching, pearling etc., sourcing authoritative information. 2. Data analysis. Especially the ability to use open government data, import numbers into Excel and chart visually. For presentations, annual reports, to answer questions… My clients and managers love it. 3. For me personally, research methods and design.”

> “An exceptional understanding of Program Planning and Evaluation – was a full semester course in evaluation methods/logic modelling etc. Strong understanding of research methods A strong understanding of database precision/recall and overarching thinking skills to conduct high quality searches Cognitive technology understanding – how humans think when confronted with a computer based system and with something is good or bad. Extends to being able to assess databases and integration products.”

> “It helped me to understand the larger scope of the work I was entering. I understood the principles, relationships between concepts and institutions as well as larger trends and changes. It gave me confidence in my decision-making process.”

> “Solid background in information resources and the ability to conduct an interview. how to get out and make connections and how to use those connections, in other words, practical approach to library science topics rather than theoretical..”

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