Do you have a graduate student job opening for an MLS student to come to work in your health sciences library?
Are you getting low numbers of applicants and wondering about what would attract more graduate students to the position?
I was in a similar position in 2019 when trying to hire MLS graduate students to work at the Strauss Health Sciences Library. These questions led to my RTI study that looked at MLS student experiences with graduate employment broadly (which you can find the results of in the Journal of Library Administration), and then more specifically, at interest in health sciences employment positions. The most recent results “Graduate library student interest in health sciences graduate employment positions: A think aloud study” are now available in the Journal of Academic Librarianship. So, if you are interested in knowing more about what MLS graduate students are looking for from graduate employment in libraries, we have some practical suggestions for you.
Through a series of think-aloud interviews with eighteen MLS students, we tried to understand what factors are important for MLS students in deciding about graduate employment in a library and what they understand about graduate employment positions in health sciences libraries. Participants read through four real position descriptions for graduate employment in the health sciences library and talked us through what they understood the jobs to be. Additionally, we asked all the participants whether or not they had considered health sciences librarianship before as a career.
Results provided insight into what makes positions attractive to students. You can find information about what students think about the position titles used, their levels of interest in different job duties, what drives them to apply (or not apply) to positions, and their overall interest in health sciences librarianship. Talking with these students was very informational – hopefully, you think so too if you are in a position to create or hire graduate student employees in your health sciences library.
*Christi Piper, is a 2020 Fellow and 2023 Peer Coach of the MLA Research Training Institute (RTI) This project was the focus of her research. The RTI project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (RE-95-17-0025-17).