Soft Skills

I’m a big promoter of MLIS students learning hard skills like coding and programming. I think a lot of the aspects of change and innovation in the library is starting to focus on technology and being able to understand programming languages and create using tech skills is a valuable skill to have for the future. Although learning hard skills has been a big focus for me in the LIS program, I think it’s important not to forget the value of soft skills. They are just as important in the realm of 21st century skills as the hard skills. I read an article in Library Journal about soft skills a few weeks ago, and each of the types of skills outlined in the article, communication, initiative, continuous learning, sensitivity and understanding, and professional responsibility, are so important, especially in a field where we interact with people and their information needs on daily basis. Can you imagine crowdsourcing without effective social communication and initiative? So, while I may be a bit of a techie, I do believe having effective soft skills are really important too. Not every job posting for librarianship requires complex tech skills, but every single one of them requires some form of communication and interpersonal skills.

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