Would it make more sense if library science degrees were one year of instruction and one year of experience?
Yes—I think MLS programs should be modeled more after teacher education programs where there is at least an entire semester or year devoted to practice/experience. I know most school librarians have to get through something like that, I have no idea why the rest of the tracks are excluded from mandatory experiential learning.
My practicum was the single most beneficial course I took in library school, and it was optional. It really made me want to spend more time in the classroom reflecting on what I had learned and internalizing everything. Sadly, it was pretty much accepted that the practicum should be your last semester before graduation. How are students supposed to know which courses to take if some (most) of them haven’t even tried those things? With the programs being so short, you can’t take every class, and many students were coming in with limited or no library work experience.