CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has released a revised edition of its Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries.
ALSC recommends these core competencies to all children’s librarians and other library staff whose primary duties include delivering library service to and advocating library service for children ages birth to 14.
“These competencies represent the best of ALSC’s knowledge and experience serving children in libraries,” said ALSC President Andrew Medlar. “Thanks to the ALSC Education Committee for putting so much hard work in to this new edition.”
Effective library service to children entails a broad range of experience and professional skills. The ALSC competencies seek to define the role of the librarian serving children and touches upon seven knowledge and skill sets: commitment to client group; reference and user services; programming skills; knowledge, curation, and management of materials; outreach and advocacy; administrative and management skills; professionalism and professional development.
“The ALSC Education Committee thanks everyone who participated in the feedback process,” said ALSC Education Committee co-Chair Nina Lindsay. "Children deserve the highest-quality service and we feel that these competencies create a very high standard for library service to children."
“Any librarian serving youth can use these in their library,” said ALSC Education Committee co-Chair Margaret Tice. “We also encourage the use of these competencies in library science programs that contain youth service classes.”
As an added bonus to ALSC members, free downloadable versions of the competencies also are available to print for training and workshops. The printer-ready PDFs were professionally designed in a booklet format in color and in black and white.
Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries was created (1989) and revised (1999, 2009 and 2015) by the ALSC Education Committee, and approved by the ALSC Board of Directors at the on 2015 American Library Association Annual Conference.