ALA Committee on Education seeks feedback on newly revised ALA Core Competences

For Immediate Release
Thu, 06/17/2021


Amber Hayes

Program Officer, Outreach and Communications

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

American Library Association


Library professionals are working in environments fueled by rapid advances in technology, social change, funding challenges, and changing user needs. Therefore, the roles, capabilities, and expectations of library professionals are changing as well. The ALA Core Competences (ALACCs) for library professionals must reflect these changes. Today the American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Education (COE) released a discussion draft of newly revised ALACCs (pdf) for library professionals to guide those who hold LIS degrees on basic competences expected within the first several years of graduation.

"The last revision of the ALACCs was passed by ALA Council in 2009, so this revision is much needed for a profession that is leading and implementing many changes within their communities,” says ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. 

The revised ALACCs draft reflects basic knowledge gained through LIS education, job on-boarding, and ongoing professional development early in a library career. It is essential that library professionals working throughout their careers in school, academic, public, special, and governmental libraries be life-long learners to acquire specialized and advanced knowledge beyond those specified in this ALACCs document.

The ALACCs are not intended as a prescriptive document for library school curriculum development but can be used to inform LIS curriculum. Early career library professionals may consider viewing the ALACCs as a list of goals that they should aim to achieve through their LIS education and early years of on-the-job experience. Members of library middle- and upper-management should view the document not as a list of expectations for new hires, but instead as a list of skills that they can support their employees to work toward.

The draft ALACCs document is the first iteration of the ALACCs which intentionally incorporates the concepts of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion both throughout the competences and in a separate competence. Embedding social justice throughout the competences demonstrates that it is not a siloed activity while having a separate social justice competence also recognizes that it contains unique attributes over and above the other competences.  

The draft ALACCs document will be vetted, discussed, and further edited based on ALA member feedback throughout the remainder of the 2021 calendar year. Several members of the team that worked on the revised ALACCs will discuss the document and invite input into the draft at the 2021 ALA Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 27th from 1:30-2:30 p.m. CDT. There will also be additional webinars to solicit member feedback, as well as a feedback survey that may be submitted anytime before the end of the calendar year. Dates and times of additional feedback sessions as well as a link to the feedback survey are found on the ALACCs draft document website. The goal is to incorporate the feedback early in 2022 in time for ALA Council to vote on the revised document at Annual 2022.


About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.