ALA defines core competences of librarianship

Contact: Lorelle Swader


(312) 280-4278


For Immediate Release,

February 24, 2009

CHICAGO - At the American Library Association (ALA) 2009 Midwinter Meeting in Denver, the ALA Council passed a resolution defining the core competences of librarianship.

The core competences document represents the work of a special Presidential Task Force on Library Education and builds on the efforts of several previous groups.

The document defines the basic knowledge to be possessed by all persons graduating from an ALA-accredited master’s program in library and information studies. Librarians working in school, academic, public, special and governmental libraries will need to acquire special knowledge beyond that specified in the resolution.

It states that everyone graduating from an ALA-accredited master’s program in library and information studies should know and, where appropriate, be able to employ:

  • Foundations of the Profession.
  • Information resources.
  • Organization of recorded knowledge and information.
  • Technological knowledge and skills.
  • Reference and user services.
  • Research.
  • Continuing education and lifelong learning.
  • Administration and management.

The core competency requirements stress the role of library and information professionals in promoting democratic principles and intellectual freedom, knowing and applying the legal framework guiding libraries and information agencies – including laws relating to copyright, privacy, freedom of expression, equal rights and intellectual property – and attaining competency in identifying and analyzing emerging technologies and innovations.

To learn more about the core competences of librarianship, please visit:

Core Competences Web site

ALA's Core Competences of Librarianship (.pdf)