ALSC revises “Competencies” document

Contact: Laura Schulte-Cooper

ALSC Program Officer


For Immediate Release

September 22, 2009

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.” They are available online at; click on “Education & Careers” and “Core Competencies” in the left-hand navigation menu.

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.

Effective library service to children entails a broad range of experience and professional skills. The ALSC c
ompetencies seek to define the role of the librarian serving children and touches upon nine knowledge and skill sets: knowledge of client group; administrative and management skills; communication skills; knowledge of materials; user and reference services; programming skills; advocacy, public relations, and networking skills; professionalism and professional development; and technology. The c
ompetencies can be used to develop job descriptions or as a training resource with youth services staff.

As an added bonus to ALSC members, free downloadable versions of the competencies also are available to print for training and workshops. The camera-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 and 2009) by the ALSC Education Committee, and approved by the ALSC Board of Directors at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. For more information about ALSC, visit