YALSA releases updated competencies for youth librarians

Contact: Stephanie Kuenn

Communications Specialist




For Immediate Release

March 4, 2010

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) revised Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Serving Youth, a set of guidelines first published in 2004. The competencies were streamlined and updated to reflect changes in youth services over the past five years. They are available online at

YALSA developed the competencies for individuals and institutions, offering librarians guidelines for providing quality library service in collaboration with teenagers and giving libraries a framework to improve overall service capacities and increase public value to their respective communities,

The competencies are divided into seven areas: leadership and professionalism, knowledge of client group, communication, administration, knowledge of materials, access to information and services.

“The competencies needed to be fine-tuned in order to better reflect the world that teens and teen librarians live in,” said YALSA President Linda W. Braun. “We wanted to provide librarians, administrators, library school educators, library school students, trainers and so on with a document that can easily be incorporated into planning for and evaluating of high-quality teen services.”

The new competencies form the backbone of “Young Adults Deserve the Best:YALSA’s Competencies in Action,"a forthcoming publication from YALSA and ALA Editions, written by Sarah Flowers, who chaired the task force that revised the competencies.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,