Library DrawingThe CONNector

JULY 2000Volume 2 Number 3

Children's Services Competency Survey

Susan Cormier, Director
Willimantic Library Service Center

"Effective library service for children entails a broad range of experience and professional skills. The librarian serving children is first of all fully knowledgeable in the theories, practices, and emerging trends of librarianship but must also have specialized knowledge of the particular needs of child library users." This opening sentence from Competencies for Librarians Service Children in Public Libraries defines the large range of skills and knowledge needed for competent children's services work. Much of this learning occurs in library school. However there is a constant need for children's staff to update skills and practice based on new research, and to learn in subject areas not covered by the library school curriculum. High quality, competency based continuing education is necessary to ensure excellent library service for children.

The Division of Library Development's long range plan calls for identification of core competencies in key areas such as children's services, information services, information technology, and management. These competencies will be used to assess training needs and design appropriate educational opportunities. The Structure and Policy Task Force of the Advisory Council on Library Planning and Development (ACLPD) developed a system for encouraging and recognizing library staff training. Continuing Library Education Certificates will be awarded to staff who participates in high quality, competency based training.

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries, a nationally recognized document used to define the role of librarians serving children is being sent, in survey form, to all children's librarians in the state. The survey results will provide the basis for training in the most needed competencies.

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