|NOVEMBER 2001||Volume 3 Number 4|
Linda Williams, Children's Services Librarian
In the fall of 2000, the Division of Library Development of the Connecticut State Library asked all library staff who serve children in Connecticut to complete a survey. The survey was directly based on the Core Competencies adopted by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
In June, at a meeting of the Children's Section of the Connecticut Library Association, highlights from the results of this survey were announced. The study found that at every staff level from library page to library director, providing help to children in answering all kinds of questions, conveying a nonjudgmental attitude, and preserving confidentiality were unanimously considered important aspects of library service to children.
Staff at every level expressed a need for training (those surveyed were asked whether they "felt confident," "needed training," or considered the skill not relevant to their job performance) in identifying clients with special needs and designing and implementing services following the ADA, developing policies and procedures applying to children's services, and working with library educators to meet the needs of library schools students and promoting professional association scholarships.
Children's librarians expressed the strongest need for training in the areas of Administrative and Management Skills, Advocacy, Public Relations, and Networking Skills.
Paraprofessionals found skills in the Knowledge of Client Group, Communication, Providing Customers with Appropriate Materials and Information, and Professional Development the most relevant to them in the performance of their jobs - and skills in the areas of Administrative and Management, Programming, Advocacy least relevant.