[library-media] Competencies for a 21st Century Young Adult Librarian

Juan Lee jtlee at utah.gov
Mon Mar 15 12:03:45 MDT 2010

Greetings Youth Librarians!
Do you find yourself wishing people understood what you do? Do you
sometimes find it hard to articulate the impact you have on kids lives
everyday? Have about communicating the positive impact you have on your
I believe the updated competencies listed below give you some powerful
words and statements to use when you need to convey the difference Youth
Librarians make. As you read each statement, I encourage you to begin
with "Do I..." and take a moment to candidly evaluate your own set of
skills and knowledge. You might discover an area you'd like explore in
more detail as you continue to renew your "professional toolbox" for the
21st century library.
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 www.ala.org/yalsa/competencies.
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
The competencies are divided into seven areas: leadership and
professionalism, knowledge of client group, communication,
administration, knowledge of materials, access to information and
“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, yalsa at ala.org. 

Juan Tomás


Juan Tomás Lee, State Data Coordinator/Library Consultant
Utah State Library Division
250 N 1950 W, Suite A
Salt Lake City, UT 84116-7901
Phone (801)715-6769
Fax (801)715-6767
Toll-free (800)662-9150 ext. 769
jtlee at utah.gov 

Utah State Library Division hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:00
a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and closed on Friday.
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