Outstanding Library Service to Children: Putting the Core Competencies to Work

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Today public libraries are recognizing children's librarians as professionals in every sense of the word.—Rosanne Cerny, Penny Markey, Amanda Williams from the Preface

What does it truly take to provide excellent library service to children? The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has outlined seven core competencies—skills and best practices that are the building blocks for professional development for children's librarians.

In this practical guide, three children's services experts bring these best practices to life. Each chapter, focusing on one of the competencies, gets new and experienced librarians up to speed fast by offering explanations, examples, and a substantial bibliography for more in-depth learning. Library managers gain training and assessment tools.

Highly skilled children's librarians draw on a wide array of talents to serve the needs of their audience, although few are equally adept in all seven areas. Use this primer to develop and sharpen skills and access resources to improve professionalism and skills in:

  • Knowledge of the client group
  • Administration and management
  • Communication
  • Materials and collection development
  • Programming
  • Advocacy, public relations, and networking

Children's librarians, administrators, trainers, and LIS educators will welcome this professional development mentor that gives them the resources to strengthen the practice of children's librarianship.

Rosanne Cerny

Rosanne Cerny is Coordinator of Children's Services for New York's Queens Library. She holds her MLS from Rutgers University.

Penny Markey

Penny Markey is Coordinator of Youth Services for the County of Los Angeles Public Library. She holds her MSLS from Case Western Reserve University.

Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams, a consultant specializing in youth services, works with the Central Texas Library System. She holds her MLS from the University of North Texas (Denton) and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

For more than eight decades, librarians from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) have intensely scrutinized the children's books published each year, selecting the winning and honor books for the Newbery and Caldecott Awards. In addition, the ALSC division of the ALA is committed to creating a nation of readers, starting with the youngest. ALSC supports all those providing library services to children, including youth librarians, teachers, families, literature experts, publishers, and child advocates.