Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Why Are We Doing What We Are Doing? #alsc18 #act4kids

Amber Holley and Rebekah Mitchell of the Jacksonville Public Library shared their insights and experiences of preparing staff to implement intentional programming, to answer “why are we doing what we are doing?”

In their library system, training and a continuous improvement cycle are key. To support educational success of their youth, they, along with other community organizations that serve youth, developed a list of core academic skills that include literacy;  problem solving; creativity and innovation; teamwork and collaboration; and communication and connectivity. I am still wrapping my head around everything they do. The biggest take-away I had is the commitment to coaching. Amber remarked, “where we are is often very good, but where we are going will be even better.”

Check out for program outcome plans they have developed and used along with observation/coaching forms. The goals behind the coaching and training are to set expectations, build relationships, and establish a culture of improvement. Their coaching sessions are twice a year with each youth librarian and not tied to performance reviews. It is indeed time intensive but what an opportunity to encourage growth.

Thanks to them both for such a great presentation.

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: III. Programming Skills and VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.

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