Core Competencies

This toolkit originates from the Health Sciences Information Consortium and is in the process of being adapted and updated by the CHLA/ABSC Standards Standing Committee.

Competent staff is a key input to any program or service. When new staff are hired, competencies must be identified that are required for the activities and outputs of the position. For current staff, competencies must be evaluated and monitored. Opportunities for professional development, both formal and informal must be provided.

Defining and making others aware of our core competencies helps us to promote our skills and the value we offer our organizations. Incorporate core competencies when writing job descriptions or hiring, and include them when monitoring and planning for professional development. Exploit those competencies that staff have demonstrated – it could lead to new services, new products, or new ventures.

Example: Core Competencies from CARL

Holistic Compendium of Core Competencies from CARL Report (Canadian Association of Research Libraries). Emphasis depends on position. For Research Librarians, but adaptable. An additional competency implicit in these is service delivery orientation.

  1. Foundational Knowledge – Know your Subject Area, your Organization, the Extra-institutional Environment, etc.
  2. Interpersonal Skills – Adaptability, Communication, Change Management, Advocacy, Marketing, Decision Making, etc.
  3. Leadership & Management – Financial Management, Project Management, Risk Management, etc.
  4. Collections Development – Digital Curation, Collection Management,  Publishing Cycle, etc.
  5. Information Literacy – Reference Services, Learning & Teaching, Critical Thinking, Patron Engagement, etc.
  6. Research & Contributions to the Profession – Research & Publications, Conferences, Professional Associations, etc.
  7. Information Tech Skills – e-Resource Management, Emerging Web Technologies, ILS, Database Management.