Identification and acquisition of a variety of competencies and proficiencies are integral to professional librarianship. Over the course of a given day, a librarian may be required to write HTML code to correct an entry on a website or blog or may be called upon to offer an evaluation of supporting resources for an unfamiliar subject or discipline.  Delivering high-quality reference interactions requires a broad suite of competencies including interpersonal communication and adherence to the Reference and User Services (RUSA) “Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers” model, which includes five essential elements of the reference interview;

  • approachability,
  • interest,
  • listening & inquiry,
  • searching,
  • follow-up.

Librarians assess the library collection and collaborate with subject faculty on instruction opportunities, collection requests, and weeding initiatives.

Librarians facilitate learning opportunities, design and deliver instruction to classes across disciplines, create marketing materials, troubleshoot technology and computer issues, negotiate with vendors, connect with IT staff, prepare support materials, write policy and procedural manuals, and much more.

I present the core skills and competencies developed through dedicated, determined, collaborative, and consultative work in a variety of environments, with skilled and talented librarians, technicians, and communities of practice.


  • Design and delivery of curriculum-based information literacy and library instruction sessions to college and university undergraduate and graduate students, supporting learning initiatives across subject areas
  • Expert level competencies for the work of collection development including selection, weeding, cataloguing, evaluation, and long-term sustainable planning
  • Exemplary customer service competencies trained for both academic and public libraries
  • Highly developed vendor relationship building skills
  • Comprehensive assessment of users’ information needs and information literacy through reference interviews; identification of appropriate materials, databases and other resources to meet the needs of users of the reference desk, individually, in groups, and in virtual environments; efficient navigation of library catalogues and internet resources
  • Expert exploration of a database through interfaces provided by various vendors: ProQuest, EBSCO, Wily, ISI Web of Science, Gale Group, OVID, Lexus Nexus Academic, JSTOR, CREDO, Project Muse, and many more,  mining for appropriate information resources to meet users’ information needs, including evidence-informed research
  • Awareness of emerging technologies in library systems and trends in reference and research services in academic environments


  • Clear communication, analysis, sound judgment, well-ordered in problem-solving, effective listening
  • Actively pursuit of professional development, high level of investment and ownership of role, accountability, and dependability
  • Exemplary patron service, oriented to understanding and satisfying information needs
  • Commitment to maintaining awareness of trends and ongoing developments in areas related to librarianship
  • Committed to maintaining knowledge of current issues and trends in scholarly communication and the library’s dual role as content access provider and content generator
  • Identification as a change agent and thought-changers
  • Knowledge of established research methods, including bibliometrics
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other units and staff, establishing and maintaining effective working relationships
  • Capability to supervise effectively, including training and motivating staff


  • Delivery of online references services – Meebo, Yahoo chat, MSN, SMS text messages, AskAway, etc.
  • Proficient use of Microsoft Office Suite, Prezi, PowerPoint MIX
  • Competently use of web-based instructional tools – BlackBoard, Moodle, WIMBA, and other polling, social networking and media tools, and integration of Smart Board technologies in instructional sessions
  • Proficient engagement with and contributes to the institutional online electronic community: Yammer, SharePoint, Lync
  • Intermediate competency in the use of web development tools and coding: iCreate, MySQL, HTML


  • Continual refinement of self-motivation strategies and a professional self-reflective practice
  • Identification and adaptation to change; possession of a change-agency perspective on libraries and librarianship
  • Tolerant of ambiguity in an open and neutral manner
  • Able to manage conflict through active listening, enhanced cooperation, acceptance of differences, and creative problem-solving
  • Advocate and supporter of librarianship and library programs and services, professionally, throughout the college community, and externally at conferences and meetings
  • Positive about emerging technologies and exploration of future trends
  • Actively pursuit of professional development opportunities
  • Flexibility, open-mindedness, and the ability to function in a dynamic, rapidly changing environment
  • Tenacious and persistent customer service
  • Student-centred focus on enhancement of user experience
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