Competencies: Level I


Philosophy Competencies



A certified library employee is able to:


1. Demonstrate knowledge of the mission and roles of libraries.


2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of a library serving its community.


3. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the broad historical perspective of the library and information professions as well as the tasks of specific positions.


4. Use trend analysis including environmental scanning to identify issues and developments, beyond librarianship/information science, which impact library services.


5. Monitor and respond to trends and developments within the field, including the use of appropriate technology in all library functions.


6. Demonstrate understanding of all functions within librarianship, such as public services, technical services, administrative services and technology, and how these are interrelated with the production, distribution and use of information. (Technology Competency)


7. Demonstrate awareness of and willingness to serve culturally diverse individuals.


8. Demonstrate knowledge of the legal, structural, and regulatory environments of the library, as well as the specific network environments in which the library interacts to enhance resource sharing. (Technology Competency)


9. Demonstrate a basic understanding the role technology plays in the creation, retrieval and delivery of library resources, functions and services. (Technology Competency)


10. Demonstrate knowledge of the appropriate standards for various technologies. Be able to apply the standards and define their value. (Technology Competency)


11. Demonstrate understanding of the library's role and responsibility for introducing applications of technology to the public. (Technology Competency)


12. Demonstrate knowledge and commitment to the ethics and values of the profession, such as those advocated by the Minnesota Library Association and other local, state, national and international professional associations.


13. Demonstrate responsibility for and commitment to self assessment of expertise and conduct; professional development, including continuing education and staff development activities; and, participation in appropriate professional organizations.


Public Service Competencies



A certified library employee is able to:


Public Services Abilities - Administrative and Planning Services


1. Design appropriate programs of service based on community use and needs studies.


2. Market library services.


3. Train or provide for staff training.


4. Explain circulation, intra-library and inter-library loan processes, and illustrate their differences.


5. Explain library copyright requirements. (Technology Competency)


6. Explain federal, state, and local filtering requirements. (Technology Competency) (approved July 23, 2007)


7. Explain reference, information and referrals processes.


8. Explain reader's advisory processes and how it differs from the reference process.


9. Incorporate computer based resources and new technology in library services. (Technology Competency)


10. Demonstrate basic skills in the use of audiovisual equipment. (Technology Competency)


11. Demonstrate knowledge and use of appropriate computer hardware and software applications for library functions and services. (Technology Competency)



Public Service Abilities - Direct User Services


1. Communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds.


2. Assess user needs and work to satisfy those needs.


3. Define and practice quality customer service.


4. Conduct appropriate, effective reference interviews.


5. Use basic reference, information and referral resources. (Technology Competency)


6. Use basic reader's advisory materials.


7. Use the entire library collection to satisfy user requests. (Technology Competency)


8. Is able to fill information needs by using resources beyond the immediate collection.


9. Matches format to the request. (Technology Competency)


10. Instruct users on the use of library materials and equipment. (Technology Competency)


11. Describe how people:


a. communicate needs


b. search for information


c. receive information


Technical Services Competencies


A certified library employee is able to:


Collection Development and Management


1. Demonstrate knowledge of collection development and management based on the needs of the community served.


2. Recommend policies and procedures for selection, acquisition, circulation, maintenance and weeding of library materials.


3. Support community activities with organized and accessible resources.


4. Demonstrate ability to evaluate electronic products and services and make appropriate recommendations for selection. (Technology Competency)




1. Demonstrate knowledge of the publishing industry and vendor markets from which libraries acquire materials, equipment, and services. (Technology Competency)


2. Apply effective procedures for verifying, ordering, receiving orders, resolving problems, and accounting for expenditures. (Technology Competency)


3. Apply effective procedures for handling special materials. (For example serials, electronic resources, and other formats.) (Technology Competency)


Cataloging and Classification


1. Understand the importance of identifying and locating materials in a library with awareness of end-user demands/needs for information.


2. Accurately describe an item to ensure proper access.


3. Select appropriate subject headings and call numbers for proper identification and placement.


4. Adhere to current and appropriate cataloging standards and classification schemes.


5. Be familiar with services to share cataloging information. (For example OCLC, MNLink, Minitex standards.) (Technology Competency)


D. Processing


1. Apply appropriate methods and techniques for accurate physical preparation.


2. Apply appropriate methods and techniques for storage and preservation of materials. (Technology Competency)



E. Automation


1. Demonstrate knowledge of basic computer operations needed to use the local system. (Technology Competency)


2. Incorporate appropriate new technologies into technical services functions. (Technology Competency)



Technology Competencies (approved July 23, 2007)



A certified library employee is able to:


1. Understand technology training techniques by recognizing opportunities to share knowledge and provide appropriate "just in time" training at the point of need. (Patron Training)


2. Understand federal, state, and local requirements for internet and computer use in the library environment. (Policy)


3. Demonstrate a commitment to staying informed about new technologies through e-learning, online social networking, and library publications. (Trends)


4. Is able to communicate a technical problem with hardware and software and is able to communicate effectively with computer technicians for troubleshooting. (Technical Support)


Participants enrolling in the MN Certification Program after July 23, 2007, must complete 55 competencies which include The Technology Competencies 1 through 4 and Public Services A6 Explain federal, state and local filtering requirements.



Approved July 23, 2007 by Certification Oversight Committee.