Continuing education for public library staff: Valued competencies and preferred delivery format

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Date of Original Version



As the nature of public library services expands and transforms, continuing education (CE) for both degreed and non-degreed library staff is critical. An ongoing challenge for the LIS community is to identify the key areas in which to increase professional knowledge and skills. The purpose of this study was to identify what working library staff considered valued competencies for youth services, reference services, director, and non-degreed library staff positions, as well as their preferred delivery format for CE. Open-ended survey activities were conducted via four research sessions, with a total of 57 library staff members participating in the study. The findings from the study suggest that the preferred CE delivery format is low-cost or no-cost, limited-time-commitment workshops with high interactivity. Valued competencies identified in the study indicated interdisciplinary trends of business management skills for library directors; technology skills and diversity/inclusion training for library staff and adult services/reference librarians; and knowledge around child and adolescent cognitive, behavioral, and literacy development for youth librarians. The findings from this study will help inform LIS schools and other CE providers on how best to create and deliver CE that meets the needs of public library staff.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Education for Information