Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WJ Connects Staff Competencies to Courses

The WebJunction Library Management Competencies index is now available. This is the first in a series of indices that will link WJ course content with the staff competencies identified by several library organization.

Here's the news release about the project:

Seattle, Washington, USA, 3 February 2009—WebJunction has released Library Management Competencies to help current and aspiring library managers be more successful in their job. These competencies, which are available on, include dynamic links to related courses and resources on WebJunction that will build knowledge and skills and increase on-the-job effectiveness. By identifying the key aspects of managing a library and defining the associated knowledge, skills, and behavior, library managers will be able to tailor their personal learning plans to address any gaps in their skills. All WebJunction courses and programs take place within its unique social learning platform, where people come together around course work and content to gain the most interactive learning experience available to library staff anywhere on the web.

“We are thrilled to offer this first set of library management competencies to the library field,” said Betha Gutsche, curriculum manager for the Competencies project, who also serves on the board of Continuing Libraries Education Network and Exchange (CLENE) Round Table of the American Library Association. “We’re eager to learn how library managers begin using the competencies to identify and build the skills they need to manage libraries. As with everything at WebJunction, we welcome input from the library field. Your feedback will help us move forward with implementing new sets of competencies over the coming year.”

There are two paths of discovery from competencies to learning resources at WebJunction. For direct access, go to From this page, you can browse the list of library management competency categories; click the Details & Learning button for each competency statement to see related courses as well as a guide to additional resources available on Also, when browsing the Course Catalog, the details page of any course associated with a competency will link to the associated competencies page.

WebJunction’s library management competencies are the first set to be launched from the full Competency Index, an aggregate of competency statements that cover a broad spectrum of library practice and service. In the coming months, WebJunction will continue to roll out additional sections on the website, and expects to produce the full Index as a WebJunction publication later this year.

The effort began in 2006 when WebJunction, the learning community for library staff, received a Library Skills Training grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant was intended to increase WebJunction’s capacity to meet library organization needs to continually develop staff with essential skills for today’s libraries. As part of this grant, WebJunction staff have worked closely with the originators of many competency sets in the library field, as well as with a cadre of subject-matter-expert reviewers, in order to complete a full Competency Index. Library staff can use the statements to identify skills they should have or want to develop, create job descriptions, or develop training programs.

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