Youth Services

Updated October, 2012

These competencies are for support staff working in a public library in service to youth, from birth through age seventeen.  Services to youth include collection development, programming, providing readers’ advisory and reference services, and teaching information literacy skills and related activities.

  1. Library Support Staff (LSS) understand the library’s role in meeting the needs of all youth, including those with special needs and from diverse backgrounds.
  2. LSS have a general understanding of the stages of childhood and adolescent development, and strategies to support the literacy skills of all youth.
  3. LSS are familiar with print and digital library resources for youth, including award winners and classics,  and assist with selecting resources for a youth collection.
  4. LSS select appropriate materials for a particular youth, based on factors such as reading level, interest, and level of maturity.
  5. LSS are familiar with the best internet sites for youth, rules for safe navigation, and technological applications for youth.
  6. LSS understand and can explain the legal and policy issues, including the rights of minors, regarding youth services in libraries.
  7. LSS understand and apply customer service strategies to encourage library use, establish a welcoming atmosphere, and maintain a safe and comfortable environment for all youth,  their parents, and other caregivers.
  8. LSS communicate effectively with youth, their parents and other caregivers, other library staff, and the personnel of organizations serving youth.
  9. LSS assist with creating, promoting, implementing, and evaluating library programs and services.
  10. LSS understand the value of cooperating with schools and other organizations  and  work with them to serve the community’s youth.
  11. LSS understand and apply the best practices for providing reference services for youth and refer to a librarian when appropriate.
  12. LSS instruct youth how to use library materials, resources, and equipment.

Youth Services 2012 (Word Document version)

Youth Services 2012 (PDF version)