Tips from Candidates

We contacted LSSC candidates who have prepared portfolios and asked them for their advice to you.  This is what they said:

Candidate 1 said:

 “One tip I would suggest to possible portfolio preparers:  After you have made your decision to do a portfolio, do not let the size of the task discourage you.  Take it one competency at a time.  Pick the one you are the most sure of and do that one first—it will give you confidence.  If you get stuck on one competency, set it aside and work on another in that competency set.”

Candidate 2 said:

“Before starting any portfolio work for a competency set, make an initial read-through of ALL the individual competencies within that set to get a feel for how you want to plan your approach of demonstrating your knowledge for each one, and in what order would make the most sense for you.  (Personally, I just started with the 1st one and did them in order to the last.)

1) Focus on only ONE individual competency at a time – don’t let the rest scatter your thoughts while pouring effort into any one.

2) Pay CLOSE ATTENTION to what is considered a Primary documentation, and a Secondary documentation.”

Candidate 3 said:

My tips to future candidates would be:

  1. Establish a network of library staff in local libraries in surrounding areas to have a means for gaining experience when needed.
  2. Create a collage that can be easily and quickly shared for social networking.
  3. After choosing which PDS to accomplish, make a plan to accomplish the learning experience.  This may require contacting the network of library staff for appointments, interviews, or volunteering.
  4. Keep in mind any older experiences may need updating or re-evaluated if it is being actively used.
  5. Plan, plan, plan … and set realistic goals.  (consider the kids science projects, holidays, …)
  6. Focus on one competency set before moving on to another.  A mixture may increase confusion of the content, cause a delay in the personal deadlines, or hinder the learning experience.
  7. Set personal deadlines throughout the learning that could be easily adjusted.
  8. Finally, at the start of each PDS develop a digital or paper learning log and record any experience throughout its completion.  This will help when the learning summary is needed.”


Candidates who have developed portfolios tell us that it was a positive and educational experience.  In some instances they were surprised to discover how much they knew, and that they did have opinions about how a library should operate and serve users.  They said that developing a portfolio raised their self-confidence.  In other instances, candidates commented that they learned a lot by researching answers for the PDS.  We encourage you to consider preparing a portfolio to achieve a competency set.