Competencies are a hot topic recently. When the Library Revolution blogger wrote about minimum competencies for library staff, she touched a nerve. Her post spawned a flurry of comments and other blog posts. With Houghton-Jan’s new publication on Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries and WebJunction’s Competencies for Public Access Computing Programs, there is a growing body of standards to lay a foundation for staff training.

“While competencies aren’t the sexiest topic in libraries today, they are certainly one of the most practical,” says LibrarianInBlack. Okay, not exactly sexy, but there is a distinct sizzle around the topic of staff training. The buzz was manifest at the CLENE events at ALA this year. The Showcase was so well attended that the exhibits and visitors flowed out into the hallway, causing passers-by to drop in just to see what all the excitement was about.

Another CLENE event, Learning When There Is No Time To Learn, filled a 200-seat room to over-flowing. Not only did attendees listen avidly for the 2-hour session, they shared tips and strategies from their own libraries. It’s clear there’s a lot of energy and creativity going into staff training at all levels.

When library staff embrace a lifelong learning attitude for themselves as enthusiastically as they promote it for their patrons, we will all be stronger. If you haven’t seen PLCMC’s video 71/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners, check it out. And don’t forget to have fun learning!