Competencies are the skills, abilities and knowledge necessary for successful individual job performance and the successful achievement of organizational outcomes. A competencies approach to performance management has been gaining momentum in recent years precisely because it links individual performance to organizational goals and strategies.

           "Libraries have turned to competency-based human resource management systems to align their human resource practices with their organizational goals and objectives. By basing the human resource functions of recruitment, selection, appraisal, training, and succession planning on a competency model, organizations are ensuring that there is a closer connection between organizational success and individual performance.

           - Donna C. Chan, “The Future is Competencies: Competency-Based Human Resource Management in Public Libraries.” The Future is Now: Responses to the Canadian Library Human Resources Study. Canadian Library Association, 2012."

The SOLS Competencies Index will appeal to individuals who want to assess their own performance in relation to their current responsibilities and/or use the competencies as a way of preparing one’s self for future positions and greater responsibilities.

For libraries, the Index is an important management tool. It can be used to develop job descriptions, job ads, and performance appraisal systems, and serve as a valuable resource in anticipating and planning for staff development and succession.

It is important to recognize that the SOLS Competencies Index is a dynamic resource, continually evolving to meet the changing requirements of the public library landscape. Changes to skill sets are made as needed, and the date of the last update is indicated below the description for each skill set. If you have printed from the Index, it is important to check whether the competencies you printed have since been updated.

SOLS acknowledges that the SOLS Competencies Index is based on WebJunction’s Competency Index for the Library Field. The WebJunction Index was an important contribution to the library sector’s understanding of staff competencies. It has served as an excellent starting point for compiling an index of competencies for public library staff in Ontario.

Competencies-Based Staff Development

Library work is complex and constantly evolving.  It is crucial that libraries invest in continuous staff development

4 Steps to Create a Learning Path

Follow these steps to create a Learning Path that will guide your efforts to learn and grow over the coming year

Sample Profiles

Sample competencies profiles have been created to assist in the development of individualized profiles for some key staff positions or areas of responsibility

How to Use this Index

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The SOLS Competencies Index for Public Library Staff is divided into 5 categories:

Each category is comprised of several skill sets.  For example, the Public Service category is comprised of the following nine skill sets:  Customer Service, Access Services, Adult Services, Programming & Outreach, Readers' Advisory, Reference, Patron Training, Children's Services, and Young Adult Services.



Contact Us

For questions about the compentencies index, please contact Anne Marie Madziak, Service Development Director