Children’s Services

Through equitable access to library services children develop a love of reading, and become self directed learners. As a result of positive library experiences, children remain library users throughout their lives.

Last updated: June 26, 2014

Competency: Designs and implements library services to meet the needs and interests of children in the community

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Analyzes demographic and other data collected about the community and develops a wide variety of services to meet the needs and interests of children and their families and caregivers
  • Ensures that policies and procedures for children’s services are aligned with federal, provincial and local law and with the library’s policies and procedures
  • Provides services and spaces appropriate to the developmental and experiential learning needs of children
  • Establishes an environment in which children receive courteous service and are encouraged to use the library and participate in library programs
  • Solicits and considers the opinions and requests of children when planning, implementing and evaluating programs and services
  • Collaborates with other departments
  • Partners with organizations in the community that have compatible goals and objectives to serve children, and develops cooperative services and programs to extend and enhance children’s and family programs
  • Identifies and maintains regular communication with agencies, institutions and organizations serving children in the community.


Competency: Articulates and communicates to stakeholders the needs of children to receive quality library service

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Models and promotes a welcoming, supportive and non-judgmental attitude toward children and their families and caregivers
  • Promotes awareness of children’s services to other staff and contributes to their orientation and training in relation to the delivery of those services
  • Promotes awareness of children’s services within the library governance structure and lobbies for inclusion in the library’s plans and budget processes
  • Advocates for the needs of children in overall library planning, including the application of AODA regulations and access to resources and services
  • Designs, implements and evaluates ongoing public relations aimed at reaching the full diversity of children, their families, and caregivers in the community.


Competency: Defines and implements outreach services to increase children’s and families’ use of library services and to reach under-served populations

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Identifies children (individuals and groups) under-served or not yet served (those with disabilities, home-schooled, institutionalized, remote, non-English speaking, low literacy, etc.)
  • Determines the particular needs of each target audience, designs a variety of programs and services to match their needs, and promotes them with targeted marketing.


Competency: Works with parents, caregivers and other adults who serve children

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the importance of informing and coordinating with a variety of community members who work with children (parents, educators, daycare providers, etc.)
  • Builds and updates knowledge of available library and community resources that may serve the needs of children, families and caregivers
  • Identifies the need to educate adults who care for children and offers a variety of resources to help them provide improved care and guidance.


Competency: Uses Web tools and social networking communities to engage children and support age-appropriate digital literacy

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands and articulates the importance of introducing children to age-appropriate online tools and environments
  • Investigates Web tools and social networking communities oriented toward children, and evaluates them for their potential to enhance learning and meet the information needs of children
  • Understands the unique opportunities, norms, risks and limitations of online engagement for children, and establishes guidelines for the use of social networking tools appropriate to the library setting and to the age group
  • Assists children in accessing children’s  digital resources
  • Helps children, parents and caregivers navigate new technology and identify trustworthy online resources
  • Establishes effective measures to manage Internet and other electronic resources for children.


Competency: Facilitates children’s requests for information and provides accurate and appropriate answers

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands and practices effective reference interviewing skills particular to soliciting actual and unstated needs and protecting the confidentiality of children
  • Addresses the information needs of children without bias across the spectrum of age, race, gender, ethnicity, ability or economic status; responds to questions regardless of their nature
  • Understands information seeking behaviours of children, that they may not ask for assistance and  the variety of ways they may ask for assistance
  • Identifies opportunities for instruction and empowers children to improve their own information-seeking skills.


Competency: Connects children and their families and caregivers with resources that encourage reading

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates booklists, read-alikes, read-arounds, book-talks, displays, electronic documents and other special tools to appeal to children
  • Identifies and uses a variety of online and print children’s readers’ advisory resources to identify materials
  • Maintains a knowledge of major new authors, fiction genres, nonfiction subjects and current releases, including media and genres of particular interest to children (magazines, manga, graphic novels, AV, etc.)
  • Seeks input from children, families and caregivers to inform future reading recommendations
  • Collaborates with families, schools and other community groups to promote reading and literacy to children
  • Understands the theories of reading development for children (including early and emergent literacy) and the reading curriculum used by community schools.


Competency: Designs, implements and sponsors library programs that offer information, special skills or entertainment for children and their families and caregivers

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Uses a variety of methods to determine the interests and needs of children, families, caregivers and others who work with children in the community (obtains demographic data, surveys users and non-users; follows news and entertainment sources; collects input from frontline staff and community organizations that work with children, etc.)
  • Designs a variety of programs appropriate to the identified interests and developmental needs of children, recognizing the breadth of needs from very early childhood to tweens
  • Demonstrates creativity, openness to new ideas, and knowledge of a variety of tools and techniques
  • Identifies program venues outside of the library that appeal to children
  • Evaluates all programs, soliciting feedback from children and families, and uses those results to improve programs for children
  • Understands traditions and trends in library programming for children; tracks developments and potential in areas such as gaming and maker spaces.


Competency: Delivers children’s programs to achieve stated outcomes

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands how to format an engaging program
  • Maintains a repertoire  of traditional and contemporary songs, rhymes and finger plays for use in story time
  • Demonstrates comfort and enthusiasm in delivering programs for children of all ages
  • Understands early literacy skills and incorporates actives into programs which support early literacy skills development
  • Understands how to make programs accessible and inclusive to children with special needs
  • Demonstrates skills for handling and redirecting disruptive behaviour of children and caregivers in a positive manner.

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