Friday, June 11, 2010

Mapping the Profession's Future through the Core Competencies

You know the song, “The Times They Are A-Changin” by Bob Dylan. I think we can all agree times have changed and are changing in our profession today and that the future of law librarianship is a topic of conversation in law libraries across the country.

We all have the opportunity now to take this conversation to the next level at the annual meeting on Monday the 12th from 10-10:30AM in CCC 205-207. The Continuing Professional Education Committee (CPEC) is presenting a half hour program in July at the Denver conference introducing the revised Core Competencies. The revision is the result of more than a year long culmination of online discussions on updating the core competencies. The program will talk about what the competencies are used for and will review the process used by the CPEC that resulted in the main changes made in the revision. The committee’s main focus of the program is to get feedback from you.

Ask yourself, what changes do we see occurring as participants in the profession? What is our vision of ourselves as law librarians? How can this vision be incorporated into the core competencies? By entering the discussion now you can strengthen the meaning, applicability and relevance of the core competencies to correspond to your current vision of the profession, whatever you decide that is. You may be a seasoned veteran speaking with the voice of experience, or you may be an up and coming GenX/GenY librarian who can articulate a fresh point of view. Whatever your vision, your participation in this discussion will only enhance the outcome.

The CPEC would like to establish the Core Competencies as a living document. The last revision of the competencies was approved in March 2001 by the AALL Executive Board. The CPEC hopes to establish a continuing dialogue with all AALL members with regard to the competencies so that the competencies aren’t something that just gets pulled off the shelf every ten years for revision only to go right back on it. The committee recognizes that change is rapid and that there may be things even in the newly revised competencies that people may not agree with or would like to see added. But you need to let us know.
AALL sees the competencies as a way, “to define the profession of law librarianship and its value to the legal field, today and in the future, by identifying, verifying, and actively promoting competencies of law librarianship”, and describes the competencies as, “the knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal characteristics that help distinguish superior performance”.

Change is constant, but every once in a while we must take a snapshot of the way we see things today to give definition to what is now and guide us into the future. The core competencies are that snapshot. Help us get it as in-focus as possible.

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