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Establishing a competencies framework for a Caribbean academic library: The case of the UWI Library, Mona campus

Robinson, Karlene P and Runcie, Rosemarie and Manassi, Tanya Marie and Mckoy-Johnson, Faith

Faith Alison McKoy-Johnson

Library Management




Academic librariesCore competenciesPersonal skillsProfessional practice


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to reset the performance bar for the Caribbean professional through the identification and classification of core competencies and skills sets for academic librarians at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus. Design/methodology/approach Competency documents published by various library profession organizations and academic libraries across various geographic regions were content analysed to identify the major skills and competencies of highly skilled professionals. Findings Core competencies selected for The UWI Mona Library are: first, uses professional knowledge and practice to lead staff and manage resources; second, identifies emerging trends and supports innovations; third, demonstrate willingness to embrace change and utilize best practices in service delivery; fourth, analyses situations for appropriate solutions; fifth, interacts positively and effectively with others; sixth, develops an environment that leads and manages change; seventh, manages and mentors staff; eight, sets clear goals and objectives while providing specific performance and feedback. Research limitations/implications The competencies profile developed reflects the unique compositions of competencies required by academic librarians working in a twenty-first century, Caribbean, regional, academic/research environment. Practical implications This framework will effectively guide the exercises of employee selection and succession planning within the library organization. Ensuring that the best employees are selected augurs well for succession planning within an organization. Social implications A competencies profile provides rationale for the provision of transparent employee selection criteria. The framework is intended to set meaningful professional development goals and align those goals with the vision, mission and objectives of organizations. Originality/value This paper presents the English-speaking Caribbean context for core competencies formulation and a listing of required competencies for The UWI, Mona Library professional.


Emerald Group Publishing Limited


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