Competencies for Librarians in Canadian Research Libraries

Reporting to the Canadian Association of Research Libraries’ (CARL) Strengthening Capacity Committee, the CARL Competencies Working Group (CWG) was struck in the summer of 2017 to refresh the 2010 publication, ‘Core Competencies for 21st Century CARL Librarians.’

This process was highly consultative – with opportunities for diverse library directors and library staff to provide feedback along the way. Membership on the working group also spans varying levels of experience, and includes CARL Directors, librarians currently holding managerial responsibilities (department heads or AULs), librarians with 4-10 years of experience currently working in a nonmanagerial capacity, and a newer librarian with less than 4 years experience.

Following the release of a consultation draft in December 2019, the CWG received over 35 responses from the community. Guided by this feedback, the CWG has revised the consultation draft to better reflect the current needs of the profession. The working group is now pleased to present the final version of the Competencies for Librarians in Canadian Research Libraries.

CARL would like to take this opportunity to thank those who took the time to respond to our survey and contribute to this resource. We would also like to thank members of the CWG for their great dedication and hard work during this lengthy and highly consultative process.

It is CARL’s intention to periodically update the document and feedback from the community is welcome. Moving forward, feedback can be sent to Julie Morin ( for consideration by CARL’s Strengthening Capacity Committee.


Core Competencies for 21st Century CARL Librarians (2010)
Librarians as Researchers and Writers: Research Priorities for Canada’s Research Libraries (2010)
Report of the Library Education Working Group on CARL priorities for human resource capacity  (2008)
National Research Priorities Survey (2008)
Research Competencies for CARL Librarians (2007)

Related Initiatives

Task Force on Librarians’ Competencies in Support of E-Research and Scholarly Communication Librarians’ Competencies for E-Research and Scholarly Communication
Library of Congress FLICC Competencies for Federal Librarians (2008) American Library Association ALA’s Core Competencies of Librarianship: Final Version
Medical Library Association Professional Competencies
Special Library Association Competencies for Information Professionals of the 21st Century: Revised edition, June 2003
Webjunction Competency Index for the Library Field