Baseline Subject Competencies for the Academic Reference Desk Academic Article uri icon


  • What basic competenciesbody of knowledge, skills, and toolsare needed to work at a centralized reference desk in an academic library? asked reference staff of Texas A&M Universitys Sterling C. Evans Library. Their goal was to identify skills and areas of knowledge with which a reference staff member should be familiar in such areas as reference desk procedures, electronic resources, and the three major subject groups of humanities, sciences, and social sciences. This article presents an overview and discussion of the concept of subject baseline competencies, approaches to organizations of subjectrelated baseline competencies, and the documents resulting from discussions with senior subject specialists in those three groups to develop subject lists for baseline competencies as training tools for new librarians and staff.

published proceedings

  • Reference Services Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Benefiel, C. R., Miller, J. P., & Ramirez, D.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • January 1997