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Be a better you: Advancing your career through certification American Library Association and ALA-Allied Professional Association Certification Programs Nancy Bolt Public Library Association National Conference March 2010 Portland, Oregon Certification Defined
Be a better you: Advancing your career through certificationAmerican Library Association and ALA-Allied Professional Association Certification Programs
Public Library Association National Conference
Certification attests to the possession by an individual of a specified body of knowledge and/or skills. Certification can occur at entry level, as part of career development, or as recognition of career achievement. It may be voluntary or mandatory.
22 states have certifications:
My career goals are to continually improve my skills and knowledge in order to improve and streamline existing library services and to manage library personnel as a leader. – Debra Czarnik (Cape Coral, FL)
There are 18 graduates already!
Program began in 2006
Jenifer Grady firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored by the
American Library Association
and the ALA-Allied Professional Association,
In cooperation with the Western Council of State Libraries
Funded by IMLS
69% of all library staff are library support staff
In a national survey LSS said they *
supported national certification (87%)
supported national LSS standards (76%)
believe certification would improve public service (66%)
*Survey conducted by the ALA Library Support Staff Interests Round Table (LSSIRT) in 2004
From November 2008 LSS survey:
Recognition for experience, education, and/or skills
Learn new things about the library field
Provide better service to library users
Contribute to improvement of the library
July 13, 2009 by ALA Executive Board
Also by PLA, five other ALA divisions and LSSIRT
January 25, 2010
Affordable and accessible
A mix of required and elective competencies
Establishes national, basic standards
Evaluates prior learning and new learning
Reciprocal at state level(if approved by state)
A valid assessment of competencies
Not a guarantee of raise or promotion
Foundations of Library Service
Communication and Teamwork
Adult Readers’ Advisory Services
Cataloging and Classification
Reference and Information Services
Supervision and Management
Library Support Staff will know:
1. General trends and developments of appropriate technology in all library functions and services whether offered in the library or through remote access.
2. Technology’s role in creating, retrieving and delivering library resources, function and services.
3. The role and responsibility of libraries for introducing relevant applications of technology to the public, including assistive technology.
4. Basic computer operations needed to access library applications software and productivity tools.
5. Basic networking technologies and protocols.
6. Basic data security principles and best practices to ensure the integrity of data and the confidentiality of user activities.
7. Concepts and issues concerning the appropriate use of technology by different user groups
Library Support Staff will be able to:
8. Adapt to changes in technology.
9. Transfer information gained from training into the work place.
10 Assist and train users to operate public equipment, connect to the internet, utilize library software applications and access library services from remote locations.
11. Use information discovery tools including the library’s catalog, core library databases and internet search engines.
12 Perform basic troubleshooting of technical problems and resolve or appropriately refer those problems.
13. Access and use basic assistive technologies, where appropriate, to ensure that all users have equitable access to technology.
Recognize prior learning and new learning
Portfolios (evaluated by experts)
Suggested activities for demonstrating each competency (you can design your own)
Upload to portfolio when done
Competency 5. Basic networking technologies and protocols.
5.1 Describe the purpose and use for each of the following connection types: phone, ethernet, serial, parallel printer, USB, cable and fireware. Identify which of these technologies or protocols are present in the library in which you work, or a library with which you are familiar, and how they are used in that library.
5.2 Create a guide or tutorial for library users to explain how to connect to a library’s wireless network. Include definitions for terms associated with wireless networking.
High school diploma or equivalent
One year of library experience, from any type of library
Four years to complete 6 competency sets
Fee of $325 for ALA members (includes subscription to online portfolio)
Certification is for four years
Renewal will be required
Maryland & Minnesota Surveys
Encourage staff to participate
Provide financial assistance
Grant time off to complete coursework/portfolios
Allow interaction with staff for assignments
Give candidates increased responsibility
Karen Strege email@example.com
206 829 8821
206 407 9756 (cell)
Nancy Bolt firstname.lastname@example.org
303 642 0338
303 905 9347 (cell)