Volume 28, Number 3, Fall 2006

ALA Starts Work on a Certification Program for Library Support Staff

by: Nancy Bolt, Nancy Bolt and Associates

ALA has been discussing a certification program for Library Support Staff (LSS) for more than twenty years. At this point in time, ALA and its companion organization, ALA-APA (Allied Professional Association) is initiating an effort to move forward on a national certification program for Library Support Staff.

The target audience is LSS who would like to increase their knowledge of a broad aspect of library service and who would like additional training to become eligible for additional responsibility in the library. The level of further responsibility would be the decision of an individual library’s administration.

LSS who participate in the program could come from public, academic, or special libraries. At this point, school libraries are not a target audience.

The proposed program is voluntary; however, states who currently have a certification program might consider adopting the ALA model.

Nancy Bolt of Nancy Bolt and Associates has been hired to coordinate the first phase of this project. Bolt met with several ALA divisions, committees, and round tables during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. A Library Support Staff Certification Project Task Force (LSSCP Task Force) is being assembled to:

  • discuss major issues relating to certification of LSS;
  • discuss competencies for LSS based on work done by the Western Council of State Librarians;
  • develop a model of how such a certification program might work; and
  • make recommendations for future action.
Anyone interested in participating in the project is welcome to contact Nancy Bolt.