Foreign Credentials Evaluation Assistance
This page is specifically for job seekers. If you are an employer looking for credentialing assistance, see our page for employers.
This information is intended for job seekers who obtained a degree in library and information science from a country other than the United States or Canada.
The policy of the American Library Association (ALA) states:
"The master's degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association (or from a master's level program in library and information studies accredited or recognized by the appropriate national body of another country) is the appropriate professional degree for librarians."
For individuals who received a master’s degree in library studies in Australia or the United Kingdom, the following statement applies:
It is hereby understood by this Statement of Mutual Recognition that the American Library Association, the Australian Library and Information Association, and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals recognise the master’s-level degree programmes accredited by each of the three associations (12 May 2017).
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
If you are aware of an appropriate national body within your country of origin who recognizes programs and they are not listed here, please provide us with that information.
The American Library Association does not conduct evaluations of transcripts or credentials or make recognition decisions. We also cannot serve as a channel of appeal for persons dissatisfied with evaluations.
If you are seeking employment in a library in the United States, and received your degree outside of the U.S., you should consider having your credentials evaluated by an independent agency.
There is no governmental agency that specifically monitors, approves or certifies foreign credential evaluation services in the United States. Therefore, most individuals and agencies that conduct credential evaluations are affiliated with professional associations. Membership in one of these associations often requires a rigorous screening and application procedure. Members must usually adhere to strict standards of professional ethics and go through a recertification process periodically.
Choosing a foreign educational credential evaluation service is similar to choosing other professional service providers. When selecting an independent evaluator, you might consider if they are members of a professional credential evaluator association. Several credential evaluator associations are listed below.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Credential Evaluation Agency*
- Does the credential evaluation agency have quick and efficient procedures for answering customer queries? Are they only available online, or can you speak to an actual person?
How long does the credential evaluation agency keep their records?
Does the evaluator offer the type of credential evaluation required for your purposes? Is it for employment or academic purposes? Do they provide course by course evaluation, overall documents evaluation, and/or professional work experience evaluation?
Are the credential evaluation reports presented in the necessary format for the intended purpose?
How competitive are the fees for the credential evaluation report?
What is the average time taken to receive completed credential evaluation reports? What kind of rush period/emergency policies does the credential evaluation agency have?
Can the credential evaluator able to provide genuine client references/reviews? How good and reliable are they?
Is it possible to obtain more copies of the credential evaluation from the evaluator if needed in the future and what is the procedure to obtain the same? Is there a fee?
How long has the credential evaluation agency been in this business?
What is their refund policy in case of withdrawal of the evaluation request?
Can the type of evaluation request be changed once placed? What sort of penalties apply?
What policy or recourse does the credential evaluation agency have to handle disputes?
*Questions from International Student.
These are just a few questions to ask when considering credential evaluation services. Once you get a determination concerning your course work, you can move forward with making a decision. If the evaluation indicates that your course work is equivalent to master’s level study, then you could use it when you apply for employment. You should understand however, that even having such a statement will not guarantee that you will be employed here in the U.S. as a librarian. These decisions are determined entirely by individual employers. The American Library Association has no influence in this area.
If the evaluation indicates that your credentials are lower than a master’s level, then you would need to decide if you are willing and/or able to complete an ALA-accredited masters program. If you decide that you want to proceed with an educational program here in the U.S., you would then need to do some investigations into programs. A good place to start is on our website. Here are a couple of pages to look at:
1. Guidelines for Choosing a Master's Program
If you determine that you cannot or do not want to complete a master’s level library program here in the U.S. but still want to work in a library, you may try finding employment in a library as support staff.
Good luck with your library career.
If you have questions which have not been addressed by the information on this page, you may contact Beatrice Calvin, Manager, Professional Development, ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 800/545/2433 ext. 4280.
Last updated May 16, 2017