Resources for Library Support Staff
Interested in becoming a library worker? Find more information about what to expect at ALA’s Explore your Career Path...What Library Pages Need to Know, Becoming a Library Assistant or Technician, and What Library Assistants and Technicians Need to Know.
Library Degree Programs | Financial Assistance
Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) program offers webinars and presentations at conferences across the United States, which are often archived and available to the public on YouTube.
The ALA Online Learning project connects library employees with a wide range of online training. Click on “Online Learning News” to access a list of webinars. Click on the title for specifics concerning time and fees.
ABLE is a continuing education program provided by the Idaho Commission for Libraries. ABLE provides library basics for library staff and covers a wide range of topics, including collection development, merchandising, cataloging, and reference work.
OCLC’s WebJunction provides resources that promote learning for library workers by fostering an online learning community. Clicking on the “Find Training” tab provides a variety of training options.
Infopeople provides training, webinars, and resources for library employees. Some webinars have been approved by the ALA’s Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) program. Costs for webinars varies and many resources are free.
The A to Z: Diverse and In-Depth Training for Library Support Staff offers a series of webinars to “enhance the skills of library employees who serve in circulation, reference, and technical services.” Registration is required and costs are listed on the website.
Tech Soup is a nonprofit organization committed to providing technology training to libraries. Resources include webinars, a blog, and technology experiences from libraries across the nation.
Library Juice Academy provides online professional development opportunities for library workers. Training focuses on practical topics and requires a fee.
Resources for webinars covering practical topics of interest for library workers:
- The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives archived webinars
- The Nebraska Library Commission
- Texas State Library and Archives Commission webinars
- Library Journal
- School Library Journal
ALA Library Competencies compiles a list of library organizations’ competencies for different types of library workers.
OCLC’s WebJunction provides the Library Staff Competency Collection (2012), which provides information about competencies that different organizations have developed.
“Academic Library Support Staff Competencies: What Should Support Staff Know and be Able to Do?” (2009) by Rachel Applegate provides a report of survey data concerning professional competencies for library support staff.
Some states in the U. S. may have their own set of rules and regulations pertaining to certification for library support staff members. The Certification Information by State page which is part of this Resource Center, provides links to information regarding statutes mandated by each state.
The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) in partnership with the Western Council of State Libraries has developed a national Library Support Staff Certification Program. Each state offers certification at different levels. Please review state laws and requirements when considering a certificate program.
Information about certification programs and applicable state laws is available at Certification Information by State.
Visit the ALA-APA State/Regional Certifications (primarily for public library staff) page for more information.
“Criteria for Programs to Prepare Library Technical Assistants” (1998) from the ALA Committee on Education, Task Force for Review of the Criteria for Programs to Prepare Library Technical Assistants is a report that may be of interest for those who are considering a certificate program.
See also the ALA Certification for Support Staff paper for more information about the value of recognizing the value and accomplishments of Library Support Staff.
For information and resources for library license or certification of school paraprofessional and support staff positions visit the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Library Education and Licensing for school libraries.
Find information about Associate, Bachelor's, and Master's library degree programs on the Library Degree Programs page.
Learn more about the basics of obtaining a library associate degree at ALA’s Explore a Career in Libraries...Do I Need a Library Science Associate’s Degree?
There are few library bachelor degree programs. Some informatic, information technology, and data management programs are not library specific and are not included in the Resources by State section unless offered by a library school. Selecting a major/minor that complements a library master’s degree is helpful, but not necessary, if pursuing a library master’s degree is your goal.
Looking to learn more about becoming a professional librarian? Explore the basics of obtaining an advanced degree at ALA’s Explore a Career in Libraries...Do I Need a Library Science Master’s Degree?
Interested in learning more about financial assistance options? The ALA Scholarship Program site provides information on the different types of scholarships, application process, and contact information. The ALA Scholarship Program provides opportunities specifically for library support staff as well as master degree programs.
Located on the ALA Scholarship Program site, the Financial Assistance for Library and Information Studies directory provides a wealth of information about award opportunities from state library agencies, national and state library associations, local libraries, academic institutions, and foundations. This directory is updated on an annual basis.