ALA-APA now accepting course proposals for Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSC)

Contact: Jenifer Grady




For Immediate Release

September 28, 2009

On Oct. 1, 2009, ALA-APA will begin accepting applications from education providers interested in offering courses for candidates in the Library Support Staff Certification Program, (LSSC). The LSSC is the first national, voluntary certification program for library support staff. Course providers may be organizations or individuals with the expertise, training and resources to offer courses online or face-to-face. The 10 competency sets for which courses are needed are in the areas of foundations of library services, technology, communication and teamwork, access services, adult readers advisory, cataloging and classification, collection management, reference, supervision and management and youth services.

Potential providers complete an application,, and submit a course syllabus, a description of the course’s teaching methods and assessment plan and the instructor’s resume. The course must cover all the competencies in a competency set. The fee to be considered for approval is $100 each for the first and second courses submitted and $50 per class for each additional course.

Candidates will have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and have worked in a public or academic library for at least one year. Candidates have the option of completing approved courses or submitting online portfolios that demonstrate their achievement in six of 10 competency sets.

The application will be evaluated by a committee of American Library Association member volunteers using a rubric, Reviews will be held periodically throughout the year and ALA-APA will notify applicants of their status. Approved courses will be publicized and available to all LSSC candidates. Courses that are approved will maintain that status, barring major changes, for four years.

Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the LSSC Program is in a testing phase in five library organizations across the United States. The program will begin accepting candidates in January 2010. Based on survey information and other expressions of interest, project staff estimates that at least 300 library support staff members will participate in the LSSC program in the next three years.

The LSSC Program was approved by the American Library Association to be an official certification of ALA in July 2009. More information about the LSSCP is available online at Please direct questions to Jenifer Grady at or (312)280-2424. The program will be managed by the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association.

ALA-APA: the Organization for the Advancement of Library Employees is a service organization to the American Library Association and has as one of its missions supporting salary improvement initiatives for library workers.