ASSOCIATES (2011, November, v. 18, no. 2)


News from the Library Support Staff Certification Program

Nancy Bolt
LSSC Program Co-Director

Registration Assistance Awards

Two major activities are being conducted this fall by the ALA sponsored Library Support Staff and Certification (LSSC) Program.

The Library Support Staff Interest Round Table, in cooperation with LSSC, will be offering 50 Registration Assistance Awards this fall. The Awards are for $175, one-half of the LSSC registration/application fee. Successful award recipients will pay the remainder of the registration fee with their own funds or funds obtained from other sources. An application form to apply for the Registration Assistance Awards is available on the LSSIRT Website at

Six states are also participating: The Colorado Library Consortium, Idaho Commission for Libraries, Louisiana State Library, Mississippi State Library, Washington State Library, and the Wyoming State Library. Support staff in these states should contact the state library (or CLiC in Colorado) for application instructions.

The LSSC Program is partially funded by a grant to ALA from the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services, and managed by the ALA-Allied Professional Association. The Registration Assistance Awards of one-half of the registration fee are part of this grant.

To be eligible to participate in LSSC and thus receive an Assistance Award, applicants must have a high school degree or its equivalent and have worked for the equivalent of one year (1820 hours) as a library staff member or volunteer within the last five years.

Cooperation with Library Technical Assistance (LTA) Programs

LSSC has begun a new program of cooperative agreements with LTA programs. These agreements recognize the LTA program as meeting at least six of the LSSC competencies (including the three required competencies) and thus graduates of the program are automatically eligible for immediate national Support Staff Certification. This agreement also applies to graduates of the LTA program in the last two years.

Current agreements exist with: The College of DuPage, Waubonsee Community College and Illinois Central College in Illinois, the Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, and Palomar College in California.

LSSC is currently working with these colleges to review their curriculum: Ohio’s Belmont Community College, Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut, the Spokane Falls and the Highline Community Colleges in Washington, and Pasadena City College and Cuesta Community College in California.

Finally, LSSC is planning to initiate the review process with 11 more programs: the Community Care College in Oklahoma, NMSU-Dona Ana Community College in New Mexico, Central Carolina Community College in North Carolina, College of Lake County in Illinois, Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania, Fresno City College in California, Georgia Perimeter College, Palo Alto College in Texas, City College of San Francisco, Pueblo Community College in Colorado and the Bluegrass Community & Technical College in Kentucky.

These programs and LSSC believe that college degrees or certificates coupled with the LSSC will benefit graduates, the library in which they work, and library users. Lorelle Swader, Director of ALA-APA, said, “LTA graduates will be recognized for their acquired skills and knowledge with this national certification, which is becoming a standard for our profession. The LSSC will show employers of these graduates that they are serious about their work and their future.”


LSSC currently has 185 candidates and seven certified graduates with more coming every month. We are also proud that 25% of our candidates are people of color, compared with only 11% of MLS holders. To find out more about LSSC, please contact LSSC Program staff at and visit the website at