ASSOCIATES (2011, March, v. 17, no. 3)


What’s New with Library Support Staff Certification

Nancy Bolt
LSSC Program Co-Director

There has been a lot of new activity in the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program lately. LSSC is sponsored by the American Library Association.

As a quick reminder, the LSSC Program offers library employees the opportunity to get the respect they deserve, to achieve recognition for their experience, enhance library service, and increase their knowledge and skills. LSSC provides a path to recognition and awareness of the critical role that library support staff play in the delivery of quality library service. To achieve certification, support staff must achieve six of ten competency sets either through development of an online portfolio or taking approved courses. The competency sets are: Foundations of Library Service; Technology; Communication and Teamwork; Access Services, Adult Readers’ Advisory Services; Cataloging and Classification; Collection Management; Reference and Information Services; Supervision and Management; and Youth Services.

The big news in the last two months is the Registration Assistance Awards. These Awards are one-half of the registration fee ($175) to become an LSSC candidate. LSSC offers these Awards in cooperation with state libraries, library cooperatives, and the Library Support Staff Interests Round Table (LSSIRT).

As of this writing, the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) has awarded nine Awards, matched with their own CLiC funding so those lucky nine received full support toward registration. Pennsylvania has awarded one Award and also matched it with state funds. Other state library participants are Arizona, Idaho, Mississippi, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. To apply for an Award at the state level, you must live in that state.

The LSSIRT program, however, is open to anyone that would like financial support when they apply to be an LSSC candidate. LSSIRT is accepting applications until April 30, 2011. You can apply for one of these Awards at

LSSC has also added to our website a new page on ideas to get financial support for work towards certification. We’ve heard these ideas from our candidates and from programs we offer at state conferences. You can investigate if financial help is available from your own library, from state libraries or library associations, or from regional cooperatives.

We are also pleased to report that LSSC now has 145 applicants for certification. We are even more proud that over 20% of these applicants are people of color, one of our goals in the program. We have applicants from 30 states with Colorado, California, and Louisiana leading the way. There are no application deadlines so LSS can apply anytime.

Finally, the LSSC staff conduct three free webinars each month: Introduction to LSSC, Preparing a Successful Portfolio, and Using LiveText Portfolio Management Program for LSSC. For information on these sessions or anything else pertaining to the LSSC program, please head to or email us at

The LSSC Program is made possible with the help of funding by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is managed by the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association.