ASSOCIATES (2009, November, v. 16, no. 2)

Library Association/Conference Information

Library Support Staff Certification

The American Library Association Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) will accept candidates for the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) starting in January 2010.

LSSC was inspired by many years of discussion and by needs assessments with library support staff. In 2007, the American Library Association received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to fund the development of such a national certification program. For the past two years, the project directors, the ALA-APA staff, and an Advisory Committee have developed and tested competencies, policies and procedures.

Candidates must demonstrate achievement of six competency sets. Three are required and candidates can chose three other sets from an additional seven sets. Candidates can demonstrate achievement through the completion of an approved course or by submitting a portfolio.

The candidacy fee is $350 and $325 for ALA members. The fee includes access to a certificate management system. Candidates have four years from the date of enrollment to complete the program.

The LSSC Program sponsored field tests of the program in five library organizations. Ten candidates recently completed LSSCP’s first approved course, Supervision and Management, offered by the State Library of Louisiana (SLOL).

Instructor and administrator Michael Golrick was pleased by the “level of enthusiasm and interest” demonstrated by the students who completed the course. “We thought we would have to do a great deal of marketing in order to get people interested in both certification and in the course,” says Golrick, who also serves as SLOL’s Head of Reference and Library Consultant. However, “all we did was send a note out to public and academic library directors, and the calls and emails started coming in.”

Golrick is proud to be a part of testing LSSC. “We see the structure of the LSSC as a way to help support staff get training, and therefore be able to provide better service to Louisiana library users. We saw this as a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something we think will be a great program.”

For more information about LSSC and how to become a candidate, go to or contact Project Directors, Karen Strege at or Nancy Bolt at