ASSOCIATES (2010, July, v. 17, no. 1)


Recent Developments in the Library Support Staff Certification Program

Nancy Bolt
LSSC Program Co-Director

The Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program has had an active and productive year and has exciting plans, with a new three-year grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services.

After two-and-a-half years of planning, LSSC was approved as an official certification program of the American Library Association on July 13, 2009. ALA assigned the program to the ALA-Allied Professional Association, its companion organization, for management. LSSC staff (Jenifer Grady and Jamie Bragg from ALA-APA, and Nancy Bolt and Karen Strege, Project-Co-Directors), working with an Advisory Committee, spent the next six months preparing for the LSSC launch..

LSSC began accepting applications for certification candidacy on January 25, 2010. Between then and July 1, 2010, 95 candidates enrolled in the program. Criteria for admission into the program are a high school diploma or equivalent and at least one year of full-time employment in a library over the past five years. There has been interest from international LSS and they are also eligible to apply.

For certification, candidates must achieve six of ten competency sets. They do so by completing a course approved by LSSC or by submitting a portfolio for evaluation to demonstrate that they have achieved the competency set. LSSC conducted an aggressive campaign for applications for approved courses and for applications to be portfolio evaluators.

To date, 25 courses have been approved and are listed on the LSSC website, with another 15 course applications in the review process. Some courses require in-person attendance and some are offered online allowing candidates across the country to participate.

Currently, LSSC has accepted 20 portfolio evaluators, although, to date, only one candidate has submitted a portfolio for review. However, we expect numerous submissions as many candidates have expressed interest in developing portfolios. The LSSC Program has created helpful videos and other materials to explain and lead candidates through portfolio development.

LSSC has presented webinars including a Basic Introduction to LSSC and Preparing a Portfolio for LSSC. Webinars on “Being a Portfolio Evaluator” and “Using the LiveText Certification Management System” are planned for this summer and fall.

In mid-June, 2010, LSSC learned that IMLS awarded ALA a three-year project to build upon LSSC success. The focus in the next three-years will be to:

LSSC continues to create excitement in the US library community. Library support staff, library managers, state library agencies, and library educators have shown their support for LSSC.

For more information about LSSC, visit the LSSC website at