Nebraska Public Library Accreditation
The purpose of public library accreditation is to encourage
excellent library service in Nebraska communities.
- establishes minimum standards for library service
- ensures that libraries adhere to certain standards
- offers libraries benchmarks
- offers libraries evidence that certain expenditures, services, and practices
are needed and expected
The Accreditation process begins in July each year when invitations to apply are sent to public
libraries up for reaccreditation and to libraries that have not been previously accredited
but that have submitted the Public Libraries Survey for the
preceding year. Completed
Accreditation Applications are due each October 1.
Library Accreditation is valid for three years. In order to apply, the library must:
- have submitted the statistical report,
- know the library Bibliostat username and password,
- verify that the library meets the 12 minimum qualifications, and
- have an up-to-date strategic plan,
approved by the Nebraska Library Commission.
Accreditation and levels of accreditation are based on a system of accrued points. For each guideline on the Accreditation
application, a library may earn a number of points. A total of 275 points is available. The library must earn at least 175
points to be accredited at the lowest, Bronze level. Accreditation at the Silver level requires 200 points, and at the
Gold level, 250 points.
The guidelines are community-based, so that each library determines its own
priorities based on community needs. This requires each library to have or to
create a strategic plan that addresses the unique needs of its community.
See Strategic Planning and Public Library Accreditation for
further information and help with strategic plans.
Accreditation Application is organized into five categories:
Statistics that have been reported by the library in the Public Libraries
Survey will automatically be filled in on the online accreditation application form, so the library will not
have to re-report statistical measures. Because of this, each applying library must log in with a user name
and password. For the sake of convenience, the same Bibliostat Collect username
and password are used for both the annual public library statistics report and
for the accreditation application form.
Instead of standards defined for arbitrary library size categories, nine of the guidelines use Peer
Comparisons--that is, each library will be compared with libraries of similar size rather than
being slotted into a predetermined population group as in past guidelines. The nine guidelines that use Peer comparisons are:
- 2.01 (local income),
- 2.02.01 (open hours),
- 2.03.01 (staff expenditures),
- 2.03.04 (staff FTE),
- 2.05.04 (materials expenditure),
- 2.05.05 (circulation),
- 2.05.06 (collection turnover),
- 2.05.07 (collection size, items per capita), and
- 3.04 (attendance per capita).
Peers are considered as libraries within 15% plus or minus of the Legal Service Population of the target
library. Libraries will have the opportunity to meet either the average (mean) of the reported
statistic for all Peers, or the median (i.e., the value lying at the midpoint when the statistics
from peer libraries are arrayed in size order.) In cases in
which there is not a sufficient number of libraries larger and smaller
than the applying library, the sample may be expanded to one other state
to ensure statistical reliability.
See the Preview Application here.
Use the live Accreditation Application when you have been invited to apply.
You can complete the application in more than one session by clicking the "Save and Resume
Later" button at the bottom of the form.
Please contact Richard Miller with questions about Accreditation via email or at 402.471.3175.
- Related pages:
- Strategic Planning and Public Library Accreditation
- Public Library Accreditation FAQs
- 12 Minimum Qualifications
- Accreditation Program History
- Sample Accreditation Application
- List of all Nebraska Public Libraries with their accreditation standing & next accreditation year
- Public Libraries Statistical Survey