Public Library Accreditation
Library Accreditation is valid for three years. Every three years the
library must re-apply for Accreditation.
Accreditation of public
libraries is a cyclical process, with approximately one-third of all
libraries scheduled to apply for re-accreditation each year. The library director will be
contacted several months before the Accreditation application is due with
instructions on how to apply. The Accreditation application uses several
statistical measures from the Public Libraries Survey, so the
library director must have submitted the statistical report in in the year
preceding the Accreditation application.
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
Accreditation Application is organized into five categories:
The new Nebraska Guidelines for Public Library Accreditation will be used
for the first time for 2013 accreditation/re-accreditation. That process will
begin in July when letters are sent to the 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 will be due in October.
Changes in the Guidelines:
Accreditation and levels of accreditation are based on a point system.
Instead of having to meet each requirement in a list, a library simply
needs to accrue points. A total of 275 points may be earned.
- Instead of Essential, Enhanced, and Excellent levels, the three levels
of accreditation are:
- Bronze (175 points)
- Silver (200 points)
- Gold (250 points)
- The new 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. A separate set of planning templates and guides has been developed to aid libraries in planning,
if they wish to use them. The Strategic Plan must include at
least these 5 elements: community profile, community needs assessment,
library assessment, goals, and evaluation. If your library does not have a
plan then you may use the planning process below (Strategic
Planning Templates and Guides) to create a plan
for your library.
- Statistics that have been reported by the library in the
Libraries Survey will automatically be filled
in on the online accreditation application form, so the library will not
have to double-report statistical measures.
- Each library will login with the password it used to submit its annual
statistics via Bibliostat Collect for the preceding library statistics
- Peer comparisons will be used for nine of the
guidelines – 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. This
procedure will be used for the following guidelines: 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), and 2.05.07 (collection size, items per
capita), and 3.05 (attendance per capita). Libraries will have an
opportunity to meet either the average figure for each guideline, or the
median figure (i.e., the value lying at the midpoint of the statistics
from peer libraries; in other words, the applying library’s figure will
be right in the middle of those of its peer libraries). In cases in
which there is not a sufficient number of libraries larger and smaller
than the applying library, we may expand the sample for comparison.
- The library will be
asked to list the section(s) of its strategic plan that is related to
each accreditation guideline.
Preview the Accreditation Application here.
You must use the live form (see Start Here link below) to submit your application.
Requirements for Accreditation:
- Public Libraries Survey: You must have submitted your survey
for the preceding year.
- Strategic Plan: You must have created an up-to-date Strategic Plan
- Application: The process consists of completing two
online forms. The first form verifies
that your library meets 12 minimum qualifications. If you meet these
qualifications, you will be directed to the online Accreditation Application.
If you wish to save a partially-completed form click the Save and Resume
Later button at the bottom of the form. (Please have available: your Bibliostat username/password and
your Strategic Plan.) Start Here.
Strategic Planning Templates and Guides :
Fill out the 6 worksheets below, and then condense the results onto the Strategic Plan
These seven documents should be submitted with your Accreditation application.
The video and how-to guides are meant to provide assistance. Please use them as you wish.
Accreditation Program History
Accreditation Application sample
List of all Nebraska Public Libraries with their accreditation standing