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Nebraska Public Library Accreditation

The purpose of public library accreditation is to encourage excellent library service in Nebraska communities.

Accreditation:

  • 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:

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. The library will be asked to list the section(s) of its strategic plan that is related to each accreditation guideline if that guideline is addressed in the strategic plan.

See Strategic Planning and Public Library Accreditation for further information and help with strategic plans.

The Accreditation Application is organized into five categories:

  • Governance/Planning
  • Resources
  • Services
  • Cooperation/Collaboration
  • Communications

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 Bibliostat Collect passwords are used.

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 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


For more information, contact Richard Miller.