Board Manual - Certification
Skip Navigation

Nebraska Library Board Manual

 CHAPTER CONTENTS  Board Certification Board Certification Requirements Activities Involved Continuing Education Credits Board Certification Periods Board Certificate Renewal Tracking Credit Hours Board Member Changes  Public Librarian Certification What is Involved Renewing Librarian Certification Levels of Public Librarian Certification Librarian Certification Records Qualified Activities
      CHAPTER SIX
    CERTIFICATION FOR LIBRARY BOARDS AND
    PUBLIC LIBRARIANS

 

   Board Certification

What is the Library Board Certification Program, and why should boards be involved? Just as it is important for library staff to participate in continuing education activities, board members should also be involved in professional development. The Board Certification Program helps encourage board members to develop, maintain and improve their skills and recognizes them for their efforts. A public library board of trustees must be certified before the library may apply for accreditation. Within the library’s budget, the library board should designate some funding to support participation of any board member in continuing education activities.

   Board Certification Requirements

Each public library board as a group needs to participate in a minimum of 20 contact hours of continuing education during each three-year certification period in order to meet certification requirements. Since the requirement for board certification must be met before a library may apply for accreditation, a board needs to consistently maintain its certified status.

   Activities Involved

Continuing education credit is earned for participation in planned learning experiences designed to bring about changes in knowledge, skills, or attitudes which contribute directly to delivery of quality library services. Many types of activities are available for board members to participate in and earn CE credits. See: Continuing Education Opportunities for Trustees

Quote

   Earning Continuing Education Credit Hours

Individual board members earn continuing education credit hours that are applied to the whole board's certification requirement. Any C.E. credit hours earned by a person who is a member of the board during the certification period are applied to the board’s C.E. record.

   Certification Periods

After a library board earns an initial certification, it has three years to accumulate enough continuing education hours to meet the requirement for a renewal of certification. CE hours over the required minimum of 20 hours are not carried over to the next certification period. Each certification period begins with a clean slate.

   Certificate Renewal

A new certificate will be mailed to the library with the new date of certification based on three years from the date of renewal. As long as the library board has accumulated at least 20 C.E. credit hours by the certification period renewal date, the Library Commission will automatically renew the certification. No additional paperwork is needed. There is no cost for the renewal.

   Tracking Credit Hours

The Library Commission maintains a database of boards participating in the program. Board members need to notify the Continuing Education Coordinator’s office at the Nebraska Library Commission when they have participated in a C.E. activity as soon as possible, but no later than 90 days after the activity. Board members, or the library director, should use the continuing education reporting form for trustees available at: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/trustees/CEsubmit.asp.

How do we know what credit hours we’ve earned?
Libraries may check the record that the Nebraska library Commission is maintaining any time online at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/trustees/PLBrdCertApp.asp.

   Board Member Changes

What should a library do if board membership changes?
Notify the Nebraska Library Commission using the Public Library Board Certification Application and Board Member Update form at: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/trustees/PLBrdCertApp.asp.

 

   Public Librarian Certification

Why is there certification for library staff members?
The Public Librarian Certification program
  • Improves library service throughout the state.
  • Motivates librarians to acquire, maintain, and develop skills through basic and continuing education.
  • Provides guidelines for public library boards to use in selecting and retaining personnel.
  • Recognizes public librarians who update their knowledge and skills on a continuing basis to provide better library service for the community.
How does a person get into the program?
To participate in the Public Librarian Certification program, you must enroll in the program.

   What is Involved

Every program participant must fulfill the Basic Skills requirement, and must earn 45 continuing education credits each three-year certification period.

Upon enrollment, if you have a Master’s degree in Library Science, you will be issued a certificate, good for three years. During the three-year period that the certificate is valid, it is expected that you will earn at least 45 continuing education credits. If you do not have a Master’s degree in Library Science, upon enrollment, you will be issued a Provisional Certificate, good for three years. During the three year period, it is expected that you will fulfill the Basic Skills requirement by successfully completing the Basic Skills courses or through equivalent formal training, and earn a total of 45 continuing education credits (of which some may be earned by successfully completing Basic Skills courses).

Once you have fulfilled the Basic Skills requirement and have earned 45 continuing education credits, you may apply for full certification, even if the three-year provisional certification period has not yet come to an end, and a certificate, at the appropriate Level, good for three years, will be issued. At the end of the provisional certification period, you must have met the requirements for full certification. Provisional Certification cannot be renewed.

   Renewing Certification

Certification may be renewed every three years indefinitely, as long as a participant earns 45 C.E. credits during the certification period. Renewals for participants who have met the requirements are automatic. Continuing Education credits may not be carried over from one certification period into a subsequent one.

   Levels of Public Librarian Certification

There are eight levels of certification:
  • Level V - Graduate degree in library or information science from an institution of higher education accredited by the American Library Association
  • Level IV-L - Graduate degree from an accredited college or university; and Bachelor's degree, A.A. degree, or Professional Certificate in Library Science.
  • Level IV - Graduate degree from an accredited college or university and fulfillment of the Basic Skills Requirement.
  • Level III-L - Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, and that degree in Library Science; or another Bachelor's degree, A.A. degree, or Professional Certificate in Library Science.
  • Level III - Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, and fulfillment of the Basic Skills Requirement.
  • Level II-L - At least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of college credit; with A.A. degree or Professional Certificate in Library Science.
  • Level II - High school diploma or GED certificate and 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of college credit, and fulfillment of the Basic Skills Requirement.
  • Level I - High school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate, and fulfillment of the Basic Skills Requirement.

   Certification Records

The Nebraska Library Commission maintains a database of participants in the certification program. Participation in continuing education activities sponsored by the Library Commission and/or any of the Nebraska Regional Library Systems is automatically reported and recorded. Attendance at continuing education activities sponsored or provided by institutions other than the Library Commission or one of the Regional Library Systems may also be counted and recorded, but individuals must report such attendance to the Continuing Education Coordinator within 90 days of the event. The CE Activity Report  may be used to report continuing education activities.

   Qualified Activities

Continuing education credit is earned for participation in planned learning experiences designed to bring about changes in knowledge, skills, or attitudes which contribute directly to delivery of quality library services and competent practice of librarianship.
  • Continuing education activities must be about libraries and librarianship, or must be about a subject that directly relates to the participant's job function within a library.
  • They must be offered by, or under the aegis of, a reputable organization or educational institution.
  • They must be presented in an organized way, and
  • They must be designed for adult learners.
For further information on how to earn CE credits, see Earning Continuing Education Credits for Nebraska Public Librarian Recertification. If you have any question whether you would earn CE credit by participating in a particular continuing education event, check with the Continuing Education Coordinator before the event. The Nebraska Library Commission reserves the right to determine whether participation in an event qualifies for continuing education credit, and for how much credit.

For more information, please see Public Librarian Certification.

For further information contact the Continuing Education Coordinator.

  Previous Chapter                              Main Page                                  Next Chapter

created 2006; rev. 7/2015                                                        For more information, contact Holli Duggan

back to top