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  Public Library Director's Guidebook


Important Questions:

  • Is my library accredited?
    • If so, what is the accreditation date?
  • Is my library board certified?
    • If so, what is their certification date?
  • After applying for public librarian certification (see below), what is my certification date?


In Nebraska, public libraries are accredited, and people (library boards, library directors, other library staff) are certified.

How are these processes related to each other?

  • In order for a library to be accredited, it has to have a library board that is certified.
  • In order for a library to be accredited, it has to have a library director who is certified.

What is required for a library to be accredited (other than having a certified board and director)?

  • The library must submit an accreditation application every three years to apply for accreditation. This application lays out guidelines that, if met, earn the library points toward attaining one of three levels of accreditation: gold, silver, or bronze.
  • The library must submit its annual statistics every year using software called Bibliostat Collect.
  • The library must submit the supplemental survey every year. This survey updates information such as library board member information, open hours, etc.
  • The library must maintain the levels of service, income, etc. through the three years it is accredited, or its accreditation could be withdrawn or otherwise modified.

Why should I worry if my library is accredited or not?

  • Accreditation is a measure of quality of the library services you offer to your community.
  • Accreditation is a matter of pride on the part of the community and its elected officials.
  • Accreditation qualifies the library to apply for grants from a variety of soures:
    • State aid to public libraries, based on population served and on the library's level of accreditation
    • Three other grants from the Nebraska Library Commission: Youth Grants for Excellence, Continuing Education & Training Grants; Library Improvement Grants
    • Kreutz Bennett Donor Advised Fund grants through the Nebraska Community Foundation
    • Grants/Loans from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for community facilities
    • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for community facilities

How does my library board become certified?

What sort of training does my board need to take to earn these CE hours?

  • These can include library-sponsored workshops, library-related videos, library-based consultant or training sessions. The key here is to learn how to become better board members.
  • Remember that if more than one board member experiences the same CE event, each one gets to count those CE hours. So, for example, the board may watch a 30-minute webinar at a board meeting. If five board members were present, that totals 2.5 hours of CE.
  • If you are unsure of whether or not an event or activity would count toward board CE, contact the CE Coordinator at the Nebraska Library Commission to clarify.

Why is it a good idea for the library director to be certified (other than the fact that it is required for our library to be accredited)?

  • It is a measure of quality in the library's lead staff. (In fact, it may be a good idea for other library staff to be certified as well.)
  • It helps improve library services throughout the state.

How do I enroll in the librarian certification program? How soon am I certified?

  • Go to the following link and sign up:
  • You will receive a Provisional Certificate good for three years as soon as you enroll.
  • If you already have a degree in Library Science or a professional certificate, you will be issued a certificate good for three years during which time you will need to earn 45 CE credits.
  • If you do not have a Library Science degree or professional certificate, you will need to:
    • Complete the Basic Skills courses
    • Earn a total of 45 CE credits, some of which are earned by completing the Basic Skills courses

I understand there are different levels of certification. What are those?

Level High School Diploma or GED Certificate Higher Education
(from an accredited college or university)
Must Complete Basic Skills Courses
I X - Yes
II X Completed at least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours Yes
II-L X A.A. Degree or Professsional Certificate
(in Library Science)
III X Bachelor's Degree Yes
III-L X Bachelor's Degree
(in Library Science)
IV X Graduate Degree Yes
IV-L X Graduate Degree
Bachelor's, A.A., or Professional Certificate
(in Library Science)
V X Graduate Degree
(ALA accredited Library or Information Science program)

For additional information:

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