CPLA Application

The Certified Public Library Administrator program is a voluntary post-MLS certification program for public librarians with three years or more of supervisory experience. Candidates complete seven courses, four required/core and three electives of their choice.  CPLA certification will enable public librarians to:

  • Further their professional education and development.
  • Move to a higher level of practical professional experience.
  • Improve career opportunities through professional expertise.
  • Demonstrate to colleagues, trustees and board of directors, patrons and the wider information community that the certified person has acquired a nationally and professionally recognized body of knowledge and expertise in public library administration.
  • Improve the quality of library service through the provision of practical knowledge and skills essential to successful library management.


The application fee is $250 for American Library Association (ALA) personal members and $350 for non-members.  There are additional course and administrative costs, which are covered on the Fees page.

An official academic transcript from the institution where you received your graduate degree is required to be submitted with your application. These can be submitted directly from the institution, or mailed in the unopened envelope as received from the degree-granting institutions along with any other materials you may need to submit. Only official (sealed) copies will be accepted.  Mail transcripts to: ALA-CPLA Program, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601.

You may complete this application online.

You must have:

– a minimum of three years of experience in a public library position that included or includes supervisory and administrative duties. Definition of supervisory experience Definition of a public library