Frequently Asked Questions

Why would a librarian want to be a participant in the Certified Public Library Administrator Program?

Every librarian’s reason for seeking certification is different. It may be because you want to prepare yourself for a more demanding role in a library; it may be because you do not want to pursue a second master’s degree; or it may be because you are currently an administrator and want to fill in gaps in your experience and education. Some librarians are certified by their states, but because state standards differ, they wish to have a targeted, rigorous and portable certification.

How often will participant reviews of applications be conducted by the Certification Review Committee?

Certification applications from librarians will be reviewed four times a year, at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in January, in Spring, at the Annual Conference in June and in Fall.

How much does the program cost participants?

Participation in CPLA requires a $250 non-refundable fee for ALA members and $350 for non-members. Each course/standard review is $60 for ALA members and $75 for non-members. There is a final review fee; the total cost is $745 for ALA members and $975 for non-members to be paid to ALA-APA. These fees do not include the cost of courses, which averages $360 – $400. Those fees are paid directly to the providers.

Course Completion Forms are $60.00 per submission for ALA members, $75.00 per submission for non-members. Final Reviews are $75.00 per (ALA member) or $100 (non-member). If you can any questions, please contact Kimberly Redd at klredd@ala.org.

How long do I have to complete all seven standards?

Candidates have five years from their approval into the CPLA program to complete the program and earn the CPLA designation.

Who are course providers?

Providers may be consultants working with ALA divisions, ALA chapters, library schools and other graduate programs, independent consultants, library vendors, and regional library systems.

How long is each course?

Each course is six weeks. Please see the Courses Offered for a listing of current offerings.

How much will courses cost?

From the Courses Offered listing, you will find links to the information and fees for each course. The range has been $360 to $400.

What are the courses going to be like?

The curricula and delivery methods differ, but what will be consistent is that each provider has guaranteed that their course will meet the requirements for each standard. Each provider also incorporates a unique evaluation method – a paper, project or assignment that incorporates the learning from the course.

What does course review mean? What is the “evidence of completion?”

Once a course is completed, candidates submit the Course Completion Form, which will serve as proof of satisfactory performance in the course. Candidates have up to 12 months after completion to submit a course to the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association for review.

Is it possible to opt out of some of the course work?