There are two costs associated with achieving Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC). The first cost is the LSSC application and enrollment fee, which is $350 ($325 for ALA members), and the only cost that you will pay to ALA directly for initial application, enrollment and certification.
The second cost depends on the method that you chose to achieve competency sets. One of these methods is to complete an LSSC approved course. Providers of approved courses set their own fees. The LSSC program does not make recommendations or participate in the setting of fees, or benefit from these fees. To achieve competency sets, LSSC candidates can also submit a portfolio on a competency set instead of taking a course. Currently, there is no fee to submit a portfolio and have it reviewed. You may achieve the six competency sets through any combination of portfolios and/or courses. You need to take an approved course or develop one portfolio per competency set.
Financial assistance available from LSSC
When funds are available, the LSSC Program offers course subsidies to help candidates pay for an approved course and Enrollment Achievement Awards (EAAs) to help support staff pay the LSSC application and enrollment fee.
Other possible sources of financial assistance for LSSC expenses are:
Your place of employment
- Suggest that you will pay your own application/enrollment fee if your library will help with your courses fees or vice versa.
- Offer to share your learning with your colleagues in exchange for the library paying for your coursework. This increases the value of the library’s investment.
- Does your library offer support for college courses or continuing education workshops? Ask if LSSC approved courses are eligible for reimbursement. You may suggest that you pay the cost and demonstrate that you successfully completed the course and then receive reimbursement.
- Does your library pay for you to attend a library conference? It is likely that the cost of your attendance will exceed either the LSSC application fee or the cost of an LSSC approved course. Suggest that you forgo attending the conference and use the funding to pay for LSSC expenses.
- Does your library have a Library Friends Group? If so, perhaps they would be willing to contribute funds to support your candidacy.
Your library association
- Some library associations also have scholarship funds available for continuing education. The Support Staff Division of the Oregon Library Association has offered application/enrollment assistance.
- If you have a library support staff group in your state, suggest that they establish a fund for this purpose. Suggest they conduct a fund-raiser at the annual conference with the proceeds going towards certification candidates.
A regional library cooperative
- The Colorado Library Consortium offered 10 enrollment assistance awards in 2010 and 2011. Each award is worth one-half the LSSC registration and enrollment cost.
- Many regional cooperatives have extensive continuing education for library support staff. Suggest that the follow the Colorado model and support LSSC application/enrollment costs, in full or in part.
Your state library agency
- Many state libraries have continuing education programs and offer financial support. Ask if library support staff is eligible to receive this assistance.
Invest in your own future
- If no other funding is available, consider investing in your own future. LSSC cannot promise that your library will give you a raise or a promotion as a result of certification; however, we know that certified staff have received increased responsibilities and new positions. Certification will be an asset to you if you apply for a job in another library.
- Ask for the LSSC application/enrollment fee or a course subsidy as a Christmas or birthday present from you family. One nephew offered to pay his aunt’s application fee as a gift to her.
PLEASE SEND US OTHER IDEAS FOR FUNDING YOUR WORK TOWARDS CERTIFICATION AND WE WILL ADD THEM TO THIS LIST.