Exciting News About the Library Support Staff Certification Program

The Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program had an active and productive year and has exciting plans, with a new three-year grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services.

LSSC began accepting applications from certification candidates on January 25, 2010. Between then and August 8, 2010, 105 candidates have applied to be candidates. Admission criteria are a high school diploma or equivalent and one year of full-time volunteer or paid work in a library over the past five years. LSS from other counties have also expressed interest and are eligible to apply.

For certification, candidates must achieve six of ten competency sets. They do so by completing a LSSC-approved courses or by submitting portfolios demonstrating that they have achieved the competency set. LSSC conducted an intensive campaign to solicit course applications and applications from potential portfolio evaluators. To date, 25 courses have been approved and are listed on the LSSC website, with another 15 course applications in the review process. Some courses require in-person attendance while some are offered online allowing candidates across the country to participate.

Currently, LSSC has accepted 20 portfolio evaluators although, to date, only one candidate has submitted a portfolio for review. However, we expect numerous submissions as many candidates have expressed interest in developing portfolios. The LSSC Program has created helpful videos and other materials to explain and lead candidates through portfolio development.

LSSC is planning four webinars for this fall: A Basic Introduction to LSSC, Preparing a Portfolio for LSSC, Being a Portfolio Evaluator, and Using the LiveText Certification Management System.

In mid-June, 2010, LSSC learned that IMLS awarded ALA a three-year project to build upon the LSSC Program’s success. The focus of the next three-years will be to:

  • Recruit LSSC candidates, including registration assistance for approximately 400 candidates over the next 2 years;
  • Develop candidate support activities such as portfolio consultants, mentors, and continued training;
  • Continue to recruit approved courses and portfolio evaluators;
  • Work closely with community and technical colleges to explore a way for community college students to simultaneously graduate from their LTA program and receive the LSSC;
  • Explore reciprocity with state library agencies with certification programs and adoption of the LSSC by state library agencies without certification programs; and
  • Conduct an extensive evaluation of the impact of LSSC.

LSSC continues to create excitement in the US library community. Library support staff, library managers, state library agencies, and library educators have shown their support for LSSC.

For more information about LSSC, visit the LSSC website.