Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Update

By Nancy Bolt, LSSC Project Co-Director

It has been a very busy summer and fall for LSSC. The big news: competencies in the 10 LSSC competency sets have been revised. With input from the LSSC Certification Review Committee, library experts and ALA Divisions, the LSSC staff prepared revised competencies. The ALA-APA Executive Board approved the new competencies on October 28, 2012. You can see the new competencies on the LSSC website. With the new competencies approved, the portfolio development suggestions used in preparing portfolios as well as the rest of the LSSC website has also been revised and updated.

The revisions resulted in a merging of some of the competencies so that candidates choosing to prepare portfolios will find the task less complicated. The directions for preparing a portfolio have also been revised and clarified. Support staff who have prepared portfolios contributed to the revised directions.

LSSC has also completed 11 recognition agreements with community colleges who submit their entire curriculum for review. Support staff who graduate from colleges with which LSSC has recognition agreements are immediately eligible for LSSC certification.

As of December 1, LSSC has 318 candidates from 45 states and 26 graduates. The number keeps growing as library support staff recognize the value of certification. Candidates have shared anecdotes about results after certification. One candidate reported that when lay-offs occurred at her academic library, her broadened knowledge and skills as a result of her certification work resulted in her keeping her job and expanding her responsibilities. Another reported that after her certification she was able to get a job in another school library at twice the salary. And a third indicated her mayor had requested a raise for her from the city council after she became certified.

A formal evaluation of all candidates and graduates will be done next year. For more information on the LSSC Program, please email