Category Archives: Support Staff

Moving Up: Making the Transition Support Staff to a Professional Position During a Budget Crisis

Faced with slow economic recovery and a looming budget deficit, libraries are straining to provide services and purchase materials without having to layoff staff. Layoffs, without a doubt, are hard on the individual as well as the staff as a whole. What is the effect of layoffs on MLS-holding support staff, particularly those who hope to be hired as a professional librarian?

The library job market looks better than it did a few years ago for many … Read the rest

Library Support Staff Certification Programs at ALA Conference

ALA-APA is delighted to sponsor two programs at the 2010 ALA Conference that highlight the progress of the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program. See below for more details.

Library Support Staff Certification Program Open Forum

Sunday, June 27, 2010, 4:00-5:30 pm – Room TBA

ALA has developed a national, voluntary Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSC Program). The program is focused on skills that public and academic library support staff have or need. This is an exciting time … Read the rest

Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Accepts Candidates

ALA-APA is currently accepting applications from potential candidates interested in achieving the Library Support Staff Certification.(LSSC). The LSSC Program is the first national, voluntary certification program for library support staff. Over forty candidates have applied since the program opened January 25, 2010.

This new certification program will help library support staff achieve recognition for current and new skills and abilities, and increase access to continuing education opportunities. ALA and ALA-APA President Camila Alire affirms, “This certification program was much needed … Read the rest

Libraries Changed My Life

Libraries changed my life.

Of course, at the age of 10 when my father signed me up for my first summer reading program at the local public library, I had no idea this would be the case. I only thought it was cool to get stickers to put on my treasure map after I plunged through so many library books.

I didn’t realize it either when I checked out a book about babies that turned out to … Read the rest

MPLA 2010 Leadership Institute Application Online

The application for the Mountain Plains Library Association 2010 Leadership Institute is now online. This 7th MPLA Institute will be held April 25-30 in Estes Park, Colorado. It will again be facilitated by nationally known organizational development consultant Maureen Sullivan. Applications must be postmarked November 30, 2009.

Anyone employed in a library in the MPLA region with a minimum of 5 years in a library-related job with progressive experience is invited to apply. Education requirements of previous institutes have been … Read the rest

Non-Degreed Library Staff Take On Traditional MLS Duties, Says Library Journal Survey

Results of a 2009 Library Journal hiring practices survey indicate that the job descriptions of non-MLS library employees are shifting to encompass duties traditionally performed by MLS-degreed librarians. The June 2009 LJ article, “MLS: Hire Ground,” explores the effect of this trend on libraries’ core functions, reference, collection and branch management. It also discusses the debate over deprofessionalization. the rest

DPE Fact Sheet:

Three Out of Four Support Staff Now Perform MLS Librarian Duties

A 2009 fact sheet issued by the Department for Professional Employees, “Library Workers: Facts and Figures,” offers insight on trends affecting library paraprofessionals. The sheet compiles data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Library Association, among others. The report provides a snapshot of factors affecting all library workers, but several statistics are of particular interest to support staff.… Read the rest

Massachusetts Library Association Paralibrarian Section: Makin’ It Happen

In Massachusetts we voted to call ourselves “paralibrarians.” At the 2003 Section Annual Meeting at the Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Conference, we approved this new name by only one vote. I like to think the deciding vote was mine (though, of course, 51% of our members could claim the same distinction).

The Paralibrarian Section of MLA has an amazing group of energetic, dedicated and creative people working behind the scenes to expand the opportunities and options … Read the rest

Empowerment Conference Information in LSSIRT Newsletter

The June issue of the Library Support Staff Interests Round Table Newsletter, highlights programs to be held during the Empowerment Conference (p. 5).  The theme this year is “Who’s Da Boss:  Leadership for Library Support Staff.”  LSSIRT’s latest newsletter can be viewed at… Read the rest


Editors’ note: In celebration of National Library Workers’ Day and the bonds library workers form with their communities, we profile library paraprofessional Doris Bragg. Her story illustrates how the library brings together those with different needs—and, sometimes, with different numbers of legs.

In October of 1999, I began work as a clerk at the Madison County Library in Danielsville, Georgia. It is a small library in a mostly rural area with a very friendly population. In the … Read the rest