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Public Librarian Certification

The Public Librarian Certification program:

  • Improves library service throughout the state
  • Motivates librarians to acquire, maintain, and develop skills through basic and continuing education
  • Provides guidelines for public library boards to use in selecting and retaining personnel
  • Recognizes public librarians who update their knowledge and skills on a continuing basis to provide better library service for the community

How do I enroll?

To participate in the Public Librarian Certification program, you must submit an application to the program. There is no cost to apply or participate in the certification program. However, there may be costs involved in your participation at various continuing education activities (such as attending conferences or workshops).

Upon receipt of a complete application, the Nebraska Library Commission will issue a certificate and send it to the preferred address listed on the application form. Certificates will have a renewal date of three years from the application's processing date.

Individuals applying at levels I, II, III, or IV will receive a provisional certificate until they fulfill the Basic Skills requirements. Individuals applying at levels II-L, III-L, IV-L, or V will receive a certificate without the provisional designation.

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What are the different levels of certification?

Level High School Diploma or GED Certificate Higher Education
(from an accredited college or university)
Must Complete Basic Skills Courses
I X - Yes
II X Completed at least 60 semester hours
or 90 quarter hours
II-L X A.A. Degree or Professional Certificate
(in Library Science)
III X Bachelor's Degree
III-L X Bachelor's Degree
(in Library Science)
IV X Graduate Degree
IV-L X Graduate Degree
Bachelor's, A.A., or Professional Certificate
(in Library Science)
V X Graduate Degree
(ALA accredited Library or Information Science program)

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What are the program requirements?

The program is open to all Nebraska residents, currently employed in, or planning to be employed in any Nebraska library.

If you have a degree in Library Science upon enrollment:
you will be issued a certificate, good for three years.  During this and subsequent three-year periods, you must earn a total of 45 continuing education credits in order to renew your certificate.
If you do not have a degree in Library Science upon enrollment:
you will be issued a provisional certificate, good for three years. During the initial three-year certification period, you must fulfill the Basic Skills requirement by successfully completing the Basic Skills courses and earning a total of 45 continuing education credits. (Completing Basic Skills courses will count towards this total.)

Provisional certificates cannot be renewed. Once you have fulfilled the Basic Skills requirement and have earned 45 CE credits, you may contact Holli Duggan or Mary Geibel for full certification, even if the three-year provisional certification period has not ended. A certificate at the appropriate level will be issued and will be good for three years.

If you are currently enrolled (or will enroll) in a Library Science degree program:

you will be issued a provisional certificate, good for three years. You will not need to complete the Basic Skills courses. During this initital three-year certification period, you must earn a total of 45 continuting education credits in order to renew your certificate.

When you complete your degree, you may contact Holli Duggan with a copy of your (unofficial) transcripts and we can update your certification level and issue a new certficate. You may also submit two college courses for CE credit, as long as the course ended during your current certification period and you send us a copy of your (unofficial) transcript.

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What does a provisional certificate mean?

It means that you have not yet fulfilled the Basic Skills requirements.

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How do I register for the Basic Skills courses?

Register for Basic Skills courses through the NLC Training and Events Calendar.

More information about the courses is available at Basic Skills for Nebraska Librarians Courses.

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When does my certification expire?

Certification may be renewed every three years indefinitely, as long as you earn 45 CE credits during the recertification period. The Nebraska Library Commission will automatically renew your certificate if you've earned enough CE credits. A new certificate will be issued and a new three-year recertification period will begin.

Continuing Education credits may not be carried over from one recertification period into the following one.

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How do I earn Continuing Education credits for certification?

Continuing education (CE) credit is earned for participation in planned learning experiences designed to bring about changes in knowledge, skills, or attitudes which contribute directly to the delivery of quality library services and competent practice of librarianship.

During each three-year recertification period, 45 CE credits must be accumulated in order to be recertified. For more information on earning CE credits and submitting CE activities or events, see Earning Continuing Education Credits for Nebraska Public Librarian Recertification.

If you have any question whether you would earn CE credit by participating in a particular event or activity, check with the Continuing Education Coordinator in advance. The Nebraska Library Commission reserves the right to determine whether participation in an event qualifies for CE credit and for how much credit.

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How do I check my CE hours?

To review your record and CE hours, go to the CE Record Review. Log in using your first name, last name, and password. If you don't have a password, please contact Mary Geibel or click here for CE Password Reminder.

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Links & Resources:

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For more information, contact Holli Duggan.