605 CMR 3.00: Certification of Librarians
- 3.01: Applicability
- 3.02: Term of Certification
- 3.03: Fees
- 3.04: Requirements for Professional Certificate
- 3.05: Examinations for Professional Certification
- 3.06: Requirements for Sub-Professional Certification
- The Board of Library Commissioners shall grant to an applicant a certificate as either a professional librarian or a sub-professional librarian, if the applicant meets the appropriate statutory and regulatory requirements.
- The classification of library positions as sub-professional and professional and the establishment of local requirements for both grades of library personnel rest with the local library employing authority.
- Certification is required of the library director, chief librarian, or librarian-in-charge in a city or town as a prerequisite to receive direct state aid to public libraries under M.G.L. c. 78, s.19A
- The law does not limit the certification process to full-time employees; therefore applications for certification of part-time employees will be accepted.
- The law does not limit the certification process to employees of municipal libraries. Applications from persons employed in all types of libraries will be accepted and processed.
- School librarians are certified under the Teacher Certification Law by the Board of Education (M.G.L. c. 71, s.38G as amended by St. 1973, c. 847 and further amended by St. 1977, c. 865). Since the requirements for the certification of school librarians are not identical with the requirements for certification of professional librarians under M.G.L. c. 78, ss.22 through 31, the holder of a certificate as a school librarian may not be entitled to certification as a professional librarian* [Go to footnote].
Certificates are valid for the life of the person certified, unless suspended or revoked for due cause.
Any certificates granted under 605 CMR 3.00 shall be accompanied by a certification fee set at $18.00, and a replacement fee set at $6.00, as of July 1, 2000. There will be two additional yearly increases of $6.00 on July 1, 2001 and 2002 resulting in a certification fee of $30.00 and a replacement fee of $18.00 on July 1, 2002.
Beginning July 1, 2005, certification fees shall be reviewed every three years and established by a vote of the Board of Library Commissioners.
- The professional certificate of librarianship certifies the holder as a professional librarian "qualified by education, training or study and experience to practice library work in a position requiring knowledge of books and of library aims and techniques equivalent to that attained through graduation from a library school accredited by the American Library Association." (M.G.L. c. 78, s.24)
- The Board shall issue a certificate certifying as a professional librarian any person who requests certification upon a form prescribed by the Board and who fulfills one or both of the following requirements:
(a) Graduation from a library school accredited by the American Library Association or the passing of an examination which, with due consideration of education, professional training, practical experience and demonstrated ability, shall satisfy the Board that the candidate has the qualifications required for the satisfactory practice of library work.
(b) The holding of an unexpired certificate issued by the proper authority in any state other than this Commonwealth in which the requirements for certification are satisfactory to the Board.
- The transcript of the college and library school record of a candidate for professional certification need not be presented, provided a certified statement of graduation with a degree is submitted by the proper authority.
- A certificate of completion of courses in a library school program is not to be regarded as the equivalent of graduation with a degree.
- Graduation with a degree from a library school accredited by the American Library Association at the time of graduation qualifies an applicant for a certificate of professional librarianship without examination, even though said library school may not be included in the current listing of American Library Association accredited library schools.
- Any graduate with a degree from a library school accredited by the American Library Association at the time of application for a certificate of professional librarianship qualifies without examination.
- Correspondence courses will not be accepted as a basis for professional certification.
- There will be no provisional certification of professional librarians. Library employees who cannot meet the requirements for professional certification have the alternative of applying for a sub-professional certificate.
- Certification by examination is only one method of obtaining professional certification. (See 605 CMR 3.04.)
- All candidates for Professional Librarian Certification by examination are expected to fulfill all three of the following requirements:
- General Education. Graduation from a four-year college accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the National Commission on Accrediting. The Board may also admit to these examinations graduates of overseas college and university programs deemed equivalent to accredited four-year programs in the United States.
- Professional Education. The completion of 18 semester hours of library science courses from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the National Commission on Accrediting. A candidate shall submit evidence of having completed courses in:
- cataloging and classification;
- reference methods, materials, and use; and
- additional courses aimed at orienting students in library service and developing library skills; for example, subject bibliography; material selection; the literature and/or services for children, young adults, or adults; media; and information science. For persons who apply after January 1, 1979, these courses must be taken from a four-year institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the National Commission on Accrediting.
- Experience. Minimum of three years experience of a professional nature in public, school, academic, or special libraries where the candidate's responsibilities and duties indicate, in the opinion of the employer, an ability to perform those described for "Librarian" in the Guide to the Employment of Professional and Sub-Professional Personnel in Massachusetts Public Libraries (Boston: Massachusetts Bureau of Library Extension, 1972) page 7.
- Examinations will be prepared and evaluated by an out-of-state examiner appointed by the Board of Library Commissioners.
- Examinations will be held semi-annually if there are applicants for examination. The Board of Library Commissioners reserves the right to postpone any announced examination if fewer than six examination candidates are scheduled to appear; or, when funds are not available to meet the expense of retaining an examiner.
- The Board will supply prospective certification examinees with:
- application forms;
- a general information sheet on the certification by examination program; and
- suggested reading list.
- The certification examination shall consist of both essay type and objective questions. Candidates must attain a passing grade in both sections. For the objective portion of the examination, the passing mark shall be 70 on a scale of 100; for the essay portion, the passing point need not be an arithmetic percentage but may be set by the examiner at a predetermined mark which in the judgment of the Board of Library Commissioners meets the minimum requirements for certification as a professional librarian.
- The sub-professional certificate of librarianship certifies the holder as qualified "through an elementary knowledge of library techniques to engage in the necessary library routines involved in the acquiring and circulation of books, but not qualified as a professional librarian." (M.G.L. c. 78, s.24)
- Any graduate with an Associate in Arts or Science degree from an institution whose two-year program meets the American Library Association Criteria for Programs to Prepare Library/Media Technical Assistants qualifies immediately for a sub-professional certificate. The transcript of the candidate's record need not be presented, provided a certified statement of completion of the Library Technology program is submitted by the proper authority.
- All library personnel performing satisfactorily for six months in the various library tasks relating to the acquisition and circulation of books will be considered eligible for sub-professional certification.
- The head librarian or an official representative of the local library employing authority must submit in writing a validation of employment and satisfactory performance for any staff member applying for sub-professional certification.
- Provisional sub-professional certificates with a six-month termination date may be issued to persons whose head librarian or local library employing authority files a statement that the position requires:
(a) an elementary knowledge of library techniques, and
(b) the holding of a sub-professional certificate. At the end of the six-month period, and upon receipt by the Board of a validating statement from the head librarian or local employing authority that the staff member has acquired an elementary knowledge of library techniques as further described in 605 CMR 3.06(3) and 3.06(4), the provisional sub-professional certificate may be exchanged for a permanent sub-professional certificate.
605 CMR 3.00: M.G.L. c. 78, ss.22 through 31.
*M.G.L. c. 31, s.5 exempts from the Civil Service Law: (1) professional and subprofessional librarians whose duties require that they have certificates issued by the Board of Library Commissioners and (2) pages employed in libraries on a part-time or intermittent basis; i.e. day or evening students of high school or college.[Return to text]