In order to ensure that communities are served by qualified library personnel, the MBLC grants Professional and Subprofessional Certificates of Librarianship to applicants based on work experience or education level, as set forth in statue (MGL c.78 s.22-31) and regulation (605 CMR 3.01-3.06).
The certificates are required of all Massachusetts public library directors for eligibility in the State Aid to Public Libraries Program.
Basic Library Techniques (BLT)
Upon application, the MBLC issues certificates for the completion of the Basic Library Techniques (BLT). The BLT is a group of four special training courses designed for public library directors who do not have a Master of Library Science degree. The intent of the BLT program is to provide practical training in library administration, reference, cataloging, and materials selection.
The BLT requirement to receive state aid applies only to municipalities with a population under 10,000, and within that group, only to library directors who do not have a Master of Library Science degree. The BLT class schedule is set by the Massachusetts Library System.
Because the applications for Professional and Subprofessional Certificates of Librarianship are archived for 75 years, the applications must be printed on bond (acid-free) paper.
The current fees are $53.00 for a Professional or Subprofessional certificate and $38.00 for a replacement certificate.
Regulations call for certification fee review every three years. Fees are established by vote of the Board of Library Commissioners. At its July 9, 2015 meeting, the board voted to increase the certification fees to $53.00 and the replacement fee to $38.00.
- Professional Certification of Librarianship Application (PDF) - For library directors with an MLS.
- Subprofessional Certificate of Librarianship Application (PDF) - For library directors without an MLS (in municipalities of 10,000 or less).
- Application for Replacement Certificate of Librarianship (PDF) - for replacement of any type of certificate.
- Application for Certificate of Special Training in Basic Library Techniques (PDF)