Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Library Director Certification Process

According to the Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 6, public library and public library system directors  in Wisconsin must be certified at the appropriate grade level which is determined by municipal population of the town, village, or city where the library is located. “Population” is defined as the number of persons reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census in the last federal decennial census.

Public library directors are awarded primarily one of two types of certificates: regular or temporary. In order for a library to be in compliance with system membership requirements, directors eligible for regular certification must apply immediately upon employment if they are not already certified. A regular certificate is issued for a five-year period.

It can be renewed upon submission of the annual Annual Summation of Continuing Education Activities ( which satisfies the Division for Libraries and Technology that the holder has participated in continuing education in librarianship that is directly related to the position held or will permit advancement in the profession. The requirement for certification renewal is participation in 100 contact hours of continuing education as defined in this manual. A certificate is valid through the last day of the month in which it expires.

Image of Library Director certificate
Image of a Public Library Director Certificate
Directors must apply within three months of employment to be eligible for temporary certification. Temporary certification will not be issued to directors after they have served three months in their position.  Directors eligible for temporary certification must possess appropriate general education requirements. A table of general education and library education requirements is located in the "Certification Manual for Wisconsin Public Library Directors" on page seven.

Directors must submit an application form, located on the Certification ( web page,in writing to the Division for Libraries and Technology and a check for either a temporary ($10) or regular ($50)certification.

Additionally, a copy of either a college transcript or degree to demonstrate an applicant's educational level and any library coursework already taken in college or a list with approximate schedule for completion of the required courses for those directors applying for Grades 2 and 3. Certificates are effective on the date of approval by the Public Library Development Team through the last day of the expiration month indicated on the certificate.

The proposed schedule requires approval by the division. The temporary certificate may be renewed on an annual basis up to three times for a total coverage not exceeding a period of four years, provided the applicant has completed a basic public library administration course by the end of the first year and at least one course by the end of each subsequent year, not to exceed four years. The temporary certificate is not renewable a fourth time.

There is a certification validator located in each of the seventeen (17) public library systems who review application renewal materials and is copied on renewal email/snail mail.   

Written by:
Terrie Howe, Public Library Development Team