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Public Library Toolbox

Public Librarian Certification

Reasons to become certified include improving library services; increasing customer satisfaction; upgrading quality of libraries, enhancing employees' abilities; increasing knowledge and skills; staying abreast of new technology; and meeting Nevada library standards.

The legal authority for certification of a librarian in a public library is detailed in the Nevada Revised Statutes 379.0073 and requirements are outlined in the Nevada Administrative Code 379. This program is targeted to employees of public libraries serving a population under 50,000 and public libraries which do not have a person with a MLS degree performing duties as administrator, reference, and children's librarian. A consolidated library district that serves a population of more than 1,000,000 may establish the educational qualifications of the executive director, which may include, without limitation, holding a master’s degree in library and information science. This program applies only to public libraries in Nevada and is not transferrable to other locations. The program of certification is not applicable to people who hold a master's degree in library science from an ALA accredited institution.

Nevada Revised Statute 379: Public Libraries 

Nevada Administrative Code 379: Public Libraries 

Before beginning the certification program, please notify Library Development at NSLAPR of your intent.

Who may be certified?

Upon approval by the local library board, this program provides for certification of a librarian in a Nevada public library. To be certified by the State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator as a librarian, you must: 

  1. Submit a completed application accompanied by copies of academic transcripts and a letter of recommendation.

  2. Have a bachelor's degree and at least 2 years of library experience; an associate's degree and at least 4 years of library experience; or a high school diploma or GED and at least 7 years of library experience. 

  3. Provide verification of required years of experience.

  4. Pass a criminal background check.

An applicant must be a citizen of the United States or have filed a valid declaration to become a citizen or a valid petition for naturalization (NRS 391.060).

What is required?

To become certified in Nevada, applicants must have completed at least 21 semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university which includes 3 semester hours of instruction in each of the following subjects: 

  • Administration of a Library 

  • Bibliography and Reference 

  • Cataloging and Classification of Materials 

  • Technology in the Library 

  • Literature for Children and Young Adults 

  • Selection of Library Materials 

  • A course in the History and Organization of Libraries 

All required courses taken for certification as a public librarian in Nevada must be at the 400/600 college/university level. These requirements cannot be satisfied by courses offered by a college/university as continuing education credit (CEUs) or at the 100/200/300 college/university level.  It is recommended that students complete English 101 and/or 102 before enrolling in the above courses. Some courses are available through distance learning platforms. 

All credits must be earned through a regionally accredited college/university, approved state, or foreign institution. Foreign transcripts much be evaluated for degree equivalency by an approved evaluator before certification is made.

Please see the Library Certification Application Checklist below which outlines all the requirements. The checklist should be initialed and returned with application packet.

Recertification Requirements

A certificate as a librarian is valid for three years after the date on which it is issued. To renew the certificate you must submit to the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records proof (before the expiration date on the certificate) of satisfactory completion of:  

   (a) 3 semester credits for courses of continuing education approved by the Public Library Board of Trustees, or  

   (b) 5 units of continuing education established by a continuing education division of the University of Nevada in Reno or Las Vegas, or  

   (c) Any combination of (a) and (b) 

1 semester hour credit at NSHE = 15 contact hours 

1 continuing education unit at NSHE = 10 contact hours

Conditional Certification

The State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator may issue a conditional certificate if an applicant has proof of completion of 15 semester hours of credit in courses required for certification of a librarian in a public library.