Indiana Public Librarian Certification Guide - 2024

AKA: Indiana LC1, LC2, LC3, LC4, LC5, LC6, and LC7 Certification

by Staff

Updated: October 5th, 2022

In the state of Indiana, it is required that anyone who spends more than 50% of their duties doing library tasks, must be certified. Certification is required because the role of librarians is becoming much more vast and demanding. Librarians are responsible for implementing and utilizing new technology within their facilities, as well as deeply understand the contents and materials inside in order to provide the best experience for their patrons. Librarians must both compete and operate seamlessly in coordination with technology.

Librarians are also a key component of the community, bridging the gaps within individual communities and addressing personal needs by coordinating special events to attract visitors throughout the year. As a librarian you are expected to read children’s stories for the youngsters and then also have the ability to act as a large-scale buyer in the same day. Every state has different requirements and for the same reason. Librarians are expected to do more, and they must be trained to do so.

There is one application for any individual seeking a temporary permit, renewal, advanced, or 5-year certificate.

Indiana Public Librarian Certification Guide

This guide is a specialized overview of any and all requirements for the “Application for the Certification of Public Librarian” in the state of Indiana. There are seven levels of certification for Public Librarians in Indiana. Level 1 being the highest/most experienced title. The levels are abbreviated like this: LC1, LC2, LC3, LC4, LC5, LC6, LC7. When completing an application, individuals have the option of filing a one (1) year temporary certification or five (5) year certification. Each expires on the date issued one or five year(s) later.

  • Library Certification level one maintains a standard of a Masters degree in Library Sciences as well as 10 years professional experience. Individuals also qualify for level one if they have six years professional experience and at least three years of administrative experience.
  • Level two certification maintains that an individual applying has a Masters degree in Library Sciences as well as three years professional experience.
  • Level three certification maintains that an individual has a Masters degree in Library Sciences.
  • Level four requires an individual to possess a bachelor’s degree as well as 15 hours of Library Science credit college hours. These credit hours must cover five crucial topics. These topics include, “Collection Development (aka Selection & Evaluation of Materials), Reference and Information Sources, Library Management and Administration, Cataloging and Organization of Materials, Children’s Services (aka Materials for Youth)” (Indiana State Library, 2021).
  • Level five requires the applicant to have completed at least 60 hours of college course credit plus at least nine hours of Library Sciences. The course hours need to cover at least three of the five topics listed above.
  • Level six requires individuals to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent plus three years of library experience. Individuals also qualify for level six if they have nine hours of college level Library Science credit.
  • Level seven maintains that an applicant has a high school diploma or GED equivalent plus the three years of library experience or nine hours of college level Library Science credit. Level seven also requires, “Each of the first 3 years of employment must take 10 hours of ISL training for library administrators” (Indiana State Library, 2021). It is also important to note that LC7 is only an option for a new director that serves a population of 3,000 maximum.

Education Requirements

Each level has different education requirements. If training is needed, this Indiana State Library website provides several different resources. Also included on this page are links to free educational programs and third-party sites. You can also find all Library and Information Science degree programs offered by Indiana schools, here.

Resources are also available at Indiana Roundtable Discussion Groups for Library Staff and Webjunction’s Foundational ABLE and SABLE classes (Indiana State Library, 2021). Indiana makes it easy to learn online or in-person. Get the training you need conveniently for your schedule. When seeking out additional training or educational resources make sure they offer a certificate or proof of credit. All documentation will be needed during the application process.

There are specific courses that are acknowledged and approved for individuals seeking LC4 or LC5 status. There are four colleges/universities combined that offer exceptional course credit hours in the five primary topics. From Ivy Tech Community College, students are encouraged to take the following:

  • LIBR208 (development& management of Library collections)
  • LIBR201 (Cataloguing & Classification)
  • LIBR207 (Supervision & Management of Public Libraries)
  • LIBR200 (Introduction to Ref. Sources and Services)
  • LIBR203 (Library Services for Children)

From UI Bloomington, students are encouraged to take the following:

  • ILS Z502 (Collection Development & Management)
  • ILS Z504 (cataloguing) or ILS Z631 (Advanced Cataloguing)
  • ILS Z551 (Management for info. Professionals) or ILS Z553 (Public Library Management)
  • ILS Z501 (User Services and Tools)
  • ILS Z571 (Materials for youth) or ILS Z572 (youth services)

UI also offers a MLS degree online and those courses include the following:

  • LIS S502 (Acquisition and Management of Knowledge and Info)
  • LIS S503 (Organization and Representation of Knowledge and information) or LIS S504 (Cataloguing)
  • LIS S551 (Library Management) or LIS S553 (Public Library Management)
  • LIS S501 (Information Sources and Services)
  • LIS S571 (Materials for Youth) or LIS S572 (Youth Services)

Experience Requirements

Experience matters in the work place. This is where librarians apply their education. There are some skills that you build simply from being in the library environment. That’s why every level of certification requires some form of credit hours or experience inside a public library. It is important to interact with the patrons and be immersed in the library atmosphere. The best and easiest way to gain this experience is by visiting the public library, requesting to volunteer and getting to know your community. Every library has different needs, there’s no telling how you can help unless you put yourself out there and get involved.

Testing Requirements

There are no testing requirements in the certification process. This excludes any testing conducted from universities or colleges.

Background Checks

The state of Indiana reserves the right to conduct a background check on all applicants. There is no detailed information on this specific requirement from the state, and background checks may be done upon beginning employment by the employing library.

Application Process

Application can be found here: Indiana Public Librarian Certification Application. Individuals may print out the form and mail it to this address:

Indiana State Library
ATTN: Certification Program Director
140 N. Senate Avenue
Indianapolis IN 46204-2296

Additionally, you may download the form and fill it out. Once complete you may email the form to:

There is a $10 fee for applications that are 1 year (Temporary). There is a $50 application fee for those seeking a 5-year certificate.