Nevada Public Librarian Certification Guide - 2022

Last Reviewed: August 23rd, 2022

Licensor: NSLAPR

Public libraries provide much-needed services for our communities, including many that go beyond the scope of book sharing. As technology evolves and the needs of community members shift, librarians have had to shift as well. 

Today’s librarians hold many unofficial titles beyond “librarian” itself. They’re book advisors, technology experts, information detectives, and even children’s storytellers. They may also be event coordinators, office managers, public servants, and government liaisons. 

One thing many states have adopted to keep up with these changes is a public librarian certification, which acts as either a continued education option for librarians to keep up with changes, and/or a signal of competence at these new skills which helps with employment options. It also helps standardize the role of a librarian at different branches across the country.

The State of Nevada outlines the following benefits for its certification: 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 state’s full guide to librarian certification, from which the information below was sourced, can be found on the Nevada State Library, Archives & Public Records website.

Nevada’s Public Librarian Certification Guide

Nevada’s certification is called the Nevada Public Librarian Certification. Whether or not a librarian is required to have the certification depends on a few factors, including the particular role a librarian holds, whether the librarian is serving part- or full-time employment, and the size of the legal service area for the library. 

Here’s a quick breakdown to help assess who may need a certification. 

  • If the population of your library’s legal service area is between 1,000 and 14,999, only the library director needs to hold a certification from the State of Nevada. 
  • If the population of your library’s legal service area is between 15,000 and 49,999, the library director must hold a certification from the State of Nevada. Additionally, staff members holding full-time positions whose responsibilities include reference and/or children’s services must hold a certification from the State of Nevada.
  • If the population of your library’s legal service area is 50,000 or more, the library director must hold a master’s degree in library or information science from an ALA (American Library Association) accredited college or university. Additionally, staff members holding full-time positions whose responsibilities include reference and/or children’s services must hold a certification from the State of Nevada. The MLS credential will also suffice for a certification for these positions. 

Librarians may apply for certification even if they are not required to hold it if they work in a public library in the State of Nevada. The application requirements will be outlined in more detail below for interested librarians. 

Education and Experience Requirements

Applicants in Nevada have three options to fulfill the first half of the state’s education requirement. Applicants may either possess 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.

Find Library and Information Science degree program in Nevada.

Then, certification applicants in Nevada must have completed at least 21 semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university. The 21 completed credit hours must include 3 semester hours 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 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.

Applicants are asked to consult with administrators in the libraries in which they are employed and the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records Library Development staff before enrolling in the program.

Other special circumstances around the education requirements can be found here. 

Testing Requirements

There are no testing requirements for the Nevada librarian certification process, except those that are involved in the courses for the education requirement. There is no exam as part of the application process.

Background Checks

Applicants in Nevada must pass a criminal background check to earn public librarian certification. Applicants should contact the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records Library Development staff for the materials required to complete this requirement. 

Two forms will need to be submitted: a fingerprint background waiver and a fingerprint request form. The request form must be signed by an NSLAPR authorized contact and then taken to the local law enforcement entity that conducts background checks.  

The background check process can take up to 45 days to complete in full, so make sure to build this time into your application timeline. 

Application Process

There are three steps in the State of Nevada’s application process. 

  1. Submit a completed application accompanied by copies of academic transcripts and a letter of recommendation.
  2. Provide verification of required years of experience. 
  3. Pass a criminal background check.

The application form can be downloaded here and must be notarized before submission. This application checklist should also be submitted with the application. 

Recertification in Nevada

Librarian certification in Nevada is valid for three years. Before the three years are complete, proof must be submitted to the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records Library Development staff indicating that the following requirements have been met after the initial certification.

  1. 3 semester credits for courses of continuing education approved by the Public Library Board of Trustees, or
  2. 5 units of continuing education established by a continuing education division of the University of Nevada in Reno or Las Vegas, or
  3. Any combination of (1) and (2). 1 semester hour credit at NSHE = 15 contact hours. 1 continuing education unit at NSHE = 10 contact hours.