What's Here? - Table of Contents
The State of North Carolina has approximately 400 public libraries. To better serve its residents, the state created a commission to oversee the operation and standards of the library system. The intention was to guarantee that all citizens of North Carolina had access to a high-quality public library. They would do this by ensuring the protection and maintenance of public library resources and employing qualified professionals and administration.
The Commission ensures top-quality librarians by administering a certification process. This program helps drive consistency across the talent employed by the various library branches across North Carolina. The process to become a librarian in the State of North Carolina is relatively straightforward as long as you meet the specific requirements and criteria before you apply.
The Public Librarian Certification identifies individuals who have met the criteria to work in professional-level positions within the State Library of North Carolina system. There is only one certification level available, so it will be valid for any position that requires certification. Once an applicant has been awarded the certification, there is no expiration date or need to maintain the certification through additional continuing education.
In order to apply for the Public Librarian Certification, you must obtain a graduate-level degree in library and information science from a program that is accredited by the American Library Association. Some regionally accredited programs of higher education in North Carolina are also eligible.
As a part of your degree, you must have completed coursework in the following four areas — Cataloging, Reference, Collection Development, and Library Management.
Applying for the Public Librarian Certification does not require any prior work experience. However, individual jobs within the North Carolina public library system may have experience requirements to apply. According to the North Carolina public library job page, most jobs fall into two categories — professional and paraprofessional. Professional-level positions require a master’s degree in Library Science (MLS) which makes you eligible for the Public Librarian Certification. Paraprofessional positions do not require a Public Librarian Certification.
You do not have to obtain your Public Librarian Certification prior to applying for library jobs. The only requirement is that you meet the minimum requirements in order to apply and obtain the certification upon employment.
There is no test associated with North Carolina’s Public Librarian Certification. However, you will need to complete any test or exam that is associated with the university program that you select to complete your education requirements.
Depending on the position, the Library of North Carolina may require background checks for employees. Where applicable, the library will cover the cost associated with a pre-employment background check.
The North Carolina Public Library uses a web-based form to accept applications for the Public Librarian Certification. There are no fees associated with the application. The application is broken into a few different sections.
The Commission is required to hold monthly meetings to discuss policies and procedures regarding the administration of the Public Librarian Certification. During these meetings, all applications received prior to the meeting are reviewed. Once approved, the applicant will be notified that their certification has been awarded.